Muse – The 2nd Law Album Review

Strangeland Review
Muse – The 2nd Law. Released Sept 27th, Oct 1st (UK) Oct 2nd (US)

Muse are set to release their highly anticipated sixth album The 2nd Law, which follows their previous album The Resistance. With The 2nd Law, Muse have definitely taken everything they’ve learned from previous albums and added some new flavours, either way, this is one album that definitely makes you look again!

 Supremacy

Supremacy doesn’t half kick off with a bang, in bangs an orchestral drum beat following the gritty guitar rift that sweeps through the chorus, those who feared the Origin of Symmetry and Hullabaloo days of Muse were over’s fears will be completely washed away with Supremacy. The chorus just blows us away overtime we hear it, I mean how can Matt reach those notes, its just mind boggling, and its just awesome to hear that classic Muse sound again, and come on we can’t have been the only ones head-banging at the end! Although we have to say, this is a movie soundtrack waiting to happen!

 Madness

Madness, the first single from the album, we’ve heard before and if you remember we rated it rather well, it is pretty strange to place it after the exploding song Supremacy, and I think because of this the song suffers. The song itself as we said in our single review really grows on you and I really think this is an awesome track, whilst a different direction slightly for Muse, it pays off for us. Although we have to also say that those thinking Madness is a change of direction to Muse really should listen to ‘Undisclosed Desires’ again to regain their memory.

 Panic Station

Panic Station kicks things off with a funky bass rift which fills through the song, and continues with very 80s style of vocals and song progression, its different its new, but it sounds awesome! Kind of stealing some cues from Queen ‘Another One Bites the Dust’. This, like Madness, does take a bit to grow on you, but once it does you’ll be dancing your embarrassing dances and singing this song all night, we love it! (Contains mild swearing)

Prelude

For those who listened to the full version of the Muse Olympic song Survival should recognise this from the single extended version, on the album the orchestral start is separate, that’s all.

 Survival

Whilst it wasn’t an official album single, Survival definitely stuck in our heads for a long time, entering the Top 5 charts and number 1 in some countries, this Olympic gem would never be forgotten by us and will always remind us of the Olympics, much more than the dreary songs by other artists. As a song in general and minus the Olympics, Survival is a rock heavy ballad, featuring a killer guitar rift in the middle that gets your ears tingling, was an incredible single and still most definitely is!

 Follow Me

Follow Me kicks off like some theatrical soundtrack, but then kicks in to a sound you’d never expect from Muse, whilst the critics are calling it dupstep, I’m sorry but this is not dubstep, look at the stars on this track, they’d be no stars on dubstep, this is a gem. The songs about lifting yourself up from dark, and how you can “follow me” to the top again. The song sounds like something Example would release as a single, but with obviously vocal talent added and no auto-tune. Minus the comparisons, this is really a song that’s just awesome and so catchy, once the Muse fan in you accepts it.

 Animals

Animals is a weird one, it kicks off with a heavy pop based drum roll throughout and a calm feel about it, with that sense of Muse too of course. The song is definitely one of the poorer ones on the album, and we do find ourselves skipping this one, the song just has nothing to offer, and generally we find it boring. Don’t get us wrong its alright, but thats about it, and on an album with some belters it just falls short. It does feature a very Coldplay / U2 sounding guitar sound near the end and perfect as usual harmonisation’s, but thats about it, which is a shame cos the end is awesome, it gets an extra .5 for the end.

 Explorers

Explorers is another grower of a song, sounds very reminiscent of ‘Invincible’ in many areas, but without the build up. The song is about someone who feels they don’t belong and wants to be free to explore a new world. The song is very anthemic and pop for Muse, but typical Muse do it very well, its by far not the best song on the album by far, but definitely not one to ignore. Seriously though, sounds like Invincible in so many areas.

