Music Reviews
The Resistance

Muse The Resistance

(Warner Bros) Buy it from Insound Rating - 3/10

Muse really, really wants to be Radiohead. There was talk of releasing The Resistance as a series of singles, something Thom Yorke has talked about in recent years. The Bends producer John Leckie produced their first album. They talked about switching from a rock format to and electronic one for this album (they didn’t, but you can hear the attempts at an Idioteque clone three tracks in on Undisclosed Desires). They’re releasing The Resistance as a box set that looks suspiciously like the one sitting next to me on my desk right now. The list could go on and on and on. Their music generally doesn’t come off as inspired by the favorite bands of their youth; it comes off as Matthew Bellamy trying to cover up blatant plagiarism and a lack of originality with layers of keyboards and piano codas.

While they clearly have their stylistic roots firmly planted in the eternal excellence of The Bends and OK Computer, their worst copycat moments come from Queen. United States of Eurasia was a funny song to at the beginning, sporting their typically ridiculous sci-fi New World Order rhetoric that they’ve been growing increasingly fond of with every album, but it becomes even more laughable when Bohemian Rhapsody makes an appearance later in the song. It isn’t even disguised. I also don’t believe they have fully thought through their fictional protest of this hypothetical country- holding North America, Asia and Europe is, strategically speaking, an excellent idea. The Alaska-Kamchatka border issue is resolved, as well as the issue of holding Europe, which really can’t be done without Asia. Hold this United States of Eurasia for more than three turns and the game of Risk is yours. For all their worn out “we're under control by a faceless right wing enemy” whining, the one good observation they’ve stumbled across was an accident.

The self serious Orwellian references become more and more self serious and more and more painful on each passing Muse album. The music press (and their fans) thrust hugely undeserved credit on Muse every time an album is released, and it appears that they have become convinced of its truth. They can be a fun band in a hugely epic and over the top way, but the big stadium guitar and keyboard riffs of Absolution and Origin of Symmetry have been lost to needlessly complex song structures (I should say structure- it’s just verse chorus verse sandwiched between drawn out classical piano sections). And while those massive riffs were never exceptionally noteworthy, they were entertaining. Muse has sadly lost that as they try to make the masterpiece the NME, Spin and Rolling Stone have convinced them they are capable of. Trying to make an album that captures the paranoia of a changing world isn’t a great idea when you aren’t a great songwriter.

After fighting through five songs of tiresome keyboards and aimless protesting, we finally get Unnatural Selection, unquestionably the albums best retread. For one song, they’ve become that same old band of kids sitting around a studio saying “you know what would be legit? Adding keyboards, piano, and distorted vocals on top of a giant riff”. They then proceeded to make this song about sixty five times and it was often so tightly put together it came off as soulless, but it occasionally kicks ass. They usually get it right a few times per album, but unfortunately they only hit the nail on the head once on The Resistance.

Post- Selection, the album heads back into dull territory with another straight up Muse song and then a shuffling piano experiment that turns up mediocre results, and then from their dives right into “dear god why?” territory with the Exogenesis symphony. Hearing a fifteen minute long epic penned by Muse is at the very bottom of my to do list, right alongside challenging Sylvester Stallone to a fistfight and hanging out with Jason Mraz for a day (I mean he talks like he sings. I can’t imagine anyone not smacking him after five minutes of that). It’s long, unnecessary and very hard to sit through, not to mention I can almost hear Galadriel telling me all about the one ring during the latter half of Exogenesis I.

Muse’s career has been spent becoming increasingly serious and far less fun with every passing album. They rarely completely fail to find their sweet spot, but they are often left with mediocre results. They are a decent band until one considers their source material, something they can’t even hold a candle to. They are capable of making albums that are big, over the top and fun. The Resistance is over the top, but comes off as boisterous and overblown. 

Comments for The Resistance review

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Muse’s career has been spent

Muse’s career has been spent becoming increasingly serious and far less fun with every passing album. They rarely completely fail to find their sweet spot, but they are often left with mediocre results. They are a decent band until one considers their source material, something they can’t even hold a candle to. They are capable of making albums that are big, over the top and fun. The Resistance is over the top, but comes off as boisterous and overblown.
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that comment=fail

that comment=fail

i dont think the reviewer

i dont think the reviewer seemed to get the point of this album, sadly.

