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Album review: Muse, 'The Resistance'

Muse This over-the-top English trio has long played to smaller audiences in the United States than it does throughout Europe, where Muse is considered among the biggest rock bands on Earth. (In 2007 it played two sold-out shows at London's 75,000-capacity Wembley Stadium.)

Yet singer-guitarist Matt Bellamy, bassist Chris Wolstenholme and drummer Dominic Howard received a considerable boost on these shores last year when their song "Supermassive Black Hole" was featured prominently in the hit movie "Twilight." And last week came news that "Uprising," the lead single from the band's fifth full-length, had topped the U.S. alternative-rock radio chart.

In some ways, "The Resistance" seems designed for an American breakthrough: "Undisclosed Desires" rides a lithe R&B groove that could've come from a song by Nelly Furtado, while "Uprising" finds Bellamy sympathizing with folks who consider themselves victims of Wall Street greed. Over a thumping disco-glam beat he sneers, "It's time the fat cats had a heart attack," a line that's likely to draw a huge reaction later this month when Muse opens a string of U2 shows on the East Coast and in Texas.

On the other hand, much of "The Resistance" reflects how uninterested the members of Muse are in dialing down their appealing flamboyance to attract Daughtry and Nickelback fans. That arty intransigence often improves the band's music, as in "United States of Eurasia," which proceeds from a pretty piano-ballad intro to an Arabian-accented orchestral-rock climax.

Occasionally, though, it can make Bellamy and his bandmates sound like the world's most successful sourpusses. You don't have to make it all the way through "Exogenesis," the three-part symphony that closes the new album, before you start hankering for a Nickelback-style chorus.

-- Mikael Wood

"The Resistance"
Warner Bros.
Two and a half stars
Comments () | Archives (86)

Gotta believe that Muse isn't interested in attracting Nickelback and Daughtry fans. Do you really believe that bands try to get other fans interested in them or do they just make the music that appeals to them? FAIL. Muse is fantastic and the US can't appreciate them because of their small-minded attitude. There is more to the world than the US. Muse is amazing and I first heard their music while living in Europe. Wake up US, you are missing out and with reviews like this it's no wonder. BTW, saw the Muse/U2 concert in VA and it was the best ever. Muse was just as good as U2. Only with they had more than 45 minutes.

Let's have a little case study, eh?

Voice: Falsetto, Vibrato.
Lyrics: Deal with obsession, world issues, politics, free will, love, tragedy, etc...
Style: Expressive, original and interesting.
Quotes: "Hey you crazy kids!"
Other: Has not broken the law as of yet.

Voice: "UGHGHH"
Lyrics: Rock stars.
Style: Gravelly lyrics over twangy guitars.
Quotes: "I'm sorry that I'm a complete tool".
Other: Has broken the law.

Note: My internet spell checker considered "Bellamy" to be a word, but not "Kroeger", and "MUSE" was considered a word but not "NICKELBACK". (I know Muse is an actual word, though).

Have you ever received a compliment on how you look - by someone that has NO style? It's actually is a bit of an insult, right? This review is the flip side of that. It's someone with NO taste, saying you look ugly! That's a compliment. Phfew! Also, no one can give a cd like The Resistance only one listen (which this reviewer surely did between Nickelback and Beyonce) and decide if they like it or not. I hated it TR the first 2-3 listens - and was seriously worried that Muse had lost their magic touch. But I now love it, and obsess over it. It's an acquired taste, like the finest things in life. It's filet mignon in a Big Mac world.

The tri are artists. actual musicians - unlike many MOST of the bands these days that have songs written for them and have little true artistic ability other than stage presence. So of course Americans who follow top 20 and bubblegum rock/pop are confused by them and can only cope with the exposure to talent by trying to compare to what they've been told is talent.

Mikeal - Is your soul really that dead or dying? You actually have the nerve and / or ignorance to mention "Nickleback" in the same conversation as Muse? You discredited yourself entirely. ~ DL

I don't really know where to start with this one....obviously a new career not reviewing music of any type is in your future. You do not have any grasp of original music of any type. You can, as have others, compare Muse to Radiohead, Queen, anyone you want, however, no one sounds like Muse. That is the pure genius of Muse. There may be hints of this band here, and this band there, but lets face it, that is the case with most bands. The fact still remains that Muse is totally unique and original today. That's why I think their music is fantastic. I love all types of music and this is a breath of fresh air. Nickelback is the entire opposite and makes me want to gag, as does your review, get another job. If you haven;t been fired after posting this review, oh well you got lucky.....

Anyone who likes Nickelback has no business reviewing real music

In comparing Muse to Nickleback and Daughtery and "hankering for a Nickelback-style chorus" it is obvious that you've completely missed the entire point of both the album and Muse as a band. I've never before read such a nonsense filled and lazy review as this is in my life.

Trying to make a comparison between Muse and Nickleback is like trying to compare Waylon Jennings and Poison. Please let someone who knows something about music write these reviews from now on. If you'd tried to compare Muse to Emerson, Lake & Palmer I could have gone there with you, but I'm sure you don't even know who they are.

WOW, Muse fans are TOUCHY. Geez.

MUSE is my idol 4ever..I hope muse will come to Indonesia..

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