Bri Blahg… Muse Row Up The River Prog

23 09 2009

by Brian Phillips (@BrianBlahg)

I’ve come a long way in my listening. As a teen my favorite band was Rush. In college I discovered punk rock, post punk, and indie rock. Any album with a whiff of a narrative thread was dismissed out of my hand as pretentious twaddle. (Husker Du’s “Zen Arcade” and any Who album were of course exempted.) It’s only been many years later that I’ve come to at least a partial accommodation. Rush have found their way back into my collection as has Pink Floyd, and I enjoy those records perhaps more than I did then. Muse’s new album “The Resistance” is the latest to feel the cool breeze of my Prog Spring.

The subject matter, the individual in an ever enveloping corptacracy, is heavy indeed. Muse will take fire from all sides; accusations of fomenting half baked manifestos born of lazy thinking. The “rock concept album” has always been ridiculous idea. When the artist grows restless in their station, and begin taking on pretension like water to a listing dinghy, they’re just asking of trouble. And that trouble will come from others, not me. I decided a long time ago to take albums like Rush “2112,” Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” and Muse’s “The Resistance” as cool sounding Sci Fi Channel cheddar.

And what of the “cool sound?” The music itself is often soaring, and quite beautiful. No flourish, swell, or crescendo is too overwrought. More beget more, and less was nothing. Queen like choruses abound, and at times the songs burble with latter day Depeche Mode style touches. The album’s multi-part closer, Exogenesis: Symphony Parts I,II, and III, leaves no doubt that if Muse are going to live or die by audacity, then so be it.

If you wish to get out of this album what I believe Muse intended, you’ll need to leave all winks, nudges, and sneers at home and take “The Resistance” straight up. (Though I’m sure more than a few basement dwellers will take in this album by the bong load thank you.)

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23 09 2009
Bri Blahg… Stooges Yes, Kiss Yes, Genesis No… Music News Round Up 9/23/09 « Palestra Music Blog

[…] Bonus Coverage: I listened to the new Muse record this afternoon. “The Resistance” is the UK band going willingly right off the artistic rails. My thoughts if you are so inclined live live here. […]

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