This review is probably the

This review is probably the poorest I've ever read besides Rolling Stones.

Here's an idea, start the fucking review without talking about Radiohead.

Ignorant idiots.

Radiohead comparisons are

Radiohead comparisons are inevitable, it's Muse. Instead of people complaining about bad press about their favorite band, why don't you argue? Explain how it is good. No ones poking any holes in their logic, it's just noisy complaints.

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The Muse/radiohead

The Muse/radiohead comparisons started and ended with Showbiz. Why on earth are they even mentioned together these days, especially with The Resistance.

Instantly damages the reviewers credibility when he likens 'Undisclosed Desires' to 'Idioteque'. Fully functioning ears and half an ounce of common sense are usually prerequisites for reviewing music no? Honestly the first paragraph is baffling mess, he'll look back at this review in a few years time and think 'my god that was complete tosh'. I don't think people *really* need to point out whats wrong with the first paragraph do they?

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blah blah ... the muse fans

blah blah ... the muse fans are onto you.

Truth be told I think the reviewer never liked Muse from the start, but does
make some right assumptions. The Resistance is a poor album which manages to reveal
all of muse's flaws. Poor songwriting and a mechanical soundscape.

Any review of The Resistance

Any review of The Resistance that honestly tries to claim that it sounds like Radiohead has no credibility. Besides that, this review contains most of the normal complaints about Muse. They're a love-or-hate band. It's clear on which side of the spectrum this reviewer stands.

"For all their worn out

"For all their worn out 'we're under control by a faceless right wing enemy' whining..."

So they REALLY have this Radiohead impression down pretty well, huh?

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Its okay...Exogenesis is not

Its okay...Exogenesis is not for the weak minded.

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What did Muse do?

I just want to know one thing, what did Muse ever do to hurt you so bad? You sound so frustrated and angry. All I hear are rants and random complaints. You can actually say why you don't like an album, instead of just yelling and shouting how retarded and laughworthy it is and how you would rather pick a fight with Sylvester Stallone than sit through Exogenesis...

If you do not like the album

If you do not like the album that is fine, but DO NOT show ignorance by still comparing them to Radiohead. That comparison stopped after the release of their 1st album, this is the 5th!

so, does noripcord take down

so, does noripcord take down anti-radiohead leaning comments, or is that andrew himself? i find that quite amusing.


...but we do take down off topic comments that certain readers may find offensive e.g comments speculating about the race of the author which also make generalisations about the listening habits of black people. By all means contribute an opinion about the album or the review, but this isn't the place for dumb comments about race.

And if you have a comment to make why not be a grown up and put your name to it? Far too many people posting as guest here- surely it's not all the same person?

give me the job

Can i have a job?, because your reviewer is at best plain lazy. He didnt even review the album just moaned about non existent facts an re hashed worn out stereotypes. I can do a far better job.

I wouldn't call much

I wouldn't call much anything in this review fact, it's all a matter of opinion. Thats the point of a music review. You have yours and I have mine, and you don't have to give mine the time of day if you don't like it. Constructive criticism is appreciated and I'll welcome a legitimate argument, but please don't attack me and the job I did personally. I'm supposed to weigh in on the album and I did so honestly.


And you honestly think The Resistance sounds ANYTHING like Radiohead?

Are you talking about

Are you talking about arguments and constructive criticism??? seriusly???? come on, write something with arguments and constructive criticism, and then we can give you that

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This David fellow must not

This David fellow must not know the real Andrew. He beat up a Mexican midget once cause the midget called Andrew the n word. After that, we went to KFC and ate some fried chicken and watermelon, but we forgot the grape drink at home, so a couple of us ended up in the hospital because Andrew took his anger out on us.

