To be honest, it wasn’t really until Australia day 2008 that I took much notice of Muse. Before that, my appreciation of their music was luke warm. When their epic Knights Of Cydonia pipped King’s Of Leon’s On Call at the post of Triple J’s Hottest 100 that year, I was outraged. Where the hell had all these Muse fans come from?
I have since learnt the error of my ways. The Resistance, the fifth album for the English trio of symphonic rockers, is a feast of orchestral arrangements. In Exogenesis Symphony Part 1, classical string parts are contrasted with harsh electric guitar chords. Singer Matthew Bellamy’s falsetto voice sounds surreal and choir-boy-prodigy like as he hits notes I didn’t think possible for a rock singer.
Exogenesis Symphony Part 2 opens with a wave of piano scales that wouldn’t be out of place in Phantom Of The Opera. Lyrics full of emotion and sincerity accompany the piano and what sounds like violins, until the song suddenly changes direction and heads towards traditional Muse territory with plenty of electronic power chords and attitude.
The first single for the album, Uprising, is also more traditional Muse territory. A driving bass intro and percussive clapping lead into a chorus featuring the lyrics “we will be victorious”. From the reception Uprising received on Triple J earlier this month, it seems that Muse has again been victorious with their material and will likely rank highly once more in this years Hottest 100.
For their first album since 2006, The Resistance is soothing the withdrawal symptoms of Muse fans everywhere. Muse’s music is like a drug. You can’t get addicted until you try it but when you do, you can’t live without it. This might explain the legions of one-eyed fans that emerge from the woodwork around Hottest 100 voting time and also why this CD hasn’t left my player (except to accommodate Sarah Blasko this morning) since it was released last week.
Have you heard this album or previous Muse stuff? How does it compare? Let me know what you think!