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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Beatles - Remasters

No matter what your opinion may be, but for Guy Massey, Simon Gibson, Sean Magee, Sam Okell, Steve Rooke, Paul Hicks, and Allan Rouse, they both either did an amazing job or the most magnificent to be more precise. For Allan Rouse, who was an assistant engineer, joined in 1971 at EMI studios, did a painstaking process to complete the re-mastering and the EQ quality of one of the most influential rock bands to come out of Liverpool, released 14 albums in Stereo and only 11 in Mono, recorded at the Abbey Road Studios to be revamped for the September release for fans to sink their water into. But for these seven guys who worked tooth and nail to get it right, and there’s no argument to mess with the works to destroy the four men created a beauty. Well shall I give an Amen on that, this is pop music right here!
September 9, 2009 was the day that Apple and Capitol Records released the reissues of the Beatles recordings in a new digipak re-mastered CD edition with the record label of the Parlophone to the Apple label in these brilliant conditions while the Beatles Rock Band video game became a successful classic to be a part of the lads.
But here, there are two situations you must know. This is not a new 5.1 stereo mix and no bonus tracks, this is the real deal of the ‘60s revolution (even though Help! and Rubber Soul which are the 1986 remix sound that George Martin worked on) Here are the Beatles work that we love and know from an older and new generation of fans, but to get a new plastic surgery for a big operation. What I have are the Stereo mixes on CD. The first four albums are finally released on Stereo, (except Love Me Do and PS I Love You are on a Mono mix). But the Stereo mixes from what I’ve heard so far are so destined to have a huge jump for joy when the fans are listening to the music on their iPod or considering them the Desert Island Discs when they’re stuck on.
For me, being a huge Beatles fan (still am to this day and considers A Hard Day’s Night, Sgt. Pepper, Revolver, and The White Album as close to home when the team of Lennon/McCartney come to singer-songwriting), I had the pleasure of buying Sgt. Pepper very early before the 9.9.09 release date. While I was listening to this album in its glorified sound of Stereo, I can definitely hear a lot of the bass guitar, drums, guitar compositions, and the warmth from start to finish and I began to think – Jesus Christ! This is fucking amazing!
Although, it turns out to be, rather than just a waste of time, the finish line became a championship, it was almost as if we’ve never heard it before. Respecting the quality of the Beatles work in a new edition are following the true faith to what is now on the tapes since Vinyl. The Re-mastering from what I’ve heard in this new technique, is a little bit elusive, but with a vivid impression on my part – the songs and the music are right on and rich, not only as a tribute to George Martin and the Beatles, but to pay tribute to the late Hurricane Norman Smith and of course engineer of the Beatles, Geoff Emerick. When you listen to these new Re-masters in a new sound either Stereo or Mono, its like learning to cook a delicious Apple Pie with all the ingredients you need, and never in my wildest dreams, has the music still continue to influence us to this day.
The whole process of re-mastering these classic albums was a painful process, but it’s mind-boggling. There were a lot of things on what needed to be fixed or bring the sound in front, and lot of discussions on what to put in from the re-mastering engineering team, along with Allan who’s been there since day one and these guys are die hard fans of the fab four. In a lot of research, the positive treatment, getting rid of pop noises from the mic, and the attention bringing the project to the table is almost that could give the Beatles catalogue a music history lesson to receive.
Now I know some of you are going to ask me; ‘But Zack, I’ve already got the CD albums that were issued in the ‘80s, and they sound like dog shit, what should I do with them?!’ Well, I ain’t going political with that bullshit and the difference of the ‘80s masters of the analog version of the Beatles sound, it does sound like dog shit when they first came out except the ‘86 remix that George Martin did a good job on. This is a good question: a lot of the CD quality where the original tapes that the masters were used, example with the Beatles albums, so the with the old and the 21st century sound of the Compact Disc are both the same. Which means that in what you’ll hear, in a different quality, and the work they did to make the tapes move from one place to another tape sound, and as we are in the future, the engineering team used a digital higher sound from the analogue tapes to a much better futuristic quality that was much better than the quieter sounds of the ‘80s.
