20 Watts

20 Watts’ Best of 2009 by 20watts

20 Watts brings you the Best Albums of 2009!

So, the champagne’s out, the fireworks have stopped, the ball has dropped. The year 2009 may be long gone … But the music is still here — vibrant and waitng for masses who have yet to consume it! Naturally we want to help y’all out. Here’s 20 Watts’ list of the 20 best albums of 2009, from us to you! Enjoy!

Love and stereo,

20 Watts


20 Watts’ Best of 2009: #16 Muse’s The Resistance by 20watts

Muse's The Resistance is No. 16 on 20 Watts' Best of 2009 list

PREVIEW: Visit Muse’s MySpace

Top Track: “United States of Eurasia”

It seems like this is the year Muse finally broke out in the states. Even though the band always garnered critical acclaim they never made a huge impact on the American mainstream market. Before The Resistance was released in September Muse made their first appearance on the cover of Spin. Shortly after the release of The Resistance the lead single “Uprising” became the number one alternative rock song in the country. Soon after that Muse was brought on board to open up for U2 on their 360º Tour.

On Muse’s fifth studio album they shine in the moments when they experiment with simplistic but incredible guitars riffs, soaring vocals, and intricate synth work.  This is pretty much what Muse has always done, but they stepped it up especially on “Uprising” and “United States of Eurasia.”

Muse has always been compared to Queen, and this CD definitely shows why. With powerful gutair riffs that would be right down Brian May’s ally, and vocal harmonies that only Queen could replicate, Muse emulate on of the most underrated bands in rock history. While no one could ever touch Freddie Mercury’s charisma Muse frontman Matthew Bellamy certainly tries his best. As the CD goes on it does lose some of it’s steam, but the three part “Exogenesis: Symphony” trilogy that closes out The Resistance is definitely noteworthy simply because it is so experimental and epic.

Overall this might not be the best Muse album, but it’s still one of the best albums of 2009. Long time Muse fans may have been disappointed with this CDs less exciting direction, but it definitely had a strong impact on the mainstream, and isn’t it about time that all of America takes notice of these innovative Brits.

— Eric Hoffman

20 Watts Reviews Muse’s The Resistance by Dan
Muse released its fifth studio album, "The Resistance" on September 15

Muse releases its fifth studio album The Resistance on September 15

PREVIEW: DOWNLOAD Muse’s “United States of Eurasia” MP3
WE GIVE IT: 12/20 Watts

With three years’ worth of buildup behind the release of their new album, The Resistance, Muse undoubtedly faced a number of questions. Would they continue to tinker with their progressive/alternative rock sound, as they had on their previous album Black Holes and Revelations? What musical directions would they pursue? And would they be able to top themselves?

On The Resistance, Muse answer all of our questions. The problem is that, more often than not, they’re not the answers we’re looking for. The album is respectable in its scope and ambition, but the band’s uneven execution of its goals ultimately leaves listeners wanting more. Continue reading

Editor’s Pick #157: Muse’s “United States of Eurasia” by Dan
After treating fans to an in-depth, interactive game through its website over the summer, Muse leaked two songs from its upcoming album, "The Resistance," in July

After treating fans to an in-depth, interactive game through its website over the summer, Muse leaked two songs from its upcoming album, "The Resistance," in July

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