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A Letter From Marvin Mole
on 12 October 2009
I received an interesting letter from Marvin Mole this morning the
content of which I thought apposite to bring to your attention.
I don't think he would mind my sharing his thoughts with you.
His missive relates to 'The Resistance', a new album by Muse,
which appears to have garnered considerable attention within this
illustrious forum. (126 reviews and comments to date !)
I hasten to add that I have not yet heard that of which he writes:
You've known me well for a solid number of years and also
have a good idea of my musical tastes by now but I've been
having a bit of trouble with Muse's new release and would
value your opinion as and when you have time to hear it.
My problem is this : 'The Resistance' has clearly come into
the world asking to be appreciated as a SERIOUS WORK OF ART.
The portentous nature of the music and lyrics are, I think,
designed to make us think and feel, as well as nod our heads.
Lots of listeners have identified influences which they believe
their heroes to have held in mind while constructing these
eleven compositions (Actually 8 songs and a three-part "Symphony").
That they have been listening to their parents pop-classics
collections is clearly apparent. The references seem more
affectionate than ironic and there can be little doubt that the
project was entered into with both good faith and noble intentions.
The experience of listening to it paints a quite different picture however.
Wolfie, the music is lifeless, bland and pretentious beyond belief !
There are a great many ideas to be found here but very little soul.
I know that you would not approve of Mr Bellamy's voice but I cannot help
drawing your attention to it. His performance in the "Symphony",
in particular the first "movement" ('Exogenesis : Symphony Part 1 -Overture'),
will immediately bring that redoubtable Diva Sarah Brightman to mind
(especially her 2008 camp-classic recording 'Symphony'). However, whereas
she delivered her substantial wares with good humour and wildly extravagant
aplomb, Mr Bellamy sounds painfully out of his depth and adrift in a sea
of calamitous bathos. The overall effect is little better than Mr Oldfield's
execrable 2008 album 'Music Of The Spheres'. Cod classics for the masses.
Beyond the "Symphony" things really are not much better.
Opening track 'Uprising', for example, tries to be witty by integrating
a very ordinary four-square rock song with the mutated theme tune from
a popular science-fiction TV series. It is crass beyond belief !
Unbridled pomposity leaks out of every orifice.
'Guiding Light' sounds like the finale to a very bad West End stage show.
'United States Of Eurasia (+ Collateral Damage)' with its nudge-nudge,
wink-wink references to their rhapsodically regal forebears is a trite and
ugly reflection of the one and only true masters of pomp-rock indefectibility.
The veins are beginning to stand out on my forehead so I should stop now.
My intention was not to influence your opinion one way or the other
but I will be interested, as always, to hear your views.
Poor, poor Mr Mole - how he would seem to have suffered !
The tricky question now is do I dare listen to it myself ?