The huge effort that the team worked on, was to stay positive to the true sound of the original mixes that were released during that time period, so these new editions may be the perfect soundtrack than the ‘80s masters and the sound quality itself for the Beatle fans like its Beatlemaina 2.0 all over again. The ‘60s soul tribute to Smokey Robinson and the Miracles of You Really Got a Hold on Me has more intelligible technique when you hear the backing vocals of Paul and George coming in. The double-vocal arrangements done by John on the Stereo version of the balladry with If I Fell, but here you can tell the band were having a good time, the cowbells and the upbeat sounds of John and George’s guitar zoom on with You Can’t Do That, The homage to Mia’s sister of Dear Prudence is more of a sudden wonder with Paul’s bass work coming in front while Good Morning, Good Morning section with the horn brings a standstill, making the quirky number creating magic in a tour de force that you won’t believe your own ears to listen to. The clapping rhythms on I Saw Her Standing There, No Reply, I'll Follow The Sun, Back in the U.S.S.R. along with And Your Bird Can Sing rage with excitement, making those two songs in a different sound that you’ve never heard before, and the tambourine shining with the eerie avant-garde psychedelic rocker of John’s Tibetian book of the dead period, Tomorrow Never Knows.
Now, on the re-masters, it comes again with a digipak with an amazing fold-out featuring rare photos of the band, along with a booklet with an essay by Beatles Historian Kevin Howlett, Mike Heatley, and Mark Lewishon who did an introduction essay for the Sgt. Pepper re-issue. In the essays, it deals with the recording sessions, and how the re-mastering was done. Also, it includes a mini documentary which features excerpts from the award-winning emmy of the Beatles Anthology which was aired in 1995. It features never before seen photos, and rare audio recording sessions with studio chat while they were making the albums and narration from the fab four along with George Martin.
If there was one concept with the re-mastering that might be in the works hopefully in which I want to see happen next, even though they gave the Deluxe Edition works on The Who Sell Out, Brain Salad Surgery, Kind of Blue, Ah Um, Tommy, Who’s Next, or Bitches Brew. I always imagine they might re-work on these albums for the near future, but for right now, if you love the way the digipak smells beautifully and wonderous work of the mastering quality of the Beatles work, then don’t faint or collapse for god’s sake, this is a must have in your collection. The music of course, still kicks fucking ass!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Roxy Music - For Your Pleasure

Already a supporting act for David Bowie during the Ziggy Stardust tour and receiving critical acclaim after the release of the debut album in 1972, it would be surprising to notice that Roxy Music brought the scenes of Glam and Progressive Rock to a standstill. Their buzz soon became noticeable as if they were the answer to David Bowie and King Crimson of the golden-era of the ‘70s. The rising may feel they’re just a teen idol band, which they’re not as they began to have hit singles and essential albums that would lay ahead for them. That concept for the Roxy business began to work on huge levels in different backgrounds of music by their influential background.
If you think the first album was a grand slam, then listen to this motherfucker nonstop. For Your Pleasure, their second album, is a shattering piece of work. What is going on here, it’s a new direction and changing plans. It’s not they’re moving into the arena rock situation, nor the songs are tributes to Humphrey Bogart or the doo-wop scene of the ‘50s, and not planning to move forward. It’s For Your Pleasure and that’s why the record has the ingredients with all that it needs.
When Roxy Music first came on the scene, it was as if the 21st century came all of a sudden in London; mixtures of the Velvet Underground, Crimson, and Free Jazz as they crossed over together for the futuristic band to come upon them. It was then noticed that Bryan Ferry and his band of men weren’t going to do the same thing of what most of the glam rockers were doing during that time period about singing teenage rampage, get down and get with it, or sing about being the leader of the gang. Also, the band started to pay homage to the lounge scene of the ‘50s and ‘60s as if they were part of a Hitchcock film in 1950.
