The Resistance (album)

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The Resistance
Studio album by Muse
Released14 September 2009
RecordedSeptember 2008 (September 2008) – May 2009 (May 2009)
StudioStudio Bellini (Lake Como, Italy)
Muse chronology
The Resistance
The 2nd Law
Vinyl cover
Muse - The Resistance Vinyl.jpg
Singles from The Resistance
  1. "Uprising"
    Released: 4 August 2009[6]
  2. "Undisclosed Desires"
    Released: 16 November 2009
  3. "Resistance"
    Released: 22 February 2010[7]
  4. "Exogenesis: Symphony"
    Released: 17 April 2010
  5. "MK Ultra"
    Released: 2010 (Australia only)

The Resistance is the fifth studio album by English rock band Muse, released in Europe on 14 September 2009, and in North America on 15 September 2009. Upon its release, it topped the album charts in 19 countries. It also debuted at number three on the Billboard 200 chart, selling 128,000 copies during the first week.[8] It also surpassed its predecessor, Black Holes and Revelations, in album sales in its debut week in the UK, selling approximately 148,000 copies, as well as worldwide, with 479,000 copies sold. Critics were mostly complimentary about the album, with much of the praise directed towards its ambition and classical music influences.

The album was produced by the band and mixed by Mark Stent.[9][10] The album's first single, "Uprising", was released on 4 August 2009, with the album's second single, "Undisclosed Desires" released on 16 November 2009. "Resistance" was released as the third single from the album on 22 February 2010, and although it failed to match the success of its predecessors, the single reached number one in the UK Rock Chart and became the second Top 40 hit from the album in the UK Singles Chart. "Exogenesis: Symphony" was released as a limited edition EP in the United States on 17 April 2010. Muse promoted the album by performing the songs in a number of live appearances, including their promotional tour The Resistance Tour. The album yielded the band their first Grammy Award in 2011 for Best Rock Album.[11]


The talk of a follow-up to Muse's 2006 album Black Holes and Revelations began in 2007, during that album's touring and promotion. In October, music magazine NME reported that Muse were "planning an 'electronic' album" and that the band "had 'loads of ideas' for their fifth record already."[12] As touring came to a close, ideas and rumours began circulating more frequently – common themes were the inclusion of a "15-minute space-rock solo" song,[13] the rejection of the 'conventional' album format and a possible series of singles;[14] on 22 May 2008, NME reported that the band had begun writing songs for the new album, quoting frontman, vocalist, guitarist and pianist Matthew Bellamy as saying "What will come out of that is impossible to say."[15]

The move away from releasing a conventional album was further discussed, with drummer Dominic Howard quoted as saying "It's not that we're against the concept of releasing an album in the traditional format at all. It's just the way the world and technology is evolving, it's presenting a canvas to do whatever you want and just release music as and when it is ready to release. It can happen much more organically."[16] As of mid-2008, it was revealed that Muse had been writing a number of tracks, with more on the way in September.[17] Despite this, Muse "warned fans not to expect a new album too soon," with bassist Christopher Wolstenholme quoted as explaining "I don't think there's anything that we're ready to record yet. We just wanted to get started this year, to get the ball rolling a little bit rather than wait for a year doing nothing then get in the studio, and go, 'What do we do now?'."[18] The previously mentioned "15-minute space-rock solo" was discussed further late in the year, as Bellamy explained, "There is a new song in three parts, more of a symphony than a song, which I have been working on sporadically for many years."[19]

Recording and release[edit]

Muse hired Rick Rubin, who had worked with artists including Metallica and Jay Z, to produce the album but scrapped the recordings in favour of producing the album themselves. At the 2010 Music Producers Guild awards, Bellamy sarcastically thanked Rubin for "teaching us how not to produce."[20]

The news of the possibility of a three-part 15-minute song also came with the revelation that the band had begun recording and were loosely aiming for a late-2009 release.[19] In 2009, an "insider close to [...] Warners" revealed that Muse would release their new album in September and begin touring shortly afterwards.[21] In March it was reported that the record was "about halfway there," with Bellamy describing it as "A symphonic album" and joking that "We'll be knocking on Classic FM's door, you know?"[22] The band released three videos of recording footage, including a session in a lavatory.[23] In March it was confirmed that Muse were to tour in the autumn, as well as with Irish band U2 in the United States in September, suggesting that the recording process was moving toward a conclusion.[24]

Muse performing Resistance at the Birmingham NIA.

