April 22nd, 2010


Emo triumph

For whatever reason, I've been besieged by Muse over the last week or so. Specifically, the song "Uprising." I actually rather liked the song the first time I heard it. It was catchy and interesting. The 300th in the same week, I got a little tired.

Then, I started listening to the lyrics and realized it is probably the worse missed-opportunity in the history of songs.


They will not force us
They will stop degrading us
They will not control us
We will be victorious

I mean, content wise the lyrics practically have "this will be played in sports arenas world wide for 50 years going forward" written between the lines. You know that the Freddie Mercury estate has been and will be cashing in on "We Will Rock You" since it was first released. Chumbawumba's only US hit "I get knocked down (and get back up again)" still gets played on a routine basis in stadiums around the country. Even "Highway to the Danger Zone" (unfortunately) gets stadium airtime. Honestly, would anyone still know (or care) who Gary Glitter is were it not for "Rock and Roll Part 2." And it doesn't matter if your group intended your hit to be played at sporting events world wide. Certainly the Ramones didn't contemplate that with "Blitzkrieg Bop", and yet hundreds of thousands of sports fans country wide "hey ho, let's go" with the best of them every fall.

Which brings me to Muse's fatal flaw with this song. This is not an anthem. It's more plaintive wailing. No one can run down a tunnel during team introductions while this song is playing. No fan is going to stand up and loudly cheer and / or sing along in encouragement while is playing between downs or television time outs or inning. The tempo is simply too slow to inspire anyone. Even the ubiquitous sports montage will have to slowed down more than usual for some enterprising soul at NFL Films to make any use of this song. Hell, it's too slow for even baseball. And that's saying something. And it's sort of sad, because the sentiment screams "sports anthem," and yet the down tempo just kills any good use of the song in its most proper context. This is not to say that stadium djs country wide won't try. The lyrical content is just too tempting. But they will fail, and the song will be pushed aside within a season or two, never to be heard while drinking beer and worrying about fantasy scores as the team below pauses for some sort of station identification and a word from its sponsors again.