So, let’s get to the album. Beginning with the dance rocker, Do The Strand, even though it’s a crowd pleaser and a live anthem favorite, it sounds like Ferry is having a good time singing while Brian Eno is having fun on the synthesizer and Andy MacKay is doing some crazy sax solos as if he’s paying tribute to Coltrane’s Giant Steps. Then we get to the eerie ballad, Beauty Queen, a tribute to Newcastle actress and model of the ‘70s and considered a cult figure, Valerie Leon; Strictly Confidential follows the same function with Chance Meeting as on their debut album; Editions of You is early punk-prog with an upbeat tempo featuring the shrieking solo on the VCS3 done by Eno as he storms it up while Phil plays some licks as the band raises the tension to a notch; In Every Dream Home a Heartache, a sinister mournful ballad on the organ for the first three minutes and then becomes a climatic climax after Ferry sings the line about the erotic inflatable doll, ‘I blew up your body/but you blew my mind!’, this time Phil takes over with an explosive guitar solo that will give shivers down your spine; The Bogus Man is Eno’s dark ambient baby with a raunchy wah-wah guitar work similar to Hendrix, this homage to the killer on the run similar to Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, is a Dalek exercise that will make you feel you are in deep shit; Grey Lagoons is very lounge rocker and adding a ‘50s rockabilly, and the funk sounds of the Motown tribute to the core; the finale of the title track, For Your Pleasure, a 6-minute atmospheric funeral beauty again, follows the same function of Grey Lagoons, but this time with a Eno sound to the mix which makes it very Floyd-like.
It’s like a flower growing that anyone be surprised with. Buy this, it’s a huge pleasure for you.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Premiata Forneria Marconi - Chocolate Kings

If Great Britain had been home to the kings of progressive rock with using the styles of classical, jazz, and story-complexes, then no one could top it off quite explosively with Italian’s own answer to Genesis as Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM). With their five albums ahead of them, Storia Di Un Minuto, Per Un Amico, Photos of Ghosts, L’isola di niente, and The World Became the World, the group began to push forward into the mainstream after achieving a cult following along with being signed by the Manticore label, which was founded by ELP, their fifth album went into a twisted odd-like story between the cross-over’s of Family, Gentle Giant, PG-era of Genesis, and heavy signatures to search for the lost chord. But here, with Chocolate Kings, the five-piece quickly began to stay in focus.
The toughest opener From Under could have been written in the baroque-era of the symphonic sounds for a concerto with a complex harmony. When I heard it, it almost reminded me of the opening track of Gentle Giant’s The Runaway, but it’s a hell of a track that will blow your socks off and it works 100%. Also, the arrival of Acqua Fragile’s lead singer Bernardo Lanzetti, was a huge help. His voice, who grew up listening to the British bands, the vocal almost similar to Roger Chapman and Peter Gabriel, shown on the balladry of the title-track, he brings it to the table while the rest of the band bring some layered compositions to the core.
The other four members of PFM started to go a little Fusion, replacement for bassist Giorgio Piazza, Jan Patrick Djivas’ heavy, walking bass lines, keyboardist Flavio Premoli, violinist Mauro Pagani, and Franz Di Cioccio’s own take of Carl Palmer on the drums bring the music to the table with the Jazz Fusion homage of The Mahavishnu Orchestra with Out on the Roundabout and From Under. The arranging and composition on here, really has a lot of virtuoso playing that the band do since their earlier days, with Flavio Premoli’s machine hammer sound on the keyboards on the opener, he keeps the jets flying like militant troops going to war.
Alongside other Italian Prog Rock bands, that admired the British Prog Rockers, Premiata Forneria Marconi took their music and theory seriously as if they were composers in their own rights. As Paper Charms sounded like a mystery film score with the organ, then turning into an ambient mood with Bernard’s choir-like voice and then adding the synthesizer and flute to the core before becoming a dynamic symphonic heavy upbeats. Again, the title track is a tight number but very groovy with its melodic rocking tour de force. With the tones that Bernard’s voice keeps it soaring – even though it sounds as if a goat has got a new singing voice, but that doesn’t matter – got the band to move forward that would divide their fans from their later albums until calling it a day in the late ‘80s. Even though they’re came back in 1997 and with new albums, it just goes to show you how important that PFM are and why they are not backing down after getting the recognition they deserve with the Prog festivals they’re doing including NEARfest of this year at Pennsylvania during the Summer of 2009 which I think got the crowd pleased with the sound they have to this today.
