The 2nd Law review by Muse

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  • Released: Sep 28, 2012
  • Sound: 7
  • Lyrics: 5
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 6.7 Neat
  • Users' score: 7.4 (418 votes)
Muse: The 2nd Law

Sound — 7
Muse's 2012 release "The 2nd Law" is a funk filled and glitzy wale hearkening the end of the world that begins with a thunderous clap and ultimately sizzles out. Thematically, this album could be considered a sequel to the long line of dystopian-centric albums that Muse has put out since "Absolution". What separates it from predecessors is it's refusal to put out a straight guitar driven, rock track. The best songs on "The 2nd Law" echo Queen, David Bowie, and Prince, and at the worst, Nickelback and Creed. While Bellamy's taste is debatable, his talent for composition never falters throughout the tracks. Overall, Muse's sound in "The 2nd Law" is one of pure joy. Gone are the brooding days of "Origin Of Symmetry" and "Absolution". More clearly on this than in any album before, Muse seem to be having fun.

Lyrics — 5
Lyrics are arguably Muse's weakest selling point. While "Absolution" through "Resistance" presented a serious Bellamy that was concerned with the course of the world, "The 2nd Law" merely revels in the funk of the future. "The 2nd Law" is by no means a poorly written album, it's either a fun, or cheesy album depending on listeners outlook.

Overall Impression — 8
01. "Supremacy": A bond-esque romp that hearkens back to "Origin Of Symmetry" days with a completely bad a-s riff. A great set up for the rest of the album. 02. "Madness": A complete departure from the previous Muse sound that pays off much more than "Undisclosed Desires" did on the last album. 03. "Panic Station": An incredibly fun Prince-esque track that has the funkiest bass sound on a high profile release this year. 04. "Survival": Much like "Supremacy", a loud and abrasive, glamour rock stomp fraught with echoes of Queen. 05. "Follow Me": A dance track that seems to come out of nowhere, breaking the streak of rock anthems. Bellamy's inclusion of his child's heartbeat is laughable alongside his cheesy crooning in the intro. 06. "Animals": The last great song on the album, has an addicting flamenco solo overlaying a fast paced alt-rock song. Ends with the sounds of rioting 07. "Explorers": A mediocre song that refuses to become interesting at any point in its existence. Forgettable. 08. "Big Freeze": Another mediocre song that at least has the decency to be vaguely catchy and upbeat 09-10. "Save Me"/"Liquid State": I grouped these together because they comprise bassist Chris Wolstenhome's solo vocal contributions to the album. To be honest there is almost nothing interesting about these tracks. They play like generic, 90s grunge without any major selling point. Chris's voice is decent, but lacks the poignant sharpness the makes Bellamy's great. 11-12. "The 2nd Law: Unsustainable"/"Isolated": Laughable tracks that offer glimpses of greatness. The inclusion of dubstep into a rock/pop album is admirable but in this case the end result falls completely flat. An unfortunate downer that comes as a surprise after the great symphony at the end of "The Resistance".

5 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I have a feeling the sample at the end of Animals isn't a riot but a recording of the stock exchange floor just before the closing bell.
    Ignore the fanboy-ish name, but I really don't get the hate. Yes, people say this is a "filler" album with only a couple of great tracks, and that the fans only listen to it because it's Muse and if it was from any other band we wouldn't listen to it, and that the songs are "growing" on us meaning we don't actually like them. Seriously, I was heavily disappointed on my first listen of the album. I really only liked Supremacy. Now after listening to it multiple times I must say the tracks do stand out more, such as Madness, Panic Station, Animals, Big Freeze and Save Me. Just because you don't like a couple of songs they did doesn't mean Muse are completely in a wrong direction, or the whole album is complete garbage. Personally this album is a complete step up from The Resistance (from which I only really listen to Resistance and Exogenesis, occasional MK Ultra) since I'd go out of my way to listen to more of these songs rather than forcing myself to like them as we all did whilst in denial from The Resistance. Just my opinion.
    7 string riff in survival according to the last review, lolz all wrong, good album, not great, but I can listen to it, though with other muse albums from start to finish I never skip a track, though I'm usually always skipping follow me and save me :/
    Prime example why people are downloading instead of buying... I've loved every album from Muse and to be honest I want my money back 60 (Special collective Edition) down the drain and why should I have to suffer and be out of pocket! when I have supported in buying there product and not going to lisen to it?... I feel like doing what Stan and Kenny did in 'The Passion' on SOUTHPARK .. rules need to be changed that artist have to take responsibility for the rubbish they call music and should offer refunds like any other business do if a product is not attemptable this album is not the Muse I recognise I would say Supremacy and Follow are the best songs on the album and would consider buying at a later date if the price is right!