Generally favorable reviews - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 23
  2. Negative: 1 out of 23
  1. "Black Holes and Revelations" may be a more commercial record, but The Resistance is Muse's most realized effort to date.
  2. In the end, far from making “prog” a four-letter word, Muse have done worse and opted out of the playing field altogether.
  3. For the wary or outright dismissive, however, The Resistance is also a very smartly sequenced album.
  4. 80
    It’s bonkers--hilarious, maddening, ridiculous and slightly shit--yet never dull.
  5. All this is but a prelude to the albums extaordinary, elegant climax, Bellamy’s three part, 12 minute orchestrial work 'Exogenesis: Symphony.' [Oct 2009, p.102]
  6. 80
    Even introspection is realised on a gargantuan scale, with the climatic rock symphony Exogenesis. Over the top? For Matt Bellamy and Muse it's the only way to go. [Oct 2009]
  7. Ultimately, The Resistance is a patchwork of expert cliches that leaves a listener wondering just what the point of Muse is.
  8. On The Resistance, the group shows it can turn a night at the opera into a daytrip to Candyland.
  9. While not their best, it’s decent enough to ensure there’ll be more-- even though the truly off-the-wall moments are either rare or misguided, meaning the record feels slightly anonymous.
  10. 70
    They turn to the next logical ladder rung of pretension: symphony. And they may have finally found the perfect category to fuse with their ever-swooping brand of rock.
  11. You'd be well advised to beg, borrow or download a handful of tracks from The Resistance; but if you're planning to sit through the whole ponderous enterprise, you'll likely need a blister pack of paracetamol and a hell of a lot of patience.
  12. As it stands it’s an indulgent and, at times, gorgeous listen that merely helps restate your concrete opinions about Muse.
  13. Frontman Matt Bellamy mostly gets away with these high jinks thanks to his skilled way with a Radiohead-ish hook.
  14. Not all of it is palatable, but there's something unrepentant in The Resistance's insane ambitiousness that demands respect rather than mockery. The day Muse topple irrevocably into self-parody will surely come. But, apparently, not yet.
  15. They are capable of making albums that are big, over the top and fun. The Resistance is over the top, but comes off as boisterous and overblown.
  16. Bellamy wriggles ever freer from the straitjacket of rock music, nearing the point where he can slide between genres as easily as his idols, Bowie, Queen and Prince.
  17. The Resistance, the crispest Muse album yet, is unapologetically and ambitiously beautiful.
  18. You don’t need to be fanatical or any other synonym to realize that this is utterly spectacular music.
  19. Even where the record shines--and it does at points--it really only does so against a background of blinding light from Muse’s back catalog, which is an unfortunate, but inescapable point.
  20. These straight pop tunes are great by themselves, but after slogging through the symphonic sludge, you’re likely to find The Resistance a jumbled, forgettable tracklist.
  21. The Resistance, shows growth from the band's previous releases and proves that it's primed for a global musical takeover.
  22. The wholeheartedness with which this album hurls itself into the abyss of cod-symphonic astral pretension is to be commended.
  23. It’s the closing triptych of quasi-classical numbers--the aforementioned ‘Exogenesis’ sequence--that transports Muse to a place beyond parody.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 331 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 14 out of 138
  1. Jan 31, 2013
    After a long journey in search of finding and inhabiting new worlds, we've finally done it. We can proudly call ourselves free and never look back to the past or maybe we should just once, while telling our offspring the glorious story or how we got to where we are now. No better way to do that then to play The Resistance. A masterpiece by muse, even though it is, by some, founded awful, pretentious and well, too much, is conquering the walls that our minds have, those that have to be shattered. A love story, a story that hides the codes of our salvation, is engraved into this musically wonderful album that one, who has any interest in serious music or isn't so overly obsessed with radiohead that he/she disses every step muse make, can't deny. This symphonic blessing slaps you so hard in the head it is tough to realize the minor flaws it has to offer. But all is forgotten, if there is something to forgive, when the symphony arrives. The Exogenesis is the best, most beautiful, pretentious (this, when describing muse, is somehow a good thing - and well it is) piece of music The resistance has to offer. It is definitely the most profound piece of music I've heard in the previous decade, not exaggerating. It's surely not in my interest to slam everyone else nor am I so obsessed with them that I can't hear the real deal, but hearing this song gives you the chills you could only experience while your invocation is being answered. Maybe I am talking too much about it but this is one of the best songs ever written. Other highlight is the United states of Euroasia. This wonderful song is brought to the heights of grandeur and sumptuosity by it's instrumental, let's call it, chorus. With influences from Queen, muse have, kind of, established a more artistic version of art rock. The songs aiming just as high, but incapable of reaching them are I belong to you, Uprising who are not bad but are lacking some elements to make them ready for shipment. This album, maybe not as good as the previous three, contains the very best work modern music could offer us, in many minds covered by clouds and fog which are disabling them to hear it. The grandiosity is here, quality as well, but more of the highlighted would've made it complete. Full Review »
  2. Dec 20, 2012
    Muse love taking risks, it seems. With The Resistance, and the recent 2nd Law, Muse have expanded their musical range and compensated some fans along the way. Though as a proud lover of Muse (especially their earlier music, Origin of Symmetry being their masterclass in music), The Resistance is one of their poorer releases, and that goes without question. Forgetting the Exogenesis Symphony (beauty defined), The Resistance has some risky releases from Muse, but still managed to be a solid release worthy of a 7 at bare-minimum for effort, and risk factor.