Sure, Chocolate Kings may have been either loved or loathed by their fans, by going forward into a new direction, but after listening to this album for about two times already, you can tell the Jazz influential sounds of what they were listening to, Eclectic, sometimes Bombastic, and very ELP like, its might as well be the next Passion Play.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Starcastle - Citadel

When I first heard about this band, I thought “let me give this band a few listens to”. It wasn’t until I bought two of their albums, the self-titled debut album and their third album released after Fountains of Light, Citadel which was released on the Epic label in 1977. When I’ve first heard Citadel, I began to think about if Yes was formed in St. Louis Missouri and created a magical cornerstone and very accessible that this band who were formed at the end of the late ‘60s, it would have been Starcastle. I was convinced that this band who then and now have a cult following in the Prog festivals internationally and here in the United States, they never plan to fall back.
I began to realize to stick with the flaming matches and kept them flaming, to realize that Citadel, is not only just an American Progressive Rock album, but a lost classic and one of those albums that you play after listening to Fragile that began to come up and give you a surprise moment, then all of a sudden get your attention in a dare I say the return of the Pomp Rock sound and refusing to let go of the rope of the genre.
Starcastle who then were doing small gigs and at universities, as for being the band for supporting for other orientated rockers that were dominating the charts like; Journey, Styx, REO Speedwagon, and Kansas to name a few, but Starcastle wasn’t a part of the single charts after their song, ‘Diamond Song (Deep is the Light) tried, but failed to make in the top chart. Even though their second album, Fountains of Light, which was produced by Queen’s Roy Thomas Baker, they want to push their third album, Citadel, a step further. And this here, you need to buy big time! Alongside the band, bassist Gary Strater’s playing on the bass reminded me of Chris Squire while Terry Luttrell could have been a stepbrother of Jon Anderson as Herb Schildt’s keyboard playing soars up the sky as he comes up with some odd atmospheric, ambient and flourishing sounds like Rick Wakeman and Keith Emerson. Stephen Tassler plays the drums very good almost reminding me of Bill Bruford meets Carl Palmer meets Billy Cobham and the guitarist coming up with a virtuoso solos, features the band as a Tolkien-esque storytellers, as they work as a team.
There are five centerpieces that took me by surprise: The ELP meets Jon Anderson tribute with the prog-orientated rocker, Why Have They Gone? And then, the complex and the superfluous opener that could have been a song that almost could have been a part of the Robotech: The Macross Saga soundtrack, Shine On Brightly that sounds like a dreamlike opener from the moment you hear it from beginning to end with the keyboards and the guitar rhythm and solos soaring across the sky as Terry brings the house down with his voice. Also, you have the homage to Styx’s Wooden Nickel recording-era of the early ‘70s as they do a power-prog pop rock sound of Can’t Think Twice which sounds very love song-like, but it’s a killing track along with the upbeat rocker of Could This Be Love? In it, the guitar is taking over doing some Hackett related solos along with Steve Howe to the mix to live in the Paradise of beauty. And, Evening Wind is very much similar to German’s answer to ELP with Triumvirat, it again has a complex and a structure to it. But it really fits the key of Starcastle’s career.
For the new people, who are getting into the Progressive Rock genre, if you love Yes, Kansas, and ELP to name a few, you have to get into the music of Starcastle and appreciate them, not as a band, but as one of the cult favorites amongst the Prog Rock community and get into Citadel and highly recommend it. It’s a lost masterpiece in a good way!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Earth & Fire - Song of the Marching Children

For most bands, they want to be considered the next Renaissance featuring Annie Haslam due to the vocal styles of Jereny Kaagman, Earth & Fire were one of the bands that had a symphonic sound than being considered to be a Dutch version of Yes to be in the court of progressive rock. But for their second album, which was their follow up to their self-titled debut album, is pre-album orientated rock while blending an 18-minute epic with the sounds of futuristic music and a taste of eerie noises of shattering progressive madness.
