The Associated Press called the song "a thundering rock anthem".
NME columnist Mark Beaumont was perturbed that the band’s latest track was "assimilated into something as annoying" as the Olympics. He continued that "’Survival’ might be amongst the most ear-scorchingly, arse-burstingly, aneurysm-inducingly brilliant songs in Muse’s canon, but it’ll forever be deemed corny by its association with one long-past sporting event."
Adam Boult of The Guardian referred to the track as "a hilarious five-minute onslaught of camp, falling somewhere between Queen, Gloria Gaynor and a Monty Python sketch. Swelling strings, battle drums, ludicrous falsetto shrieking and chugga-chugga guitar channelling the Little Engine That Could. It’s as insanely overblown as the Olympics themselves."
"Survival", bold and brilliant though it may be, is a a far cry stylistically from the opening theme of the Olympics in London. The planned pastoral scenes of verdant grasses, sheep, cattle, and rolling hills, accompanied by the hymnal call to rebuild Jerusalem on England’s "green and pleasant land" seems to be communicating a different sentiment entirely.
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