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Three British acts this week, all at different stages in their careers. A debut of a group on the rise, a comeback from an artist whose power may be waning, and another step further on the road to Apocalypse from a band who continue to push the boundaries of music (and logic). Tuck in.

Muse - The Resistance

The Resistance

Muse

Released: September 14, 2009 (UK)

Do you like loud? Prog-rock prototypes Muse bring it loud on The Resistance opener “Uprising” and then follow with the sweeping title-track. From then on, you are a prisoner to the album, and dare I say it, but, resistance is futile. For nearly an hour, Muse lay out their crazy worldview (care of frontman Matthew Bellamy’s professed paranoia) and have you convinced (Stockholm Syndrome?) that you love them, despite being captive. This album is terrific. Lazy journalism would suggest it is a mix of Radiohead, Coldplay and Queen all wrapped together, and well, let’s be honest, I’m hardly a journalist. If you like those bands, and you’ve never heard Muse, you need to give in, and join The Resistance. Oh, did I mention there is a three-part symphony on the tail-end of this album? No? Well, there is. And it’s pretty darn good, too.

For a taste, check out “United States of Eurasia

The paranoia is in bloom,
The PR, the transmissions, will resume,
They’ll try to push drugs to keep us all dumbed down,
And hope that we will never see the truth around

– Uprising

9/10
The Big Pink - A Brief History of Love

A Brief History of Love

The Big Pink

Released: September 14, 2009 (UK)

This won’t be confused with Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time, but what does he know about chicks, anyways? No, instead of so-called “physics”, The Big Pink’s debut gets to dealing with a little thing called chemistry. And that, my friends, is where these guys are Vikings. If I am to believe anything on this album, it’s that someone in TBP has a knack with the ladies, making them drop like proverbial dominos. Regardless of reputed prowess on the female front, The Big Pink do have an undeniable talent for producing very listenable electro-shoegaze (and I just made that term up).

For a taste, check out the delicious (if not also completely mean) “Dominos”, an ode to the protagonist’s ego and boredom.

These girls fall like dominos
Dominos
These girls fall like dominos
Dominos
These girls fall like dominos
Dominos

As soon as I love her,
It’s been too long
And I really love breaking your heart
These silver apples will shine on,
I was wrong
The hardest love has the coldest end

– Dominos

8.5/10

David Gray - Draw The Line

Draw The Line

David Gray

Released: September 14, 2009 (UK)

While there are no surprises on Draw The Line, David Gray returns with a collection of trademarked songs that display his knack for illustrative lyrics and his distinct voice. It’s hard to fault a guy for finding a winning combination and sticking with it, but there is a frustration in listening to Draw The Line that Gray could have pushed things just a little bit further. A standout (for the wrong reasons) is “Full Steam”, with Annie Lennox helping to close out the album. It is certainly an odd listen, to say the least, with Lennox’s voice the deeper (and more masculine) of the duo, with Gray’s trembling coming in above. It is less of a duet as it is two voices competing for space and time before the album ends with less than a whimper.

For a taste, check out “Fugitive

Is the answer none of the above
Crouched in a whole like a mud-streaked fugitive
And everyday a different version of
Pourin’ it away like a water through a sieve

– Fugitive

7/10

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