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Muse: The 2nd Law

By Kyle Grim
On October 19, 2012

When Muse released the trailer for their latest album, The 2nd Law, many fans reacted negatively. The trailer featured music that sounded like dub step, quite the opposite of Muse's progressive rock. Relax, Muse fans. Although The
2nd Law has a few experimental moments, it still primarily consists of their brand of progressive and symphonic rock.
The album gets off to a spectacular start, with opener "Supremacy" easily being the best song. The track illustrates all of Muse's best qualities: Matthew Bellamy's falsetto,
a powerful bass line, and just the right amount of orchestral
touches. "Madness" is one of the tracks that features a dub
step influence, but it actually plays more like a soft rock tune. After a few listens, it grows on you. Although the album gets off to a hot start, it quickly loses momentum in the middle. "Survival," the official song of the 2012 Olympics, sounds generic, especially lyrically. Bellamy sings "Race, life's a race/ And I'm gonna win, yes I'm gonna win." It makes sense in the context of the Olympics, but they still seem like lyrics Bellamy hacked together in five minutes.
Bassist Christopher Wolstenholme contributes his first songs and lead vocals on the songs "Save Me" and "Liquid State," and the results are underwhelming. Matthew Bellamy's voice is very distinctive and inseparable from Muse's sound. The songs certainly show some promise and
a personal nature (they detail his battle with alcoholism), but they could have been fleshed out a little more.
The album ends with the twopart "The 2nd Law: unsustainable" and "The 2nd Law: Isolated System." These songs have an electronic resonance, but seem like a natural extension of their original sound. They are big, arena-
filling songs, topped off with orchestral flourishes. Along with "Supremacy," they are the highlights of the album.
While this wasn't the radical departure that Muse suggested it would be, as a whole The 2nd Law just seems a little underwhelming. The band sounds like they may have finally hit a creative ceiling and may need to find a new direction.


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