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38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quality Release As Ever
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...
Published on 2 Oct 2012 by Bubo

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 2nd Law gets 2nd place
I like the album but it has not blown me away as all other Muse albums has done and two tracks are very reminise of earlier records by other artists.
Published 20 months ago by Carol Simmons


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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Muse utterly bonkers which is why we love them, 10 Oct 2012
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This review is from: The 2nd Law [Digipack] (Audio CD)
While there are no standout commercial tracks as on The Resistance, on balance this is a better album. Its great to see a British rock band that are as utterly crazy as Queen were, no-one could ever replace Mercury as a front man, but we need bands to push the envelope and with all the auto-tuned commercial rubbish being produced this days Muse are a beacon of talent, musicians who can play and sing and put on a great live show. Now can't wait for the next album!
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4.0 out of 5 stars A solid Muse album which could've been a classic if the dubstep was removed., 24 Aug 2014
This review is from: The 2nd Law [Digipack] (Audio CD)
With their latest studio release, Muse have once again utilised various touches to their traditional thunderous prog/space rock sound, with elements of funk, synthpop and even dubstep. Experimenting has never been new to Muse who had previously explored symphonic music on their 2009 release The Resistance as well as electrorock on Black Holes and Revelations though some do consider this foray a step too far. Dubstep is a very heavily derided music genre which many slate as simply noise and many rock bands have experimented with it to dismal results like Korn on Path of Totality. Whilst the dubstep elements on The 2nd Law do keep the album from being as classic as Origin of Symmetry or Absolution, the album on the whole remains an excellent addition to Muse's catalogue. Despite negative reactions from fans, I on the whole enjoyed The 2nd Law very much and is completely worth checking out or even listening to if you're a Muse fan.

Initially, I avoided this album completely when I heard the band were using dubstep on it and I only listened to the singles just to get an idea of what it sounded like. The good news about The 2nd Law is that the album is not predominantly dubstep and either keeps to the same traditional Muse sound or experiments with music that wasn't really alien to them. This is overall a very underrated album that whilst nowhere near the band's best is still a solid record.

'Supremacy' opens up the album very well with bombastic guitar work and a John Barry-esque orchestra in the background. Many have compared this song to sounding like a James Bond theme song and it really does spring to mind when listening to the song. It's over the top and thunderous which is typical of a Muse song and it's awesome. 'Madness' recalls 'Undisclosed Desires' from The Resistance a lot with its more synth dominated sound. A lot of fans hate this song but I love it. It's got a cool haunting sound with 'mad' being repeated by electronic voices throughout the song and Matt Bellamy providing more soothing vocals. It resonates very well and is another standout on the album. 'Panic Station' was the last single to be released from the album and has more of a funk sound to it that sounds a lot like Red Hot Chili Peppers. It rips off a lot of songs from 'Another Bites the Dust' to 'Thriller' to 'Suicide Blonde' yet I still love the hell out of it. It's simply the band having fun with themselves instead of being profound as they normally are. As a side note, it's the first Muse song to have swearing in it.

'Survival' may catch people's attention as it was used as the theme song for the London Olympics. I can see why it was as it has that operatic bravado to it that can be used as motivation. Unfortunately, it also has the problem of being recalled for that alone and may end up being recognised as a novelty song. As a song, it's not bad but not excellent either. You can definitely tell that Matt is going a bit overboard with the Freddie Mercury vocals on it which does drag it a bit. 'Follow Me' is the one which will throw people off for sure with its dubstep beats. The song starts out well enough sounding like another usual Muse song until the breakdown starts. Overall, not a particularly good song. 'Explorers' is another favourite of mine from the album as exemplified by its simple synthesisers and Matt's emotional vocals. Bassist Chris Wolstenholme took over songwriting and vocal duties on 'Save Me' and 'Liquid State'. It took me a while to get into both songs as I wasn't used to hearing anyone other than Matt singing however both are excellent tracks that prove Chris to be an essential member of the group. 'Unsustainable' unfortunately returns the group the dubstep sound from 'Follow Me' whilst 'Isolated System' is a cool way to close off the album as a symphonic instrumental with audio clips spliced in.

My favourite songs off of The 2nd Law: 'Supremacy', 'Madness',' Panic Station', 'Animals', 'Explorers' and 'Liquid State'.

The 2nd Law is nowhere near Muse's best album and its attempts at experimentation are hit and miss. However, when the album works, it really does work and many of the songs are some of the strongest they have written. You'd have to not be a fan of the band to truly hate this album whilst fans would either love or simply like this or respectively dismiss it. For me, I was impressed by it for the most part and I preferred it to The Resistance which was a generally hit and miss album. The band have also announced recently that their next album would be more in the same vein as Origin or Absolution which is excellent news. For now though, I'm happy with what they have given us.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Evolutionary Musicians, 21 Aug 2014
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This review is from: The 2nd Law (Audio CD)
There are many words I could use to describe this band, but two jump out more than others...
EVOLUTION & MUSICIANS.
They've demonstrated so many times before that they're virtuoso music magicians both in the studio and on stage who constantly evolve and delve into new weird and wonderful territories, distorting genres and sounding like they come from another planet. All I can say is viva planet Muse. The 2nd Law, with it's take on the world's ever-growing consumption needs and ever-depleting energy resources is yet another step in Muse's political and aggressive fight against those who don't heed Spiderman's warning, 'with great power, comes great responsibility'.

