Album: Muse, The Resistance (Helium 3)

Click to follow
The Independent Culture

It's hard not to harbour a grudging admiration for Muse's Matt Bellamy, even if the band's stadium-rock stylings aren't to your taste.

There's something heartening about the way he's prepared to adopt three or four preposterous notions before breakfast: for this Fox Mulder of music, no mystery or conspiracy is sufficiently ludicrous to test credulity to breaking point, from alien invasion to illuminati. On The Resistance, it's mostly malign world-control that exercises his imagination, with a side-order of alien/human interbreeding in the three-part "Exogenesis Symphony", a pleasant but hackneyed 13-minute bout of orchestral rock. In a sense, the album is a stap back from the impressive Black Holes & Revelations, with the band's old Queen influences more pronounced in the to-and-fro choral responses, pomp-rock riffing and the simplistic, "We Will Rock You"-esque idea of rock music as last bastion of revolutionary freedom, a notion that underpins "Resistance", "MK Ultra" and "United States of Eurasia", which for some reason has a Chopin Nocturne stuck on the end. I prefer the more pop-conscious pieces, such as the Depeche Mode-sounding "Undisclosed Desires" and the space-glam-boogie "Uprising", which resembles Suzi Quatro's band recording with the Radiophonic Workshop. Which is a notion absurd enough to attract Bellamy's interest.

Download this: 'Undisclosed Desires', 'Unnatural Selection', 'Uprising'