Formed in the Netherlands of The Hague in the late ‘60s by brothers Chris and Gerard Koerts, they began to move their sound into something that was spectacular. Alongside the Koerts brothers, there was drummer Kees Kalis and bassist Hans Ziech. And then Manuela Berloth who was a part of the line-up called Opus Gainfull, left and soon Jerney came in the line-up and thus Earth & Fire was born. She may have sounded similar to Jo Meek and Sonja Kristina, but it worked perfectly and Song of the Marching Children, which was a concept album about being born, life, and death that brought the band to a small standstill.
But, what may have a surprise twist with the reissue from the Esoteric label, shows that Earth & Fire were starting in their early days and a small motorway for Kaagman. In fact, drummer Kees Kalis and keyboardist Gerard Koerts, bassist Ziech hold the album on their minds. The opener Carnival of the Animals, a tribute to French composer Camille Saint- Saens (yes, a tribute to the classical composer) starts off with the drums doing a militant and catchy upbeat while the organ doing a merry-go-round sound and Kaagman’s vocals bringing it up a notch while Ebbtide is another catchy melody with a jazzy flute solo that has the rhythm flowing while the guitar comes up with some spooky chords as the organ flourishes. The sinister 6-minute ballad Storm & Thunder, manages to be quite dramatic without making excuses into going a world of madness. In the beginning and in the mid section, Gerard plays this eerie organ introduction to set the tone for Jereny to come in. But in the mid part he and Kaagman brings lighting for the last 2-minutes with the mellotron and Gerard coming with some Robert Fripp style on the guitar as they create magic in this powerful number. In The Mountains is an instrumental composition without the vocal arrangements. The number always reminded me of Pink Floyd’s extended guitar solo of Fat Old Sun as Chris’s guitar licks sounds similar to David Gilmour’s technique. And then, we come to the finale of the 18-minute suite, Song of the Marching Children.
The suite is about a new beginning on our home planet as Theme of the Marching Children is very ambient for the first two-minutes with guitar, organ, and xylophone and then on Opening the Seal featuring the luxurious mellotron setting the number as the Harpsichord comes in with its classical touch while Childhood becomes a hard rocker then going back to the symphonic beauty. Affliction is a dark moody atmospheric early space rock sound with the synth and guitar filling the void as Damnation makes it sound very post-apocalyptic and the start of renewal with the mellotron. It then becomes a happy-go-lucky number and then turns to a magnificent beauty. Purification is a classical number featuring the acoustic guitar giving the calmness during the section while Jereny comes in on this symphonic piece with how the crack of doom can happen again while the Marching is packed with a sinister ending with the drums doing a militant outro that closes the album. All of the concept, it’s an unheard masterpiece to get into.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Renaissance - Turn of the Cards

With a surprising sound from lead vocalist Annie Haslam and featuring lyrics by Betty Thatcher who created a lushful scenery to fit Renaissance’s musical background, their next album which was a follow up to Ashes Are Burning and moving to a new record label from Sovereign to BTM, it goes to show how Renaissance’s music doesn’t stop. That and their follow up to Ashes, has written symphonic progressive and art rock written all over it.
There are classical references, which are cool, but Renaissance’s Turn of the Cards; it had more of a division and capacitally more balladry to their roots. Again, Annie’s vocal arrangements, who are more of a narrator, operatic sounds come across to the Scandinavian sounds of Earth & Fire. And bassist John Camp whose bass sounds leaning of the minds of Chris Squire has come across the prog background to the apple tree of good fortune.
The reaction of the album is a nonstop masterpiece as their arranging and composition as they began to show their music has complex in only six tracks while having a 15th century lukewarm beauty and the opus with the orchestral background as they began to move forward. Beginning with Running Hard, that has a Gershwin piano introduction similar to Rhapsody in Blue as it moves into an upbeat sound while the band and the symphony comes in into a heart-pounding magnetism performance quality. Then, they show the tribute to the British Folk in a romantic acoustic crisp in I Think of You while Things I Don’t Understand has a dance rhythm along with the band’s harmonic vocals. It has a jazz related sound, but it’s spot on while Cold is Being has a church like quality with the organ giving this Floyd-like sound on Celestial Voices based on classical proportions.
