It might take a few listens but sooner rather than later the awesome power of this album will win you over. I listen to classic and modern Rock, classical piano (I've noticed that Muse like to reference Chopin on this - track no.4, Prelude - and their previous album The Resistance) and film scores (Hanz Zimmer first and foremost) and Muse combine all three and more into a fabulicious concoction of verve, rebellion and almighty rock tunes.
Inspirations are varied; the oft-cited Queen is present but also Bowie (in Madness and Panic Station)and John Barry (in the opening track, Supremacy, which is openly Bondesque) and other artists as well no doubt. Muse sure as hell know their stuff.
Stand outs for me are many but I will cite Supremacy, Madness, Survival, Follow Me, Explorers and the last track, Isolated System, which is one of the best productions Muse have ever accomplished in my opinion, and that is saying a lot, all the more so that it works even without Bellamy's penetrating voice.
The duff tracks I would say are the base player's tracks on fighting alcoholism, Save Me and Liquid State, which, while not outright bad, are overshadowed by the other songs and the first 2nd Law "dub step" track, Unsustainable, is also on the weak side.
I'd say this was an 8.5 out of 10, taking into account the weaker tracks, but is certainly more than four stars, hence the five stars.
In conclusion: Muse Rock