Muse announced the title The Resistance on their Twitter page on 22 May,[citation needed] while the first song was officially announced as "United States of Eurasia" on the official band website,[25] deciphered by fans from a picture of a piece of sheet music held by Bellamy in a photo uploaded on the Twitter page.[25][26] Following this news, Howard posted a blog on his MySpace account detailing the progress made by the band by saying "Yes, The Resistance is on its way. Out in a few months hopefully. We've just started mixing some tracks and it sounds wicked. Still got a bit more work to do but it's coming along nicely."[27] The album was mixed by Mark Stent at Muse's studio and was supported by an international tour.[28]

On 16 June 2009 it was confirmed on the band's official website that the album would be released on 14 September 2009.[29] In a Twitter update by Wolstenholme on 23 June, it was revealed that the band had completed the album, with only mastering left to complete in New York. On 3 July, the band began updating their Twitter profile with the track listing for The Resistance, which was completed by the end of the day. On 14 July, Muse confirmed via Twitter that the first single from the album would be "Uprising".

On 17 August 2009, iTunes gave 30-second previews for each of the songs on the album.[30]

On 7 September 2009, "Undisclosed Desires" was uploaded to Muse's official website for streaming by website members.[31] From 10 September, the album will be free to listen to on the official website of English newspaper The Guardian.[32]

On 9 September 2009, it was announced that The Resistance would be released on iTunes as one of the first iTunes LPs. It will contain the album, and added extras such as animated artwork and behind the scenes videos.[33] It was also announced in September that a New Moon remix of "I Belong to You" would be included on the soundtrack to New Moon, the second film in the Twilight Saga film series. The soundtrack to the first film had featured another song by Muse: "Supermassive Black Hole".[34] The New Moon remix has additional guitars added, and omits the "Mon cœur s'ouvre a ta voix" section.

As well as the CD, CD+DVD, LP & download versions of the album, Muse also released a box set containing the CD+DVD, LPs, USB stick containing the album with a bespoke media player & a print. A special version, limited to 5000 copies were also made which also contained a DVD containing a 5.1 surround sound mix of The Resistance, this mix also includes a longer version of "Unnatural Selection".

An instrumental version of the album has been professionally mixed, and is available on the internet.[35]

On 13 February 2011, Muse won the Grammy Award for Best Rock Album for The Resistance.


Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars[37]
The A.V. ClubB[38]
Entertainment WeeklyB[39]
The Guardian4/5 stars[40]
Los Angeles Times2.5/4 stars[41]
Q4/5 stars[43]
Rolling Stone3/5 stars[44]

The Resistance received generally positive reviews from critics upon its release. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalised rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 72 based on 23 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews."[36]

Andrew Leahey of AllMusic praised the album, highlighting "Guiding Light", "United States of Eurasia" and "Exogenesis" calling it "by and large a fantastic record".[37] In an interview with The Sunday Times, Dan Cairns writes that "Muse have made an album of genius, brilliance and beauty".[46]

Much of the album's praise has been directed towards the three-part "Exogenesis," which used over 40 musicians in the recording process. The Fly awarded The Resistance two scores: 5 out of 5 for the three-part "Exogenesis," stating that "Exogenesis... is a streak of utter brilliance across The Resistance's beguiling, inconsistent sky," and 3.5 out of 5 for the rest of the album.[47]

