Kaitlin Duffy

REVIEW #2: Muse – ‘The 2nd Law’

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If you were paying attention during this year’s Olympics you would have noticed the guitar-shredding theme song playing nearly the entire time was one done by Muse, called “Survival.” And since July we’ve all been curious as to what the rest of their new album will sound like: will anything the band does in the future ever top what was done in Absolution? Well, the answer is yes, if you’re willing to accept the experimental variety The 2nd Law has to offer.

After giving the new record a listen a few times over, I am pleased to say The 2nd Law won’t disappoint, and it’s enjoyable throughout its entirety. Everything from the first track, “Supremacy”—a captivating, sort of symphonic intro song (that sorda sounds like it would be played if the world was ending)—all the way to the EDM, almost dubstep-sounding (don’t worry, not too dubsteppy) songs like “Madness” and “Follow Me”; the way Muse constructed this new one rings well on the ears, and might prompt you to bust a groove.

There are even some 80s themed tracks in there, my personal favorite being “Panic Station,” which is an interesting parallel to the contemporary electronic vibe I got from most of the songs. In “Survival” you even get a Queen-like opera rock sort of feel in the two-part melody that quietly turns from snapping fingers and a cappella to a breakdown of serious guitar riffs and choir chants—again, a bit apocalyptic.

As far as lyrics go, The 2nd Law goes into the questioning of one’s mind and life—which, taking a look at the cover, Muse chose a rather striking image first seen in the Human Connective Project; those colorful neon lines you see show the pathways of our brain processing actual information. Neat!

All of the songs flow together, similarly to how Absolution was threaded in an album of connective sounds. I guess my only criticism would be that not everyone is into the whole dubsep thing; some out there might see it as an “easy way out,” or an easy way to appeal to the mass audience that is dubstep-obsessed, but I think it’s actually somewhat of a ballsy move from the group whose set the bar pretty high as far as contemporary rock goes, showing that they can throw some dubstep in there without sounding like straight up Skrillex.

Overall the album holds onto previously used styles on albums such as The Resistance; the orchestrations and vocals, along with the obviously expected guitar rhythms are notably Muse-like, but it’s in the songs that drive away from that we get to hear some evolution.

On October 2 expect to see this album hit stores. You can also get a special pre-order digital copy on iTunes exclusively, if you can’t wait another week.
Editors Note: It is not normal for us to have multiple staff members review an album, but this album was that good – we wanted to get multiple takes on it. REVIEW #1: by Cameron Black

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