The reviewer = asshole

This is the worst review ever, the reviewer is just an stupid fucking asshole

Excuse me sir, I believe it

Excuse me sir, I believe it is "a fucking asshole" not an fucking asshole

Andrew, i'm sorry that the


i'm sorry that the idiots above dont realize that everyone is entitled to their opinion. You make plenty of valid points. however, i dont really see where the radiohead comparison comes in. i mean, undisclosed desires really does NOT sound like idioteque (my own personal opinion). i feel like you are taking muse's 'influences' and turning them into their 'bands we're trying to clone'. Muse will never be queen. Muse will never be radiohead. muse is muse. and muse is a band with influences from both of those bands. but that doesn't mean they are trying to CLONE them. muse is making a sound of their own. however, it is up to you to enjoy that sound or not. and i completely respect your decision not to.

but there is a reason they have won countless 'best live band' awards. they are absolutely amazing performers. i've never seen a better show in my life.

Sam, Thanks for having

Thanks for having legitimate points and making them in a collected manner, instead of just attacking me as an asshole who doesn't like a band you do. I saw Undisclosed Desires less as a complete clone and more as there attempt to emulate a similar style, I still think they have this "next Radiohead" mentality. Thats not necessarily a bad thing, its just not for them. They're better when they aren't as serious, as I said in the review. Radiohead does serious, not fun, and Muse very often has them beat on that point alone. As you can probably tell, I don't think they are a very original band, but they get credit from most people I know for being one. I find that they often come off as arrogant- claiming they are making out there and brave music- when they are in fact playing it very safe. It's an example of how far the mainstream is willing to stretch its acceptance.

I saw them live at the Paramount Theater in sophomore year of high school. It was a really, really fun show. I don't think they are the best live act I've seen, but it was nonetheless a great time. The venue was a little small, which in there case probably takes away from the experience rather than add to it. They make big music and need a big space to fill with it.

Hi Andrew, I don't know how

Hi Andrew,
I don't know how you put up with the ad hominem attacks. I enjoyed your review and suspect that those who attack you personally, could not argue a point with a three year old.


I can't tell if this is a professional site. This review is not really about the album, it's barely about music. Critics that fail to actually use the songs on the album as their evidence are what plague all arts today. It is only worse when a critic believes that endless comparison counts for actual analysis. You have failed to actually review this album and the results sound more like a myspace blog post.

Ben Snider

p.s. please tell me they do not pay you.

How about this?

The album opens with "Uprising", a chugging guitar song set against a two step drum beat reminiscent of Battles "Atlas." The lyrics are business as usual, apocalypse, the end is near, beware of the enemy, and come off like a bad sci fi movie. It sounds like the band attempting to make a leap forward, the same kind of thing they attempted on Black Holes and Revelations. They continue with the all out cheeseball fest with the title track, with painful lines like "love is our resistance" that come off as a self parody. They've done this well in the past, hell its been their hallmark, but doing it every time and in increasingly grandiose tones just gets irritating.

Undisclosed Desires sounds a bit like Portishead at first, and doesn't fit in well with the rest of the album stylistically. Muse is usually pretty good at crafting cohesive albums, and this is a clear misstep in that legacy. It's electronica at low point. United States of Eurasia is just ridiculous. Its practically the same fucking chord progression as Bohemian Rhapsody. (Queen was good, but Queen didn't take themselves very seriously and that was the key to their success. I don't want to hear any bullshit about how its a tribute, if you want tribute play a cover.) The lyrics again come off as over the top and apocalypse-y, Bellamy is flying on autopilot from the last three albums he's made. It's another Muse song that just adds layers of instrumentation to sound original. More sound and parts doesn't necessarily do that, an original song requires a unique base, one without the keyboards and classical piano. Those should not be the vehicle for a unique song, those are the icing on the cake. And we all know that cake can't ride on frosting alone.

Guiding Light is another retread, another attempt to break from their mold and another failure at it. Unnatural Selection has a pretty kickass main riff and is a fun song. If they'd made an album full of these it would be ok. It sounds more like old Muse. MK Ultra is another standard Muse moment, and a fairly weak one. "I Belong To You" is an almost Steely Dan-ish love song. Muse's one original aspect is their classical influence, and its especially good when they can use it blended into a rock format instead of as an add on. This is the only time on The Resistance where this occurs, and it turns out fairly well.

