Muse – The 2nd Law

December 26th, 2012
Goto comments Leave a comment


Time to Write a Rock Opera

As Muse have developed over the years, we have come to expect certain motifs: bombastic rock explosions, tight melodic riffage, sweet angst-filled balladry and an inspirational “us vs. them” libretto delivered via Matthew Bellamy’s impassioned bellowing. Muse most definitely have a developed sound, and yet tapping into various styles has always seemed to be part of the band’s proceedings.

That being said, some may argue the new sonic territory explored on Muse’s sixth album is a bit unexpected. “Follow Me” and “The 2nd Law: Unsustainable” peak with a proper dubstep “drop.” This isn’t so strange when you consider the band has incorporated electronic music for some time now, but it will likely get an eye roll from those who’ve decided dubstep is “the Devil’s music” or at least a passing fad. “Panic Station” is pretty funky, bringing to mind INXS or later David Bowie, and “Big Freeze” references U2 like never before. These are good songs, but may be a bit too outside the Muse box for some.

An even bigger change comes in the form of two songs written and sung by bassist Chris Wolstenholme, both composed after successfully stepping away from a rocky relationship with alcohol. “Save Me” is beautiful and entrancing, “Liquid State” is aggressive and straightforward. With a different vocalist, the two songs sound noticeably different than all the others, and would be better off woven into the album rather than paired together towards the end.

Therefore, The 2nd Law winds up a stepping stone, an experiment and a retrospective all at once. This is a transitional piece, but there is a continuing story of the human condition in Muse’s work—and no scarcity of ideas to tell it. With all the theatrics, variety, passion and message Muse has surging within them, perhaps a proper concept album or, even better, a full-fledged rock opera is what should happen next. This could give them a great platform to flaunt their variety. In whatever form, the next work from Muse has the potential to be a masterpiece.

Search for MUSE albums on Amazon
Watch MUSE concerts on Qello Concerts:

By Matthew Stolarz Posted in Reviews

Buy at Insound

Related MUSE Content:

mxdwn Best of SXSW 2010

Muse Premieres Video For “Neutron Star Collision (Love Is Forever)”
Muse to Begin New Album
Watch: Muse Performs Five New Songs in Cologne, Germany
Muse Announce CD/DVD of Live in Rome Concert Film for December 2013 Release
Rock In Vienna Festival Announces 2015 Lineup Featuring Muse, Metallica And Faith No More
“The Twilight Saga: Eclipse” Soundtrack Tracklisting Revealed
Lollapalooza Headliners Leaked, Including Eminem, Muse, Foo Fighters
Muse to Play Entire ‘Origin of Symmetry’ at Reading and Leeds Festival
Watch: New Muse Video for “Madness”
iHeartRadio Music Festival Announces 2013 Lineup Featuring Muse, Tësto, fun., and More
Muse Will Begin Working on New Album This Spring
Muse Announce New Single Release Date and Shows
Summit, Chop Chop and Atlantic Announce Eclipse Soundtrack Details
Muse At The Grammy Awards Show
Muse Announced to Play at iTunes Festival London 2012
Summer Sonic 2013 Reveals Lineup Featuring Metallica, Muse, The Smashing Pumpkins, and More
Muse Announced to Play at iTunes Festival London 2012
WATCH: Muse Performs “Knights of Cydonia” at World War Z Premiere in London
Muse to Record Without Bellamy
Listen: Muse Releases New Single “Madness” Off The 2nd Law
Muse to Play at Premiere of World War Z on June 2nd
WATCH: Muse Covers Nirvana’s “Lithium”
Muse, Ozzy Osbourne, Weezer And More Set For Voodoo Experience
Rage Against the Machine Confirmed for July 30 Performance with Muse, Rise Against and More
Muse Announce Track Listing For New Album The 2nd Law
Watch: Muse Releases New Video “Follow Me”
Austin City Limits Festival Releasing 2013 Lineup via Beer Coozies and Classified Newspaper Ads
Bilbao BBK Live 2015 Lineup Announced Featuring Muse, The Ting Tings And The Jesus And Mary Chain
Muse – Stubb’s
Listen: Stream New Muse Song “Survival” For the 2012 Olympic Games
Muse Announces First Set of North American Spring 2013 Tour Dates
Rock in Rio Announces 2013 Lineup Including Muse, Metallica, Iron Maiden and More
Matt Bellamy Comments On A ‘Stripped Back’ New Muse Album
Rockavaria Festival Announces 2015 Lineup Featuring Muse, Metallica, And Faith No More
Muse to Release Documentary
Muse Cancel, Reschedule U.S. Shows From Fall Tour
Muse to Potentially Retire Songs at Upcoming Reading and Leeds Festival
Muse Announce New Album The 2nd Law For September 2012 Release
Listen: Muse Covers Prince’s “Sign O’ The Times”
Watch: Muse Releases New Video “Supremacy”
Lollapalooza Brasil 2014 Announce Lineup Including Muse, Soundgarden and Nine Inch Nails
Grüne Hölle Rock Festival Announces 2015 Lineup Featuring Muse, Metallica, And Faith No More

Muse – Absolution
Muse – The Resistance
Muse – Black Holes and Revelations
Various Artists – The Twilight Saga: Eclipse Soundtrack
All Hell Can’t Stop Us Now – LA Rising Live at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (Rage Against the Machine, Muse, Rise Against, Lauryn Hill, Immortal Technique, Set List, Photos + More)
Time Will Waste You – Muse Live at the STAPLES Center (Set List)
The Great Equalizer – Coachella 2014 Weekend 1 Day 2
Muse and Silversun Pickups: Live in Las Vegas, 4/10/10
Muse – The 2nd Law

Top Story
Coachella 2010 Lineup Announced
Arcade Fire Takes Top Honors at The 53rd Grammy Awards
Special Guests Thom Yorke, Jonny Greenwood, Snoop Dogg, Kylie Minogue and The Edge Own Glastonbury 2010
Coachella Announces 2014 Lineup Featuring Outkast, Muse, Arcade Fire and More
Muse Announces Show for SXSW
San Francisco’s Outside Lands Announces Lineup