 Big Freeze

Kick off with a guitar rift that could be mistaken from ‘Map of the Problematique’ on a different pedal, this poppy number keeps that Queen and punk sound from Panic Station, and I have to say after a few listens it really works. My first listen of this got a pretty bleak 2 stars, but give it chance and it grows on you, now look, right up there! Do you think this new punk sound to Muse will be one to grow, who knows, all we do know is it sounds pretty darn good.

 Save Me

Save Me is quite possibly the most beautiful song of Muse since Unintended, no lie, this is absolutely beautiful, one of the big reasons why I know this song will grab many is that the lead vocals on this track are not by main lead vocalist Matt Ballamy, but the bassist. Save Me is such a beautiful song to be the first time bassist Chris Wolstenholme has been able to show off his really beautiful singing voice, which we’ve only heard very slight glimmers of before mainly on backing, but at the same time though the song has a beautiful message and lyrics about bassist Chris Wolstenholme’s alcohol addiction (as does Liquid State), and sounds incredible, 5 stars our album favourite!

 Liquid State

Chris doesn’t stop with Save Me on lead vocalists, he also finishes off the album with his vocals too on this much higher tempo track Liquid State. The song kicks off with a metal drum beat of which Muse drummer Dominic Howard has pretty much soundtracked throughout Muse, the song has an edgy guitar rift throughout each verse which leads in to a pulsing rate upon the chorus. The song as a whole is just incredible, seriously Chris should do vocals more often, its lead to two just some incredible tracks, here’s to the future of Muse, maybe Dom can sing in the next album … one can hope.

 The 2nd Law: Unsustainable

All Muse albums seem to now have a new trend of ending with a large instrumental number, such as The Resistance “Exogenesis”, on The 2nd Law its self titled. The first of the two is this Unsustainable, which we’ve all heard before on the original The 2nd Law trailer. The track itself as a song its rather pointless and doesn’t have half as much soothingness or soul that Exogenesis did from The Resistance, and the drum and bass in this unfortunately are dubstep which makes the song quite frankly terrible, which is annoying cos take out them drums and we’d easily add a couple more stars.

 The 2nd Law: Isolated System

Isolated System is the last of The 2nd Law instrumentals and the last track on the album (standard atleast) and we’re happy to report this is actually a great track. Kinda sounds like the theme song to a murder mystery drama when it starts, but kicks in to actually a rather pleasant track. Like, Unsustainable before it, it does feature TV backings throughout, which I don’t know if it makes or breaks the song, either way, nice end to the album.

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 Album Overview

The 2nd Law is a fantastic album by Muse, featuring the powerful kick off from Supremacy to Isolated System the album fills pretty much every gap delivering a song almost for every genre, but all delivered in typical Muse perfectionist fashion. Surprises on the album have to be the Queen-esc sound they’ve gained from tracks Big Freeze and Panic Station, which is planned third single, to the incredible vocals by the bassist Chris Wolstenholme, just incredible.

The album however is not perfect and does have a couple of let downs, Madness could have been placed somewhere else, minor I know but its just the complete wrong song to follow Supremacy. Unsustainable is easily the worst thing Muse have ever done and really should be forgotten.

Aside from all that, a really great album and sure to be another Muse classic!

4 thoughts on “Muse – The 2nd Law Album Review

  1. Decent review! I thought Animals was brilliant. The guitar work is brilliant Most likely referring the London Riots and it finished with an absolute BANG! I actually don’t know how you guys can’t like it but each to there own :)

  2. I am normally pretty critical but this album is one of the best I’ve ever heard. Period. Famed Music Critic agrees http://www.chewthedirt.com/album-week-muse-2nd-law/ . Absolute game changer for Muse….Phenomenal

  3. i count the beat of “Animals” while listening… i think the thing that makes it so different or in your opinion, “the song is definitely one of the poorer ones on the album” is that the beat is 5/4.. rare song.
    overall, this is a very very good album.. 4 thumbs for Muse.

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