    Opening with the wonderfully powerful, clearly messaged Uprising, a progressive rock anthem designed for the heights of stadium tours, The Resistance seems promising. Gritty guitars, sci-fi electronics, the works. Then comes Resistance, a song so worthy of single material, it goes without saying that Resistance is a solid track. Undisclosed Desires follows, an experimental track setting the boundary for singles the follow, including Madness from The 2nd Law. One of the weaker tracks, Undisclosed Desires is a love-or-hate piece. Personally, I feel the album track is fine, though live it falls to Matt's ego.

    The album then take a small turn into piano-induced territory, with the brilliant (and Queen-influenced) United States of Eurasia. A beautifully striking piece, with some mastery piano work, one could never dislike such a perfect design. Though potentially ruining the flow of the album and making it difficult to progress, this is one track which will surely go down in history as one of Muse's finest pieces. Though followed with Guiding Light, we're back into cheese territory. Undoubtedly a difficult track to sit through, Guiding Light is a mess, with extra helpings of brie.

    Now we're thrown back into the heavy stuff, with the flawless Unnatural Selection and the meaty MK Ultra, both driven by ridiculous but catchy riffs, impressive vocals, superbly arranged lyrics, and powerful bass surely to impress even the masters of rock. Two amazing tracks worth of Muse acclaim, and definitely some of the greatest works Muse have thrown out there in a good few years. This is what Muse are made of, right here. We're thrown into the deep end yet again, however, with I Belong To You, a piece so ridiculously out of proportion, you're not sure what to think. Personally, I think it's great. A fun track not meant to be taken seriously. Then we're given the Exogenesis Symphony, a beautiful, flawless, three-piece symphony of piano, strings, guitar and stunning vocals. If not the greatest achievement of Muse since Citizen Erased, a perfect end to a great album overall.

    The Resistance won't be to everyone's liking, but it has elements so magical, it can easily put you under a spell. Whatever that spell may be, of course. You'll either love The Resistance, or despise it.

    Overall Score: 8/10
    Full Review »
  3. Feb 7, 2011
    It is truly amazing how one band can go from furious, honest, passionate, aggressive, but often beautiful music to this sell-out, rip-off, sickening piece of pointlessness. This is one of the cheapest, laziest, most revolting albums I've ever heard, and from a band I worshipped as a teenager. It makes me sick. Not one original moment, and in particular the singles are totally hollow, lifeless, chart-seeking objects of utter shame (hopefully) for the band. 1.8 points awarded for 'MK Ultra' and some memorable moments, like the first minute of 'Resistance' (that is, before it shamelessly and ridiculously explodes into dancing on poor Freddie Mercury's grave, just like - oh I shudder to even say it - United States of Eurasia), and 0.2 points for sheer effort, particularly in 'Exogenesis' (but then again, it's always seemed to me that, because Bellamy starting writing the symphony long before the other songs, the rest of the album could just be filler, to make more money out of releasing his 'work of genius'). But, I was right, unfortunately, about 'BH&R' - that Bellamy was forgetting about the music and letting his immature obsession with very vague and half-hearted themes of opression, conspiracy take over, and blah, blah, blah, I'm boring myself even writing this. What a terrible album. I'm off to listen to the 'Dead Star / In Your World' EP I just bought and sing along with the words "MUSE DIED AFTER ABSOLUTION, MUSE DIED AFTER ABSOLUTION..." Full Review »