Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Resistance

It's probably a well-known fact if you've even so much as brushed the topic of my music taste with me or anyone I've met that Muse is one of my favorite bands of all time. A favorite adjective among Muse fans is "Epic", and Muse is epic, but the word really only skims the surface of what all is behind their amazing music.

Muse has been expanding the definition of both the word epic and the rock genre of music since they formed in the early '90s. They're always pushing the envelope and stepping up to the next level in their music, adding more synth, more elaborate guitar, stretching the vocals, and using their many musical influences.

You can't pigeonhole Muse. There is no one genre for them to fit into, no one adjective to describe them. They are eccentric, eclectic, classic, and epic. They play glam classical rock symphonies from universes far beyond our own...

"The Resistance" is their latest album, and they spared no wild ideas.
This album is influenced by so many things... George Orwell's 1984, The Apocalypse, Beethoven, and a resistance against an oppressing government to name just a few. Most of these influences come from the mind of Muse's frontman Matt Bellamy who, has a strong love for classical music, and conspiracy theories. In fact he admitted in an interview with Q Magazine that he recently bought 50 cans of baked beans and an axe in case of the apocalypse... but he's an artist so who's to judge?

In addition to their usual electric guitar fueled rock songs, a three movement rock symphony finishes off this album. Heavily influenced by Chopin and Beethoven.

1. Uprising
2. Resistance
3. Undisclosed Desires
4. United States of Eurasia (+Collateral Damage)
5. Guiding Light
6. Unnatural Selection
7. MK Ultra
8. I Belong to You (+Mon Cœur S’ouvre à ta Voix)
9. Exogenesis : Symphony Part I (Overture)
10. Exogenesis : Symphony Part II (Cross Pollination)
11. Exogenesis : Symphony Part III (Redemption)

It was really hard for me to choose which track to share with you, but I decided on one that included all the elements of this album..."The United States Of Eurasia (+Collateral Damage)" (Note the 1984 reference, Bellamy makes them often throughout this album.)
The song begins in the style of a classical Muse ballad with sweet vocals and a piano back, but soon swells into what can only be described as an Arabian ensemble put on by Gershwin and Queen. The song finishes with a rendition of Chopin's Nocturne Op. 9 No. 2.

It truly is...well, epic.


-The United States Of Eurasia-


You and me are the same
We don't know or care who's to blame
But we know that whoever holds the reins
Nothing will change
Our cause has gone insane

And these wars, they can't be won
And these wars, they can't be won
And do you want them to go on
And on and on
Why split these states
When there can be only one?

And must we do as we're told?
Must we do as we're told?

You and me fall in line
To be punished for unproven crimes!
And we know that there is no one we can trust;
Our ancient heroes, they are turning to dust!

And these wars, they can't be won
Does anyone know or care how they begun?
They just promise to go on
And on and on
But soon we will see
There can be only one

United States!
United States!

... sia!
... sia!
... sia!

... sia!
... sia!
... sia!

... sia!
... sia!
... sia!

Then & Now - Fall Out Boy

Fall Out Boy
Then ...

I reminded my sister of the singles, and my sister introduced me to ... well, everything else. I can't say I'm the reason Fall Out Boy is my sister's favorite band, but I do give myself credit for kick-starting her interest in the singles (Dance, Dance; Thnks Fr Th Mmrs ... you know, those ~popular Fall Out Boy tracks that were practically viral a few years back) and, later, her admiration for the band as a whole. My first post about Fall Out Boy came sometime after my sister began her research into the band; I remember, out of all the songs she downloaded on iTunes (before running out and buying the CDs soon after), The Pros and Cons of Breathing was the track which stood out to me the most...

... & Now.

...and, to this day, the first Fall Out Boy track I mentioned on is still one of my favorite of their songs. Likewise, Take This To Your Grave, the band's 2003 debut full-length and the album the aforementioned track is on, has become one of my two favorite Fall Out Boy albums. The other favorite happens to be, ironically, the band's latest work, Folie à Deux (2008). I never gave this album a proper review on this blog (although I did review an outstanding single from that work) and, quite frankly, I regret that. I can't say enough good things about that album; Fall Out Boy really blew me away with it. As a whole, I must admit, I have an "on again, off again" relationship with the band - especially their "in-between albums", From Under the Cork Tree (2005) and Infinity on High (2007). There are moments on each album which never seize to amaze me, sure; but often times, I tend to disregard Fall Out Boy, forget about their finer moments. Even tracks from Take This To Your Grave - the album I just declared as one of my favorites - often get skipped over when I am casually scrolling through my iPod. However, when I remember to stop and take a listen to some of their songs, I remember just how much some of their tracks mean to me, and my respect for Fall Out Boy and the work they put into their art deepens. More times than not, I find myself saying things like, "Wow ... I forgot just how amazing this song really was." And I feel bad for underestimating this band's work.
In short; are they my favorite band? No. But I should probably start paying a bit closer attention.

...maybe the release of Fall Out Boy's first Best-Of album will help remind me again what it is about this band that I appreciate. Set to be released on November 16th, 2009, this best-of will span the band's entire discography; fifteen tracks of basically every single Fall Out Boy has ever released, from Dead on Arrival to What a Catch, Donnie. In addition, the band will be releasing on this collection a previously unrecorded track, Alpha Dog (which is streaming right now on the Fall Out Boy website; long-time fans may notice something familiar about the layout of the website these days, too), as well as bonus tracks From Now On We Are Enemies, Yule Shoot Your Eye Out, and Growing Up. All in all, it's going to be an impressive release, one which will no doubt be anticipated by fans new and old alike.

Now, I realize I've already made a post about the 2008 single What A Catch, Donnie on this blog ... but, really. I adore that track. That's all there is too it. And, quite frankly, it's the perfect song for a Then & Now post about Fall Out Boy. This song embodies the past, present, and future of this band; an entire existence, wrapped up in a nice little ballad almost five minutes long. There's just so much to be said about this track and within the song itself, and just ... I would really love for anyone who hasn't heard this song yet to take a listen. And for those of you who know the tune ... well, listen again.
Besides, there's a new music video out for the song, a video which wasn't created at the time I posted about the song before. And this video is definitely worth watching; it's as emotionally charged as the single, heartbreaking and at the same time remarkably hopeful. It's a sort of contradiction you feel, even though you can't hardly explain it; and it's the sort of contradiction Fall Out Boy thrives on.
So, here's the video for What A Catch, Donnie, by Fall Out Boy. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I do.
And let this mark the beginning of my re-introduction to this band as a whole.

Fall Out Boy - What A Catch, Donnie Official Music Video