Muse – The 2nd Law (Album Review)

Muse, a popular band hailing from the UK have released their sixth studio album, THE 2ND LAW.

 

THE 2ND LAW is Muse’s most personal album yet with songs about the lead singer’s (Matthew Bellamy) new born baby, the bassist’s (Chris Wolstenholme) struggle with alcoholism as well as some good old conspiracy-themed tunes that no Muse album would be without.

Headlining the album are the singles that have been released and reviewed in the preview here. Some of the other tracks that stood out to me were the opening track of the album, ‘Supremacy’ as well as the funky ‘Panic Station’, the flamenco styled ‘Animals’ and the U2-esuqe-stadium-anthem about a global meltdown, ‘Big Freeze’. But the whole album is made up some amazing songs.

I’ve been a long time listener of Muse so I may be biased but the band changes its style and sound enough that fans seem to come and go. Muse always seem to go one notch louder or one step further out there. THE 2ND LAW is no exception.

‘Supremacy’ heads the album with a big (almost James Bond theme) sound. The song is about mankind’s loss of its supremacy on the planet Earth. Track two is Madness which was reviewed in the preview. ‘Panic Station’ (one of my favourite tracks from the album) pits the good old Muse sound with the likes of Stevie Wonder and INXS in a very funky and awesome tune. Here’s ‘Panic Station’ performed on Later Live with Jools Holland…

Tracks four and five are Prelude and Survival (the Olympics song) also reviewed in the preview. ‘Follow Me’ is a lovely song written by Matthew Bellamy for his young son. It features the son’s pre-natal heartbeat recorded on an iPhone and some very powerful vocals from Bellamy. It’s just a really strong song. Next up is ‘Animals’ which is a little reminiscent of flamenco-style guitarists. The song is in a 5/4 time signature which makes the pace of the song feel almost other-worldly… Matthew referred to a track on the album months ago as a ‘face melting metal flamenco cowboy psychedelia’ song… he was totally referring to this. to get a feel for it… if Knights of Cydonia was set on another planet… ‘Animals’ is from that same planet… maybe a different town or city but definitely that planet.

‘Explorers’ is a lament about an “explorer” lost in his own world. It’s a slow sort of song that reminds me a little of Invincible. ‘Big Freeze’ is U2 to it’s core. There’s nothing else I can really say about it. It’s brilliant because it is pretty much Muse doing a U2 song. It’s a really uplifting track and kind of acts as a light after the tunnel that ‘Explorers’ sets up.

*Sigh* One Day

The next two tracks can be described as “I can’t believe this is Muse” because these two songs are written and performed by the trio’s very own bassist Chris Wolstenholme. ‘Save Me’ is a sort of a love song to Chris’s wife as well as a song about his issues with alcoholism, its affects on his family and his family’s affects on him. ‘Liquid State’ is one of the heaviest songs on this album Chris stated that it was about “the person you become when you’re intoxicated and how the two of them are having this fight inside of you and it tears you apart.” The song is so un-Muse it’s perfect for this album. I’m really keen to hear some more stuff from Chris Wolstenholme cause he has some real potential.

Last but not least is the pair for which the album was named after, The 2nd Law: Unsustainable and The 2nd Law: Isolated System… Unsustainable was reviewed in the preview as a guitar-created ‘dub-step’ piece. Isolated System on the other hand is a more subtle electronic song with a few more samples of news reports all alluding to the issue of an unsustainable environment and economy. It’s a great way to end the album with a really powerful and resonating track.

All in all, I’m very pleased with this album and if the past is anything to go by the band will probably be out touring Australia next year sometime.

“All natural and technological processes, Proceed in such a way that the availability of theremaining energy decreases. In all energy exchanges, if no energy Enters or leaves an isolated system, The entropy of that system increases. Energy continuously flows frombeing concentrated to becoming dispersed, Spread out, wasted and useless. New energy cannot be created and high grade Energy is being destroyed. An economy based on endless growth is unsustainable”

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