There are claims that the Punk movement killed off Progressive Rock in the early 80’s, and that Country Life Butter […]
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 in 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 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 mainstream 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 from the outset; adopting a more piano driven electro-pop sound with a notable absence of the typical axe-grinding. 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.  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. Also worth mentioning is the absence of dynamic compression that has been sonically chocking music. ‘The Resistance’ pops when it pleases, rocks when it requires, and moves when it means to.

Another welcoming aspect of this album is that each track sounds very different from the last. I will not attempt to breakdown each individual track but I will mention the final trilogy called ‘Exogenesis‘; a science fiction soundtrack in waiting, complete with classical strings and piano pieces that will have 19th century composers conducting soulfully in their graves. With references to George Orwell and its political, romantic, and rebellious overtones, the lyrical content of ‘The Resistance’ further demonstrates the creative complexity and maturity of this band.

‘The Resistance’ is a refreshing alternative to the same old offerings being dished out by a blood clotting, greasy spoon 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 eggs and bacon; this is a feast fit for a Crimson King.
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