muse want it all and they want it now. more often than not, though, more of everything doesn't necessarily make it better.
it's been three years since muse released their latest studio album, 'black holes and revelations', which saw them exploring new sonic territories compared to what the fans were used to from the band. they triumphantly and extensively toured in support of the album and celebrated the success of their tour by releasing the impressive live-album 'haarp'.
'the resistance', their brand new album coming out today, finds the band further exploring the sounds of the album preceding it. the album kicks things off with 'uprising', a track that in some ways reminds me of 'supermassive black hole', but incorporates some of the keys from the mellower/more operatic tracks on 'black holes...'. not a bad start, albeit an usual one for muse.
the album continues with 'resistance' which has a strong melody, a very new wave verse and a pretty decent muse trademark chorus that pretty much rocks. next track up is 'undisclosed desires' and here things starts to slide...a funky rnb beat over pizzicato strings (!) culminating in slapping (!?) on the bass. i'm thinking - are they kidding me...but unfortunately they're not.
on the remainder of the album, the three members of muse are really pushing their queen-like, operatic/orchestral thing to the max. the level of fireworks and faux explosions in the dense production of tracks like 'united states of eurasia' is tiring and leaves the listener missing the (near) excellent songwriting of 'absolution' and to some degree 'black holes...'. 'unnatural selection' finds muse revisiting heavier sounds reminiscent of 'absolution' to great success, but the french of 'i belong to you', not to mention the maroon 5-esque vibe to the sound, is subpar and the three-track symphony that closes the album feels a bit forced.
matt bellamy and muse have still got some great music in them and their performances are near flawless. 'the resistance' really showcases their abilities as diverse musicians and both the production and the sound of the album is a huge improvement over 'black holes...' but - without great songs, an album can never be anything but mediocre. after all - it's the great songs that gives a band longevity.