There are two things I really enjoy writing about and those would usually be: classic horror/cult movies, and albums, and for this blog post, I wanted to talk about my theory over an album which I think is an interesting one which to me seems to be a concept album which is arguable. My curiosity which lead me to talk about this particular album is Matt Bellamy’s use of classical music, and the conceptual themes of them.
The Resistance by Muse
Muse is a British-American alternative rock band who released the Resistance on September 11th, 2009.
There are a lot of things I personally liked about this album. I heard it for the first time with my friend as we were just sitting in the middle of my room one evening sharpie tattooing each other as eighteen year olds do, and I asked her to share whatever she was into with me, so since she’d recently gotten this album, she put it on for us to both listen to. One thing that initially stood out to me among the other albums she put on, was that at the end of the fourth track, United States of Eurasia was a song I was (and still am) learning on piano by one of my favorite composers- Nocturne Op.9 No.2 by Frederic Chopin with orchestration which I found odd that it found it’s way into an alternative rock album.
The more I learned about the album, I realized that the lead singer, Matt Bellamy had played the piano part on the album, and he didn’t hire a professional to do it which intrigued me even more. Eventually, I liked that part so much, and found great that it was incorporated, I started listening to the song, and eventually the entire album, and to my surprise, there was another song that went overlooked for me. I was initially fascinated by the song, but I found Bellamy’s French terrible in I Belong to You. It really wasn’t until I heard someone actually singing Mon Coeur S’Ouvre A Ta Voix that I realized that he’d incorporated another classical piece into his album. Really to even cap off the album, he even wrote a symphony, and his knowledge of classical music and such really blew my mind. I wasn’t expecting it from an alternative rock band. It’s like expecting the Arctic Monkeys for some reason to include Sois Immoble into their next album…you just don’t, but I appreciated the musicality of the band, and album.
Now briefly, in my convoluted mind, I think the album in a way is a concept album (and apparently other people do too). It’s called the Resistance because it’s a story of perhaps a resistance against the (reformed) Soviet Union where they’re once again oppressive and the singer is the main character preaching about his rebellion while he falls, or has fallen in love with a fellow rebel. I’m a huge fan of concept albums, so every time I listen to the album, it, to me, is like listening to a story. It begins with Uprising introducing the antagonists and continues to Resistance telling about the rebellion and their struggles. Undisclosed Desires is where the protagonist falls in love, and I assume there’s a (reformed) Soviet Union because Russia is located in Eurasia, and as before mentioned, United States of Eurasia ends with Chopin’s piece, and it can be assumed that Poland was invaded by these antagonists by the way the piece sounds, and also because they chose Chopin who was Polish. The album continues to alternate between the main story, and the protagonist falling in love, and ends with the near end of this war, and the protagonist perhaps composing symphonies to mark the upcoming triumph.
I think The Resistance is definitely an alternative rock album worth checking out, and it can be found on YouTube. I just love concept albums (I love Pink Floyd, and 90% of their albums are concept albums), and I love musical stories- they’re like the modern opera, and this is worth hearing those little bits of true musicianship through out the band…and Bellamy.