Review Summary: Great expectations, massive disappointment.
The 2nd Law is the sixth studio album by the English rock band Muse. It was released on 28th September 2012 and the title of the album is a reference to the second law of thermodynamics
Like most Muse fans, I was widely anticipating the release of their sixth album after the disappointment of their previous album, The Resistance. Then came the trailer for the 2nd Law which was released on YouTube, which for some bizarre and unknown reason featured dubstep elements that dumbfounded myself and various other Muse fans. Muse also confirmed that they wanted to do something 'radically different' for the 2nd Law which made me fear that this album could be even worse than The Resistance, which was a huge disappointment.
1. Supremacy - The 2nd Law kicks off with Supremacy, a spaghetti western type track that wouldn't look out of place in a James Bond movie. Speaking of James Bond, it was also touted to be the theme for Skyfall but Adele beat them to the punch. It is a decent song with great guitar riffs and the marching drum beat is effective but Bellamy's over the top singing at the closing of the song spoils it.
2. Madness - Next up is Madness. For some reason Madness has been nominated for Best Rock Song at the Grammys although its not a patch on previous Muse tracks such as Hysteria and Butterflies and Hurricanes. Bellamy's mmm noises simply don't belong in love songs and Bellamy should retrace his tracks to Muse's previous albums as those tracks have made Muse household names. The only decent part of the song is the solo, which has a nice blend of sound.
3. Panic Station - This is possibly the best track in the album and the slap bass line is reminiscent of Flea from the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. It is also one of the few songs that Muse have experimented with that has actually been a successful and it is also quite catchy and the solo is utterly breathtaking by Bellamy.
4. Prelude - Is a short instrumental track lasting almost a minute that sets the tone for the next track on the album, Survival.
5. Survival - Next is Survival, which probably has one of the worst starts to a song I have every heard in my life. It gets worse as the backup singers start singing 'so i told you so' for no particular reason at all. Thankfully, the guitar and bass guitar riffs and the outrageous solos from Bellamy save the track although Bellamy's over the top screeching at the end makes it sound ridiculous and hilarious.
6. Follow Me - Is a track presumably about Bellamy having a baby and his responsibility about being a father. This has been released as a third single even though it is utterly boring and it can be argued that Panic Station or Animals should have been released as a third single instead.
7. Animals - Along with Panic Station, the best song on the CD. It has a brilliant Spanish guitar riffs and is quite soft which has a distinctive feel to the album. There is dark atmosphere throughout and the samples from the Wall Street Trading Floor leave the listener with chills. It has various similarities with Radiohead's Paranoid Android.
8. Explorers - Probably the worst song in the 2nd Law and is highly forgettable as there is nothing vaguely interesting about it at all. It was written as a lullaby from Bellamy to his new son.
9. Big Freeze - Another boring song. It has a decent and catchy tune but the lyrics are absolutely terrible and it is quite obvious that Bellamy is trying to mimic U2 with his cheesy singing. Also, I am not entirely sure what a Big Freeze is.
10. Save Me -Save Me is the first song to be sung by Muse bassist Christopher Wolstenholme. The singing is quite nice and gentle but it is barely recognizable and it is unlikely to make people jump with excitement. Its about Wolstenholme and his troubles with alcohol addiction.
11. Liquid State - Is better than Save Me with a great bass riff by Wolstenholme but it can be agree that the lyrics have no great purpose or meaning and have been placed there just for the sake of it.
12. The 2nd Law:Unsustainable -A Skrillex type dubstep themed song that has been met with heavy criticism from Muse fans. There's a captivating monologue talking about the theory of the 2nd Law and there are interesting uses of instruments in this song. It is an alright song and it is one of the few decent tracks in the album setlist.
13. The 2nd Law:Isolated System - Is much more mellow than the previous track and it is a rather weak ending to the album and is quite pointless in all honesty. Summarizes the weakness and frailties of the album in general.
Easily Muse's worst album by a country mile