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CD Review: Muse

The Resistance (Warner Bros.)


It's worth noting that before Muse coalesced into their current form a decade and a half ago, the core trio — singer-multi-instrumentalist Matthew Bellamy, bassist Christopher Wolstenholme, drummer Dominic Howard — pretended to be a glam band to enter a battle of the bands. There's a surplus of glaminess on Muse's fifth album, The Resistance, but it's further evidence of the band's amazing facility for musical mimicry. "Uprising," swings with electro-pop urgency, features a slinky synth line lifted straight from Doctor Who and swells with classic-rock anthemics and orchestral bombast. "Undisclosed Desires" rages with Queensryche guitar riffage and Bellamy's soaring falsetto, while "United States of Eurasia/Collateral Damage" shimmers like Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" and Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir" synthesized by Rufus Wainwright for a massively scaled rock opera. Speaking of opera, Muse finish The Resistance with the 13-minute, three-movement "Exogenesis: Symphony," an ambitious and movingly successful suite that fuses all of the trio's longstanding loves electronica, prog, classical into an orchestral rock triumph. Not so coincidentally, the piece's second part is sub-titled "Cross Pollination." Brian Baker

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