June 20, 2024

MUSE: THE RESISTANCE

There are claims that the Punk movement killed off Progressive Rock in the early 80’s, and that Country Life Butter really is the best. I’m more of an Anchor man myself, but I do believe that Punk forced a much needed re-invention of the Progressive Rock genre. There is clear evidence that the layered textures and rampant creativity of progressive rock continues to shine on; its coat of many chord changes encumbered in a more indie driven sound.
 
Waving the flag for Progressive Rock in 2009 is Muse with ‘The Resistance’. Muse have always shown the middle finger to the mainstream music industry by releasing what the hell they want, and this album shows no restraint in terms of their lust for experimentation. ‘The Resistance’ is rich in harmony, with melodies far more rewarding than anything the vapid X-Factor production line is serving up. This is music for listeners.
 
It’s difficult to rate this album against what Muse have released in the past because it is clearly intended to follow in a different direction; adopting a more piano driven electro-pop sound. With its musical diversity and varying pace, it takes a few listens for ‘The Resistance’ to sink in – but doesn’t any music with substance require the same? The conceptual soundscapes of the music will no doubt come across as pompous, bizarre and self indulgent, just as Queen were labelled back in their early day.  Good on Muse, I say!
 
Modern music has a habit of reproducing its closest rivals. In a masterstroke, Muse have borrowed from a diverse list of artists while managing to maintain their firm, melodic and textured stamp in the process. There is not a track on this album that I would want to skip through, and that is extremely rare for me.
 
I will not attempt to breakdown each individual track but I will mention that the final trilogy called ‘Exogenesis‘ is the instigation of a science fiction soundtrack if ever I heard one, complete with classical strings and piano pieces. With references to George Orwell, thought police, and its romantic rebellious overtones, the lyrical content of ‘The Resistance’ once again stamps the creative complexity of this band.
 
‘The Resistance’ is a refreshing alternative to the same old offerings being dished out by the cheap, accessible, blood clotting, greasy spoons of the industry. Contained in this classic recipe is a wisp of Led Zeppelin, some lashings of Queen, a synth-teasing taster of Depeche Mode, and subtle blends of The Stranglers, The Beatles, Goldfrapp, Brian Eno, Ultravox and U2. Add an accompaniment of classical piano overtones, lyrically intertwined with literature, and what one is presented with is a bold, sonic cuisine, executed with great panache. This isn’t any old Vindaloo; this is a feast fit for a Crimson King.

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