Pitchfork gave the album a mixed review, stating that the songs were "an outgrowth of wanting to make the music as big, inclusive and as singalong as possible, rather than any inchoate political impulses," criticising Bellamy for "constantly tossing out mass-shout-along-ready lyrics". However, the review went on to conclude that "Judged on its own terms – out of control scale, genre-smashing ambition, musical and vocal virtuosity-- The Resistance is a success."[1]

Multiple reviews criticised the album for lacking originality, in some instances commenting that it was a caricature of progressive rock.[48][49] Rolling Stone lauded "Uprising" as an "industrial-flavored" song that proved that Muse could still "whip up an almighty roar," but dismissed the album as a whole as clichéd and borrowing shamelessly from rock band Queen.[44] NME felt that the album was "genius" in parts, but criticised the album for producing something "conceptually impressive but musically all too familiar".[42]

Queen guitarist Brian May praised the Queen-influenced sound that Muse incorporated into the album. "I love it, I think it's great stuff," May told the BBC. "I think they're very good boys and extremely talented, and like us they have their tongue in cheek a lot of the time," May said. He described the track "United States of Eurasia" as "brilliantly done".[50]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Matthew Bellamy, except where noted.

3."Undisclosed Desires"3:56
4."United States of Eurasia (+Collateral Damage)"5:47
5."Guiding Light"4:13
6."Unnatural Selection"6:54
7."MK Ultra"4:06
8."I Belong to You (+Mon Cœur S'ouvre a ta Voix)"5:38
9."Exogenesis: Symphony Part 1 (Overture)"4:18
10."Exogenesis: Symphony Part 2 (Cross-Pollination)"3:56
11."Exogenesis: Symphony Part 3 (Redemption)"4:37
Total length:54:18
Bonus DVD
1."The Making of The Resistance"43:53
1. ^ "Collateral Damage" contains elements of Nocturne in E flat major, Op. 9, No. 2, composed by Frédéric Chopin.
2. ^ "Mon cœur s'ouvre a ta voix" written by Camille Saint-Saëns.


Release history[edit]

Region Date Label Format Catalog Ref.
11 September 2009 Warner CD 2564687434 [51]
CD+DVD 2564686625 [52]
CD+DVD+2 LP+USB Unknown [53]
New Zealand
14 September 2009 Helium 3 CD 825646874347 [54]
CD+DVD 825646866250 [55]
CD+DVD+2LP+USB 825646869664 [56]
United States
15 September 2009 Warner Bros. CD Unknown [57]
CD+DVD Unknown [58]
CD+DVD+2LP+USB Unknown [56]
Japan 16 September 2009 Warner CD WPCR13629 [59]
Brazil 21 September 2009 Warner CD 825646874347 [60]

Charts and certifications[edit]

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (2009) Rank
Australian Albums Chart 25
Finnish Albums Chart[102] 10
French Albums Chart 8
Swiss Albums Chart[103] 7
UK Albums Chart[104] 25
US Billboard 200[105] 124
Chart (2010) Rank
Australian Albums Chart 38
European Top 100 Albums[106] 7
French albums chart 8
German Albums Chart[107] 86
Swiss Albums Chart 25
UK Albums Chart[104] 54
US Billboard 200[108] 98


Year Title Peak chart positions
US Alt.
US Rock
2009 "Uprising" 9 23 11 12 1 2 37
"Undisclosed Desires" 49 11 12 4 7
2010 "Resistance" 38 72 1 7 114
"Exogenesis: Symphony"

MTV EXIT, the MTV campaign to eradicate the human exploitation and trafficking especially in Asia and Pacific, in partnership with USAID, released a music video "Muse and MTV EXIT: MK Ultra", the third in a series of award-winning music video collaborations to highlight the dangers and impact of human trafficking. Produced for the band's track "MK Ultra", the video was launched globally across all of MTV's properties on-air and on-line on 17 September 2010.


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