The 2nd Law – Muse

The 2nd Law

Muse

2012

Helium 3/Warner

We’ve gotten some amazing music from Muse in the past. Everything from Showbiz to Black Holes and Revelations was some of the best new Hard Rock music created. They changed direction a bit for The Resistance with hits like “Uprising” and “Resistance” that pushed for the artistic success of “Starlight” and “Supermassive Black Hole” but fell short based on the simple fact that the songs weren’t quite as good. With the release of The 2nd Law, Muse has again taken it in another direction that slightly pisses me off but still leaves me wanting more.

The opening track, “Supremacy,” is a thrill ride of heavy chords, high falsettos, and riptastic riffs that remind me of the old Muse I love. It combines awesome guitar lines with an Old West horn section making you feel in the middle of a standoff. At this point, my excitement is through the roof. A new Muse album… and it’s badass?! Hell yes.

Roughly five minutes into the second song, “Madness” sloshes in with slow, prerecorded-sounding beats that fill my heart with not only sorrow, but shit as well. Near the end, the backing vocals come in, Matt Bellamy hits the high notes, and he leaves me feeling slightly satisfied. Slightly.

“Panic Station” is cool, slick, and funky. Not the norm for Muse, but the clean guitar, bass chords, and slightly different drums make for a fun song that will probably end up being on the radio at some point in the next year.

“Prelude” and “Survival,” songs made for the Olympics? Okay, I get it Muse, you’re from England and you get to make the official song. Good for you. You made the music amazing beyond belief. Backing vocals like a choir of demons, guitar riffs that will melt your face, and drums like the Beast below made them Himself. Too bad the lyrics are LITERALLY some of the worst the band has ever written. Imagine someone saying “I’m gonna win” a race in every way imaginable, then finally at the end, just in case you didn’t get the hint, saying exactly that. The badass vocal melodies can’t hide the laziness that is the lyrics.

“You mean I have to come up with lyrics too? Meh, I’ll just phone it in..”

A simple song with club like beats, “Follow Me” has the potential to be a good song, but falls short in the intro, verses, chorus, bridge, and ending. Nothing about this song makes me really want to listen again. The melodies, I’ll admit, have some catchiness to them, but when paired with the instruments, lose the substance needed to keep you hooked. Basically, this song will probably end up getting on the radio

“Animals” is a pretty sweet song that’s essentially just one giant crescendo. I like it. This song ends with the sounds of a crowd protesting, which I like to believe is meant to protest the next song on the album “Explorers.” Unless you’re a big fan of “Invincible” and “Guiding Light” on the past two albums, you can skip this latter song, like I will from now on.

Killer vocals and guitar lines lead “Big Freeze” in a light-hearted but badass song which reminds me of something that would be on an older CD. So far, this is my favorite song on the album. Many different tempo changes, but that’s about all the drums do. Come on, Dominic Howard, where are those awesome beats from “Assassin” and “Hyper Music?”

Another slow song next with “Save Me.”  Not too bad and easily gets stuck in my head. I like this one, but that’s probably because I’m a fag and like Coldplay. This sounds like something they would do.

When did Deryck Whibley join as lead vocals? At least that’s what it sounds like in the heavy hitting song “Liquid State” (which I’m fine with ’cause I loved Sum 41 when they were good). This song really packs a punch, but the main riff is nowhere near as kick-ass as it could be.

In my opinion, this is where the album SHOULD end, but it doesn’t. It goes on to bisect “The 2nd Law” into a two-parter including political news reports, a string section, a kick-ass choir, ‘eh’ piano lines, and worst of all, Dubstep. “The 2nd law: Unsustainable” and “The 2nd Law: Isolated System” are thrown on the end of the album like afterthoughts and could’ve been moved to give listeners a better overall experience.  If the album opened with “Unsustainable” and ended with “Isolated System,” an overall theme would’ve made the album work better.

Muse’s “The 2nd Law” ended up being an interesting album with a handful of good songs but more flops. If you’re a huge fan of the band and their previous album, you’ll love this CD, but if not, go pick up the new Between the Buried and Me album. It’s impossible to be disappointed by that.

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One Response to “The 2nd Law – Muse”

  1. […] Year-end best-of lists suck.  I haven’t listened to everything that came out this year that I wanted to hear yet (Neurosis, High On Fire, Melvins, etc. fucking etc).  There’s just too much.  And 2012 was pretty God damn good year for music.  So, this is not a best of list.  This is simply my favorites.  The albums I spun the most.  The ones I like more than the ones I hated (Muse). […]

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