Since Muse’s inception in the mid-90s, this alternative band has been constantly working to develop their sound and expand on their previous work. A decade after their first album (1999’s Showbiz) hit stores, Muse has now put forth their most polished record yet. The band’s new album, The Resistance, has already seen it’s hit single “Uprising” – a soaring rock ballad that sits comfortably in between the worlds of modern alternative rock and rock opera – take off in popularity. Lead singer Matthew Bellamy’s vocals play across the song’s politically charged lyrics (and the entire high-concept album, for that matter) with the confidence and sure-footedness of U2’s Bono, while the band’s musical stylings vary impressively from song to song. From the driving guitar riffs on the nearly seven-minute long “Unnatural Selection” to the classical piano arrangements and backup vocals  in the operatic “United States of Eurasia (+ Collateral Damage)”, this trio knows how to get the most out of a particular genre.

What’s most noticeable on The Resistance is the bona fide rockstar sensibilities of the entire band. Luxuriating in virtuoso guitar solos and powerful vocalizations, it’s clear that radio play is not Muse’s sole purpose in releasing an album. Additionally, the  heady subject matter – “How much deception can you take? / How many lies will you create? / How much longer til you break?” questions Bellamy on “MK Ultra” – makes it clear that these guys aren’t out for easy topics either… though they’re also clever enough to ensure that such a serious song quickly fades into a catchy love ditty with R & B sensibilities (“I Belong to You (+Mon Ceur S’ouvre a ta Voix)”) where Bellamy croons “I’ve travelled half the world to say / I belong to you.” With the various crescendos and lilting solos sprinkled throughout the album, it’s easy to imagine the entire album taking place on an operatic stage. And in the final three tracks the band takes on an electronic Sigur Ros style sensibility for a three-part collection of music entitled “Exogenesis: Symphony Part I, II, III.” It’s melodic and beautiful with just enough edge to remind listeners that they’re listening to a rock band.

Though Muse has been successfully touring for several years now, this album marks the band’s first really mainstream effort. And luckily they’ve still managed to maintain the individuality that has helped them to develop such a strong fanbase leading up to this point. They’ve played Lollapalooza, ACL, Vegoose, and even sold out Madison Square Garden. Last week the band wrapped up a tour of the United States in which they hit several high-profile venues, including the new Dallas Cowboys Stadium. With the success of The Resistance so far, there’s no doubt that Muse will continue touring for many years to come… if hardcore fans can accept that their “little” secret will now be exposed to the masses.

Zach’s Rating: A
Perfect For: Fans of U2, The Cure, Within Temptation
Stay Away if: You just want some good old alt-rock

To purchase The Resistance, visit Amazon

Be Sociable, Share!