After three years of riding the wave of "Black Holes and Revelations," and the live album "H.A.A.R.P.," Muse is finally back with a completely new album. While three years is about standard for the band, it’s about time the trio released a new album.
The problem with Muse releasing a new album; however, is that no matter what the album sounds like there’s still going to be a divide among their fans. Muse, as most bands tend to do, has changed their style over time. There is an obvious change of style between even the two albums that gained traction in America, "Absolution" and "Black Holes and Revelations." The issue comes in the fact that there were two albums before "Absolution" that stayed mostly in the United Kingdom, which sounded much different. There are some who accept everything from the band, and those who much prefer their 2001 release, "Origin of Symmetry," to anything released after.
The bad news for the latter group of fans is that "The Resistance" is very much a continuation of Black Holes. So much so that the title track "Resistance" started as an extension of ‘"Map of the Problematique." That isn’t to say that Muse simply rehashed "Black Holes" to make "Resistance." While the style is still there, it’s not as if you’ve heard the whole album before, just with slightly different vocals and riffs as some bands are known to do.
Before the release of the new album, Muse launched what it called "Project Eurasia," which would ultimately result in the free download of the song "United States of Eurasia (+Collateral Damage)." The goal of the project was to get fans to find six USB flash drives scattered in six major cities; then have each upload the section of the song found to the band’s Web site. This gave the world the chance to freely download the song, which happens to be one of the most memorable of the album. The song has Muse transitioning into a fantastic sound that can only be described as being very heavily influenced by Queen.
The album also holds "Guiding Light," in which Muse deviates from their style as well. On "Guiding Light" the band instead decides to imitate 80s arena rock, which ends up sounding unique and only a tad ironic at times. The sounds becomes very apparent in the short guitar solos, but can also be masked by Matthew Bellamy’s signature vocals to the point where you don’t notice it.
The album ends on a high note in a three-part series called "Exogenesis." Each of the three songs relates part of the journey of astronauts attempting to find other planets for humans to inhabit after they completely ruin the Earth. The songs show Muse’s progressive side with rich, interesting instrumentals and minimal vocals that can take a few listens to understand fully. It is almost completely different in execution from the rest of the album, though not in style. The set actually comes off as something that could easily be released as a stand-alone EP. It’s brilliance makes it easy to wish that perhaps the band could expand upon it, and possibly make the entirety of the next album just like the last three songs.
It’s true that "The Resistance" isn’t a perfect album. There are a few stylistic choices that might put off some people. It all sounds like Muse, though there are influences in the album ranging from David Bowie to Queen, and The Beatles in the "Sgt. Pepper’s" days. To a fan of Muse and all of the various influences of the album, it’s fantastic, though others may not find it quite as enjoyable.