United States of Eurasia

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"United States of Eurasia"
United States of Eurasia (Muse single - cover art).jpg
Promotional single by Muse from the album The Resistance
Released 21 July 2009
Recorded 2008 (2008)–2009 (2009) at Lake Como, Italy
Genre New prog, symphonic rock
Length 5:47 (total)
Label Helium 3, Warner Bros.
Writer Matthew Bellamy, Frédéric Chopin
Producer Muse
The Resistance track listing
"Undisclosed Desires"
(3)
"United States of Eurasia"
(4)
"Guiding Light"
(5)

"United States of Eurasia" is a song by English alternative rock band Muse and is featured on their fifth studio album The Resistance. The song was made available as a free digital download online on 21 July 2009 and is followed by an instrumental solo entitled "Collateral Damage", based on Nocturne In E-Flat Major, Op.9 No.2 by Frédéric Chopin.

Background and composition[edit]

"United States of Eurasia" was the first song title to be confirmed as on The Resistance, after fans worked it out from a photograph of its sheet music uploaded on the band's Twitter profile.[1][2] On 3 July 2009, the album's track listing was revealed, with "United States..." positioned fourth between "Undisclosed Desires" and "Guiding Light".[3]

In a pre-release interview featured in the August edition of music magazine Mojo, vocalist and guitarist Matthew Bellamy reveals the song to be inspired by "a book called The Grand Chessboard by Zbigniew Brzezinski," explaining that "Brzezinski has the viewpoint that the Eurasian landmass, ie Europe, Asia and the Middle East, needs to be controlled by America to secure the oil supply."[4] Bellamy goes on to suggest that the song is also influenced by George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, in which Eurasia is one of Earth's three super-states.[4]

Release – "Project Eurasia"[edit]

While initially thought to be the first single due to be released from The Resistance, the band confirmed on their Twitter profile that "Uprising" would in fact be released as the lead single, and that "United States..." would be the "prize" achieved by completing the "treasure hunt" activity set up by the band, "United States of Eurasia".[5] After the fan community unlocked all six sample segments of the song promised by the treasure hunt on 20 July; a message was then displayed on the project page, ordering viewers to report back soon for an "emergency flash briefing."[6] The main site then changed the green headline title from "Ununited States of Eurasia" to "United States of Eurasia".

On 20 July at approximately 12:00 PM (BST), the treasure hunt site "Ununited States of Eurasia" updated its map to include America and a banner reading "RECOGNITION FROM USA REQUESTED" with co-ordinates to a street in New York. Interestingly, it was the only station that had a timed limit to it for activation, stating that failure in activating it will result in a Lockdown Crisis Mode which will mobilise "The Resistance".[7] A subsequent Twitter post by Bellamy in reply to a fan states that US would have the grand finale and that they would have "a tough decision to make", hinting on the possibility that the final station should not be activated and that United States of Eurasia should not be recognised.[8][9] Joe Ellis became the first DJ to air the new song on KXLL during his Sunday show on 19 July 2009.[10]

Following the conclusion of the treasure hunt on 21 July 2009, the song was made available for download[11] from the microsite, complete with ending piano sonata "Collateral Damage", a slightly altered version of Frédéric Chopin's Nocturne in E-flat Major Op. 9 No. 2, with additional sounds of playing children and a line of jet fighter dropping atomic bombs at the end the arrangement.

Reception[edit]

The song has received mixed reviews from critics and fans alike. Music magazine NME published a pre-release interview with the band on 7 July, identifying "United States..." as one of the highlights of the album and describing how it "builds into a climax of multi-tracked Queen-style vocals."[12] In a French review of the album published on MuseBootlegs.com, the song is likened to Queen's song "Bohemian Rhapsody", Maurice Jarre's soundtrack for the 1962 film Lawrence of Arabia and Polish composer Frédéric Chopin, the amalgamation of which is said to produce "A long, cinematic classic rock trip."[13]

Online review magazine Pitchfork Media was less receptive and granted the song a rating of 2 out of 10. Stating, "Even for a shameless group like Muse, 'United States of Eurasia' is pushing things a little too far...[with] rhetoric that'd make even the most passionate zealot roll their eyes."[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "New Album Title". Muse. Retrieved 8 July 2009. [dead link]
  2. ^ "Score in Milan". Muse (Twitpic). 18 May 2009. Retrieved 8 July 2009. 
  3. ^ Muse management (4 July 2009). "The Resistance: The Tracklisting". Muse. Retrieved 8 July 2009. 
  4. ^ a b "Muse in Mojo". Muselive. 5 July 2009. Retrieved 8 July 2009. 
  5. ^ "To clarify!: Treasure hunt ...". Muse (Twitter). 14 July 2009. Retrieved 15 July 2009. [dead link]
  6. ^ "Music". Ununited States of Eurasia. Muse. 20 June 2009. Retrieved 20 June 2009. [dead link]
  7. ^ "STATION//COLOSSUS". Ununited States of Eurasia. Muse. 20 July 2009. Retrieved 20 July 2009. [dead link]
  8. ^ "@Absinthe_Wolf You will have grand finale ...". Muse (Twitter). 18 July 2009. Retrieved 20 July 2009. [dead link]
  9. ^ "US will play a vital role ...". Muse (Twitter). 18 July 2009. Retrieved 20 July 2009. [dead link]
  10. ^ "ZaneLowe Radio1". Radio 1. 20 July 2009. 
  11. ^ Muse.mu. "United States Of Eurasia - Eurasia Recognised!". Retrieved 27 July 2009. 
  12. ^ "Muse in NME". Muselive. 8 July 2009. Retrieved 8 July 2009. 
  13. ^ "The Resistance Mini-Review". Muselive. 9 July 2009. Retrieved 10 July 2009. 
  14. ^ "Pitchfork: Track Reviews: Muse: "United States of Eurasia / Collateral Damage"". Pitchforkmedia. 3 August 2009. Retrieved 3 August 2009. 

External links[edit]