Exogenesis is the most self indulgent crock of shit I've heard since the last time I listened to The Mars Volta. I don't care if Matthew Bellamy can compose. Lots of people can compose. Doesn't mean they feel the need to include overlong symphonies in their albums. The dinosaur that was prog rock is dead, and lets the allow its self indulgent and ridiculous tendencies to stay that way. Long is fine if you have something good to fill it with, but Exogenesis comes off as long for the sake of long.

The Resistance is a scattershot, out of focus record and Muse's second attempt to break the decent mold they created for themselves on Absolution and Origin of Symmetry. Muse fans will like it because its Muse, but the casual listener isn't going to get beyond the singles.

There you go. I took the songs, told you what I thought and didn't make any long comparisons. It's probably full of typos and some ill conceived sentence structures, but I didn't proofread it so who cares.

I thought the first review

I thought the first review featured ample discussion of the songs themselves, but I think you more than made your point with that dissection of The Resistance. It would be nice to see someone come up with an eloquently worded argument for its supposed greatness.

Now that

is a better review.

You make great valid points. I thought Origin of Symmetry was an album with great potential.
Absolution was pretty good too but everything else after has been done before or overdone.

I dont hear any radiohead in Resistance.

What I do hear is a band who was loosely likened to Queen at one stage but then went ahead and spanked the ass out of Bohemian Rhapsody. Nice going. Sheeesh

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ok, i feel that comparing

ok, i feel that comparing this album to radiohead (heck, comparing any muse to any radiohead) is um...well i just can't agree with this. and no, bends and ok comp are hugely overrated. but this isn't about radiohead so pardon me. now when it comes to everything else i cannot see why people complain about this review. am i to understand that resistance is ugh...anything but a totally average pop-record? boring and uninspired, unoriginal, predictable - all these fit. there's nothing we haven't heard before. there's no point in making art if you are just repeating and copying what's already been done. the muse guys bring nothing new to pop or rock music so i don't see how their existence as musicians is really justified. it's not. the review is nice, but too lenient.

Rest In Peace, Muse: A longtime Muse fan's perspective

While I agree with most of you that this is a lazy, poorly-penned review, I happen to agree with Andrew on all accounts.

The difference between him and I? I'm a Muse fan, and have been for over seven years. With each new album, Muse chugged forward along their musical path, and I continued to be excited about the signature changes and styles they introduced. Given, not a Radiohead style path of experimentation and diversion, but a progression of Muse's signature style. The Resistance is like running into a brick wall at 120mph. Progress, improvement, and trademark energy have fallen to the wayside in favor of pulpit-preaching and pop-synth harmonies. Rest in peace, Muse.

Unexpected, surprising, and entirely confusing, the album fails to deliver on all accounts; what was promised as the strongest Muse album yet unveils itself as a droopy, wilting romp through sentiment and pompous, juvenile political theories. Sonically, it is over-produced and undercooked. Lyrical content is laughably serious and overblown. They Nickelback effect is in full swing on this album.

Upon a few initial listen-throughs of The Resistance, I commented to a fellow Muse fan the following about the album: it sounds as if it were songs written by Muse for other bands. Tell me it's not true. Undisclosed Desires? Hello Backstreet Boys... or did I mean Depeche Mode?

This album does not just under-deliver, it's the type of album that, were it released by a less-significant band, would almost guarantee a breakup... or at least a fan revolt. Disappointingly, Muse fans have chosen to hold Resistance to a Lady Gaga-esque standard, and stamp it with their approval.

Resistance was the first and

Resistance was the first and most likely last Muse album I've ever bought:
- Loved the Uprising, althout there is a bit of Billy Idol and Mars Attacks.
- Resistance, its QUEEN and a full 5 sec of U2 "In the name of the Father"
- Eurasia is QUEEN and LED ZEPPELIN "Kashmir"
Am I the only one to notice?
Thanks very much for this great article;this is the stuff that keeps me going through out these day.

The Resistance | No Ripcord - Independent Music & Film Magazine

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Muse The Resistance

Wow this guy hit the nail right on the head. Whoever said that he missed the point of the album should explain exactly what the point of the album was.

I agree. This Justin fellow is so smart.

Alright lets talk about Jeff Mangum.


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