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Muse - 'Resistance'

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Fraser McAlpine | 09:55 UK time, Thursday, 18 February 2010


Ages ago, I wrote a thing about Lady GaGa's 'Poker Face', in which I was thinking about how deftly she pinches ideas from those areas of pop music's past which whiff distinctly of cheese. And, more importantly, how she transformed those ideas into something fresh and new and brilliant because, under the crust of cultural disapproval, they're still good ideas.

Muse are the rock equivalent. They seem to be capable of awakening the ghosts and clichés of daft old pomp rock - this song, for example, could serve as a kind of sequel to an '80s frill 'n' spandex thing like 'The Final Countdown' by Europe - and, magically, NOT BEING RUBBISH.

(Here's the video. It's computery.)

Forgive the shouting, but it's important in these Glee-ful times to point out that cheese and greatness can exist happily together. As happily as a moustache and Chris the bass player from Muse's face. In fact, what could be better than a song which, in its po-faced seriousness and howling dread, conjures up something as healthy as an attack of uncontrollable giggles? What better garnish for some hot rocking?

And which of us, Muse fan or not, can honestly say that they have NEVER reacted in this way to one of their more preposterous musical moments? Especially if you've been swept up in their grandiose, y'know, grandeur.

There's a bit in every good Muse song where the high street you are walking along suddenly becomes an arid plain. And then you find you are straddling a mighty steed, and you're holding a huge shiny broadsword aloft, and the clouds part and the sun comes out, and your rippling hairy torso (boys) or rippling hairy hair (girls) shines under its golden glow like a mirrorball. You are magic. You are light. You are INVINCIBLE!

Yesyesyes, that's another song entirely, but the point still stands. How could this not make you laugh? Oh sure, the BAND can't act like it's funny, or it wouldn't work. They have to play it totally straight. That's where the real hilarity is.

Which means it all comes down to having a good poker face after all. SEEITOLDYOUSO!

Four starsDownload: Out now
CD Released: February 22nd
BBC Music page

(Fraser McAlpine)



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