I'm a long time Muse fan, and some might say, a little obsessive, I have everything, all the B-sides, all the EP's even the very first demo.
This album generally didn't seem to strike the old hardcore Muse fan's taste, and I'll agree, it's different to the legendary Origin of Symmetry, it's just not as powerful, and more piano based on the whole, it seems the classic Muse riffs have gone missing.
However, this album still receives and deserves the full five stars, it's different, but no less epic, one or two disappointments are easily made up for, by the rest of the album.
1. Uprising - A great start to the album, again, it's different, but there's still a hint of the old Muse in the chorus, and chanting, which really gets you in the mood to shout out Bellamy's revolutionary lyrics. The song features one riff, in a less stereotypical Muse style, one might describe it as a Marilyn Manson glam rock riff, turned to the "light side".
2. Resistance - When I first heard this, I was exited, the strong piano and drum opening, was unfortunate enough end up at a chorus, some might say, below Muse's standards, with a hint of Freddie Mercury, the chorus vocals just lack the power of typical Muse, however, I am pleased to say this follows on to a rather epic ending, as Bellamy screams "RESISTANCE!!!!" The lyrics couldn't be more Nineteen eighty-four inspired, listen and see!
3. Undisclosed Desires - Yeah... This is not Muse, but more of a Depechemode crossed between Timbaland. Catchy enough, but a fan might question the reason for the production of this song, yes unfortunately Muse have commercialization in mind, and this song is designed to hit the market, in the mainstream R&B/Synthpop genre.
4. United States of Eurasia - Epic track! Powerful Mercury style vocals, crossed between expert piano work, created something completely different, Muse are entering the realms of the unknown for themselves, and they succeeded, all I will say is "SIA!!!!!" Listen and you'll understand!
5. Guiding Light - The weakest song on the album, slow, no guitar riff worth mentioning, sounds like something Queen may have produced in the early 1980's but decided not to go ahead with, something which got lost behind a shelf, and required a little dusting, still, most bands would love to have the capability of writing a song like this. Good in the wider perspective, but come on, this is Muse we're talking about!
6. Unnatural Selection - Powerful guitar riffs, strong vocals, catchy lyrics, and a truly Epic ending, as Bellamy pounds the guitar for a little THRASH METAL! It's the days of "OOS" crossed between something completely different, what you might get if you crossed Iron Maiden and Queen together.
7. MK Ultra, now this is the PWOPER Muse! Excellent lyrics/vocals, powerful riffs what more could you ask of Muse, this might be regarded as one of their "modern greats" up to the standard of their old material, any old Muse fan will fall in love with this track!
8. I Belong To You - Rather Maroon 5-esque, but surprisingly catchy, and easy to listen to, not typical of Muse, but not a complete disaster.
This, well and truly makes up for any previous failings or uncertainty in the album. Muse are exploring the fringe of the unknown, and they've never sounded more powerful and epic, this is a musical great, it takes a clever man to arrange an orchestra, it takes a genius to compose a three part symphony, words cannot describe what you will experience when Muse take you on this musical journey, I can only beg you to listen!