Then we get to Black Flame which goes back into the Folk sound while John Camp is doing a Chris Squire relative sound on his Bass guitar as it goes through various changes to give it a symphonic sound that is similar to the Moody Blues Days of Future Passed meets The Yes Album in a minimal number. And then, we get to the finale which has been considered one of Renaissance’s quantum leap with their nine-minute classic of Mother Russia. The piece is dedicated to the late Alexander Solzhesnitsyn, who passed away last year of a heart failure, was forced to leave the Soviet Union from the communist in 1974 and based on his book One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich which was set in the ‘50s at a labor camp about the horror of the Soviets.
With a mesmerizing tone, Mother Russia begins with a mournful piano ballad then becomes of a scene straight from the dramatic tales of what was going on during that political background of Russia and then it becomes a crescendo while Annie comes in with the opening lines “Pays the price, works the seasons through/Frozen days, he thinks of you/Cold as ice but he burns for you/Mother Russia, cant you hear him too?” As Haslam brings her voice of Alex’s life story, the guitar and the strings bring to a standstill. During the last 5-minutes of Mother Russia, it becomes a suite almost of the instrumental with a beautiful improvisation done by the band and Annie’s vocals that are very choir and gives you goosebumps as she sings the last few lines to close the album.
Turn of the Cards along with Prologue, Ashes Are Burning, and Scheherazade shows the band at their very best and bringing them to a globalization of their fans and their plans to bring the efforts at a high temperature.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

King Crimson - Lizard

After three of the original members left King Crimson (Greg Lake, Michael Giles, and Ian McDonald) to pursue new careers, it was up to Robert Fripp to make King Crimson sinister like no other as he pays homage to Miles Davis two fusion albums In a Silent Way and Bitches Brew. Bassist Gordon Haskell who was interviewed in 2005 for the MOJO prog rock edition, and was the vocalist on Cadence and Cascade for In the Wake of Poseidon, saw Crimson in a totally new direction “I saw Crimson as an evil force” he mentions, “They were very powerful, like Satan is powerful.” And in the words of the Melody Maker “If Wagner were alive, he would be in King Crimson”, well this time, he definitely was.
Lizard which was released in 1970, saw them going into a Jazz Rock/Fusion area, it was also controversial which created a diversion among their fans and music critics alike mentioning that it’s a difficult and weaker album. It isn’t, Lizard is the cult album for Crimson fans to sink their teeth into. Adding new members including saxophonist Mel Collins and drummer Andy McCulloch to the line-up and also special guest lead vocalist of Yes, Jon Anderson, It’s very Avant-Garde, Classical, Post-Apocalyptic, Climatic, and a lot of humor to the mix as if they had recorded this album in a church yard to wake up the guests to hear this magnificent opus from start to finish or recorded it at Bald Mountain to wake Chernabog up to call his ghosts and evil spirits coming to life and hearing this band go full throttle depending how to scare the shit out of listeners; the 6-minute opener, Cirkus (Introducing Lady of the Chameleons), begins with an electric piano as Haskell sings beautifully as such. Then all of a sudden, it becomes a shrieking tone from the mellotron and the bass/VCS3 composition before closing it up to a dynamic of free form jazz sax solo done by Mr. Collins that would have made John Coltrane very proud of as he was moving toward territorial musical riffs.
And then it becomes very quirky at the same time during the record. Indoor Games is very pop, beatle jazz-related rhythms as Mel brings the house down as he plays the sax non stop while Happy Family becomes very disturbing and creates massive chaos throughout the entire number, but the upbeat ditty is sweet and fantastic while it makes it very interesting to hear with its odd time signature as it goes flying in the nightless sky. The lukewarm ballad Lady of the Dancing Water, is a quiet and whimsical beauty as we head toward the closing chaotic and ominous 23-minute suite of the title track.
