Review Summary: They got worse
Let’s roll back the clock a few years. There was a time when Muse were regarded as musical experimentalists. Pioneers. They evolved their sound from album to album and each time smashed the rock mainstream to pieces as they confounded both their fans and their peers with another genre bending mash of musical perfection. “How do they do it??”
. How could they even BE so original???
. Matt Bellamy was regarded as some kind of Jesus Mozart and the band were with every album getting bigger and bigger, wiping the cute British notion of “breaking America” on their perfectly rounded arses without the slightest sweat.
Quite honestly it’s a wonder this mentality came about in the first place. Even more incredible is how it’s still around. Muse were certainly never a bad
band, but they were never really more than a catchy arena rock band with a few more tricks up their sleeves than your typical Brit rock crowd. The hype and unwavering praise they received from their fanbase seemed to get to their heads with 2009’s The Resistance
, which apart from a couple of great songs was a bloated collection of overproduced and pretentious crap. It attempted soaring musical heights and grandness on every scale, and fell flat on its face. And still
Muse got bigger. #1 in the UK and #3 in the USA- their best chart positions ever.
Three years on and the condition has worsened. The 2nd Law
is completely without merit. It is neither catchy, original, deep nor interesting. Every inch is overproduced into an overambitious mess, every melody is dull and with every falsetto and faux-string accompaniment you get the feeling that Muse have completely fallen into the trap of believing their own hype- that they truly are
fantastic, infallible musical artists. Even when they shamelessly rip off other artists (definitely not Queen) or make a half-arsed attempt at sprinkling on the shavings of some musical fad (see “Unsustainable”) completely unrelated to the rest of their sound, you can be certain that an army will defend their right to take inspiration
from other artists and adapt
it to make it their own (because after all, isn’t that what makes them so unique?). And really, that’s the problem with Muse. The problem which has finally squeezed the rest of its fat, ugly head out of the ground. What was once a decent alternative rock band has discovered that they can release any sickeningly slick, insipid piece of *** and never get called out on it. So why try?