Filed under: Editor Picks | Tags: Brian May, Editor's Picks, Freddie Mercury, Innuendo, Matt Bellamy, muse, Queen, The Darkness, The Resistance, Twitter, United States of Eurasia, Uprising
PREVIEW: Download Muse’s “United States of Eurasia” MP3
PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Editor’s Pick 146: Thom Yorke and Bon Iver Soundtrack New Moon
Over the summer, Muse have slowly, but surely, been feeding us information about their upcoming new album, The Resistance, which hits shelves on September 14. It started with a Twitter announcement of the album’s title in May, and tour dates were revealed on the band’s website in early June.
But the peak came in mid-July, when Muse kick-started an international treasure hunt, called the “Ununited States of Eurasia.” Fans in six different cities around the world took part, searching for keys hidden somewhere in the cities that would unlock certain portions of the track on Muse’s official site.
And on July 20, the Ununited became United, and the song “United States of Eurasia” was released to the world.
While the album’s first single, “Uprising,” showcases a grooving, almost dance-influenced direction for Muse, “United States of Eurasia” sounds like a slightly darker version of Queen. Singer Matt Bellamy‘s vocal harmonies sound like Freddie Mercury at his most theatric, and you’d think he stole his guitar licks directly from Brian May. In fact, upon first listen, you might think you’re hearing “Innuendo, Pt. 2.” After a calm, piano-driven introduction, Muse serve up an absolutely bombastic verse and chorus that could be the soundtrack for a fireworks show.
In most cases, Queen imitation is dangerous territory for a band (The Darkness, anyone?). But for Muse, it feels completely natural, and they pull it off wonderfully. If you weren’t excited about The Resistance before, this should get you on the bandwagon.
— Dan Kaplan, Front-of-Book Editor