If a soundtrack for the revolutions in the Middle East was to be chosen. Muse’s “The Resistance” would be the most perfect candidate, or at least a runner-up, due to its strong political lyrics.
The album consists of 11 songs, three of which form the symphonic arrangement by Matthew Bellamy, Exogenesis.
The Resistance has a – more or less – unified theme which is mainly political, as I have previously mentioned. That fact is pretty much visible from song titles, such as: Uprising, United States of Eurasia and The Resistance – which contains very obvious references to the novel “1984” by George Orwell. The social and political themes weren’t a mere undertone; they were a straight up slap in the face of the dictatorships that rule the world nowadays. Matthew Bellamy’s wide-chested vocals sounded, especially in this context, like a revolutionary leader calling the people of the world for an uprising, an uprising against injustice, cruelty against humankind, the governments and their secret organizations which control the minds of people as well as the whole world itself. As well as the political theme, Muse fans can always put on their tin-foil hats and enjoy the alien references and conspiracy theories undertones in some if not all the songs.
Some of the songs, like I Belong to You and Undisclosed Desires, bring us back to the old fashioned romantic, borderline cheesy, Muse songs. However, love songs were written and performed in a more mature manner in this album. No cheese there!
Last but definitely not least, the song/symphony, Exogenesis. Now this, in my humble opinion is a masterpiece. And when I mentioned the tin-foil hats and alien talk earlier, this is what I was talking about. The title of the song actually means the hypothesis that life was created somewhere else in the universe, on another planet, for example. And that after said planet was ruined by humans – as the Earth is being ruined, now – some survivors were sent to what we now know as “Earth” to populate it.
Musically, this album is different from anything else Muse has done before. And I am not just talking about the use of strings and even whole orchestras at some point. But even to an untrained ear, this album would sound different from previous Muse albums. Most of the songs had less elaborate guitar riffs and solos. And more attention was given to the bass. Many impressive effects were used for the bass-lines of most of the songs by Chris Wolstenholme. As well as the use of a keytar by Matthew Bellamy in the song Undisclosed Desires.
A full orchestra was used on this album, especially in recording Exogenesis and the impressive part is that it was all composed by Matthew Bellamy, even the beautiful string arrangements in United States of Eurasia. Bassist, Chris Wolstenholme actually declared that the band took a step back, being more in the background as the orchestra took the lead in Exogenesis and that if the band was taken away and only the orchestral music remained, the song would still be just as beautiful.
In conclusion, would I recommend this album? Most definitely! Not only are the lyrical themes incredibly impressive, but also musically, this album shows much more maturity on Muse’s part than most rock bands display as they age, which is something that not all Muse fans would enjoy, but hopefully, something they can appreciate. And for new Muse fans, this would be a great album to start with.
Reviewed by: Yara AlSayes