Jon Anderson of Yes makes a surprise appearance on the album as he sings about the fate of Prince Rupert’s life as he sings with a lot of melody pleasing and in an harmonic tone of setting the scenery that is similar to Lord of the Rings and the 15th century tales that King Crimson was reading during that time period. Then it becomes a militant jazz fusion with their take of Ravel’s Bolero then gets it stops with a haunting oboe solo as Haskell sings about the war on The Battle of Glass Tears as it becomes very classical in a darker sense of the word, hell at the same time. After he sings the last two lines: “March Forward”, KABOOM! The band comes in as they bring the thunder down of as Crimson plays Hard Rock meets demonic Jazz meets dalek sounds of the mellotron as if Edgar Allen Poe was playing with them. And then, the dooming bass note and Fripp’s cruel guitar solo sets the bloody aftermath while the finale is weird with a Carnival background of the Mellotron with Big Top. Sure, Lizard is a strange and twisted album to feature some Jazz-classic prog rock to the core, but its one hell of an album to listen to.

Muse - The Resistance

From their follow up of Black Holes & Revelations released in 2006, Muse pull no punches as for their next album which is released this year, you began to wonder when they were listening to this album, imagining them listening to neo-classical albums from the minds of Camel, Radiohead, Mike Oldfield, and Pink Floyd’s Atom Heart Mother, then listening to Chopin while coming up with some incredible compositions, then you get the political backgrounds to began to realize that they aren’t joking for this English trio on what they’re doing and heading for a new direction.
This is an incredible experience that features incredible sonic disturbances, and mostly, heavy atmospheric dance beats (Resistance I Belong To You, MK Ultra, and Uprising) but it creates a dynamic emotional techno rock sound with a Krautrock background of the 17th century with ultimate power and '80s new wave (Undisclosed Desires, Unatural Selection, and Guiding Light). The quality of such a musical background that the homage to the ‘70s standards and the moments of more tributes of Chopin meets Brian May seems the perfect time at the right place to create such a beautiful romantical battle with a tragic Shakespearian ending. The momentum of the tribute of Queen’s second album with the ballad turned climatic ending of United States of Eurasia/Collateral Damage is perhaps one of the most powerful songs and an example of Muse’s career and probably a hit for 5-minutes that is reminded me of Bohemian Rhapsody and the Ogre Battle operatic suite. And then comes the new sound of Neo-Classical Rock with Exogenesis, a 12-minute symphonic classical prog to the core that is dark, sad, and also a masterpiece with its homage to the Floyd meets Wagner. The first part begins with the end of human race while part two deals with new life form searching for a new beginning and the finale of part three how the surviving humans can change a new beginning. This is prog as it could get right there.
Their new album, The Resistance should be played really fucking loud by the time you buy this either at a record store or on iTunes. Anything that would make you ultimately surprised by the time when you listen to this from beginning to end, it’s a very surprising record to listen to the way that Matt Bellamy just brings that Thom Yorke meets Freddie Mercury vocals to the core while shattering mind-boggling notes on his guitar to give it that Prog meets garage rock sound to pay tribute to his father George Bellamy of the Tornados which he does it very well. Chris Wolstenholme on the bass gets the music spot on while drummer Dominic Howard does a cross between Roger Taylor meets Neil Peart meets Bill Bruford on the drums to make you have goosebumps all over again like it’s the 20th century all over again.
Also, The Resistance has taken Muse into the mainstream when they played the MTV Video Music Awards this year which is a good thing for them because they will have to face up with new challenges, darker territory including recording a new song for the Twilight sequel, New Moon, but enough of my bullshit. Some fans may criticize them for selling out because of doing a soundtrack for a godforsaken chick flick gothic vampire film which goes back when Supermassive Black Hole was on there in the first one. But enough of my bullshit rant about Twilight, Muse have finally hit the big time. So what they did is almost make a sequel to their past three albums (Origin of Symmetry, Absolution, and Black Holes) and realize their situation and to have their fans go apeshit over them.
When the Neo-Prog scene is still going strong around the world and having new bands coming out of England and the United States also, Muse have started out as a club band into international prog superstars to set the controls for the heart of the sun of classical rock and setting new musical elements and upcoming stories that lay ahead for them. This is for me, the next Dark Side of the Moon meets A Night at the Opera meets OK Computer right here.