1) Supremacy - 9/10
The Bond song that never was is one hell of a way to open an album. In this opening track, we get the epic bombastic sound of Muse we've come to expect (particularly from latter half of their career) as well as some powerful screams from Matthew Bellamy that the more nostalgic of Muse fans will remember and treasure on this release.

2) Madness 10/10
Fully admitting themselves that this is a step beck and a stripped-away creation from their usual heavy-layered efforts, Madness is one of the band's rare love songs with that unique futuristic edge we're used to. Some of the band's finest riffs and songs come from build-ups and this song is just that, a build up to a declaration of love and how important love is with truly beautiful melodies, harmonies and lyrics bringing the song to a close. You discover beauty in a song that doesn't seem the sort of track to produce it.

3) Panic Station - 8/10
The band's constant exploration into music is one of their biggest strengths and Panic Station is just that, a fun experiment into new territory that doesn't take itself too seriously. The guitar riffs perhaps are a little unimaginative at times but when working with the funky brass, you quickly forget and enjoy what is, a good track which is over too quickly and leaves you wanting another chorus.

4) Prelude - N/A
Prelude is a lyric-less interlude between Panic Station and (more importantly) Survival. Simple enough, is it worth reviewing as a proper track, no.

5) Survival - 8.5/10
A mixed bag of goodies. Muse certainly have a cheesy edge to their album and this song is a prime example. But boy does that cheese have a distinct power?! Face-melting riffs, choirs and screams from Bellamy make this one hell of a Muse track that seems to have a sense of marmite about it amongst fans and listeners. For me, it's a winner.

6) Follow Me - 9/10
With a song that starts with the heartbeat of Matthew Bellamy's new baby, you expect this song will deliver and it does. Beautifully simple lyrics, computerised futuristic elements, sensational vocals and emotional choruses make this an absolute triumph. Bravo.

7) Animals - 8/10
Very simple and on the offensive, reminiscent of Resistance's Uprising, this song is a fight that slowly builds up in volume against the fat cats of the world. Clever lyrics, it knows its place on the album and while it is not one of the strongest, it's a big success.

8) Explorers - 4/10
Unfortunately, this fantastic album does have a weakness and that weakness is Explorers. Matthew Bellamy is known for his versatility on both guitar and piano. This album tends to lack the piano element and thus, when it comes into the spotlight, it needs to deliver. To say that it doesn't might be a little harsh, but it certainly isn't up to any of its piano predecessors and the lyrics do not do much to raise the game either. Disappointing, but far from disastrous.

9) Big Freeze - 7/10
Another fun one with a bit more of the Muse-sound we're used to. Drawing cheesy lyrics and guitar riffs reminiscent of Map of the Problematique (2006), it's a decent track which does what you'd expect the 'average' Muse song to do. Possibly forgettable on a first run-through, it's one you may well come back to on future listens and be pleasantly surprised there was a decent enough song you'd forgotten.

10) Save Me - 7/10
This and Liquid State are the two songs written and sung by bassist Chris Wolhemstone, a first for the band. On a listen through without prior knowledge of Muse, they are arguably two weaker songs. However, with this in mind and the idea of evolution and experiment, they're settled nicely in the last third of the album and a welcome addition to the Muse sound. Save Me is calming, warm and genuine, albeit possibly a little too long.

11) Liquid State - 6/10
A heavier effort from the bassist, arguably too short whereas the previous track was too long. Some older-sounding riffs make this a good rock-out track but a little basic.

12) The 2nd Law: Unsustainable - 7/10
Need I say experimentation? Dub-step with guitars, we should have seen it coming. The sound of the Muse of the future? I highly doubt it, but we may see these endeavours in future releases from time to time, as they're certainly no stranger to synths and computerised elements. A good 'title track' that show their constant growth.

13) The 2nd Law: Isolated System - 10/10
This is where the magic is. Turn the speakers/headphones up and blast this, I dare you. So simple, so beautiful, so catchy, so clever. That's all that needs to be said. A fantastic album close that sums up the albums' themes and messages.

In review, the previous release of 2009 (The Resistance) is the drop in quality next to 2006's Black Holes & Revelations and The 2nd Law. While still a great album, it seemed to get too carried away with itself and with The 2nd Law, Muse are back on track. Bravo Bellamy, bravo.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not their best, 29 Oct 2012
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Peter Lee (Manchester ,United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The 2nd Law [Digipack] (Audio CD)
I've loved Muse since I first saw them perform "Bliss" on TV, being blown away by that huge guitar riff and Matt Bellamy's soaring operatic voice. Since then I've seen them live half a dozen or so times, including twice at Wembley, and they're probably the best live act I've ever seen, if anything getting better and better with every tour. In terms of albums though it seems to be a case of diminishing returns. Don't get me wrong - there is much to enjoy here - but it feels somehow lacklustre, and despite repeated listens I'm struggling to fall in love with "The 2nd Law" like I have with most of the other albums.

It starts so well, with "Supremacy" sounding like a Bond theme in waiting, full of strings and all of the over-the-top flourishes that make Muse the band that they are. It's easily the most Muse-like song here, and in some respects feels like a bit of a farewell to their "old" sound, as after this track it all goes a little strange.

I like "Madness" a lot, starting with a similar sound to "Undisclosed Desires" from their last album, but after a few minutes the tone shifts and the band seem to burst through the electronic murk. Some people have said the song sounds like Prince, and maybe it's because I'm a Prince fan I like this, but it's possibly my favourite on the album.

"Panic Station" is fast and catchy, sounding rather like 80s funk (my girlfriend - also a Muse fan - thinks it sounds like Duran Duran!) but it doesn't really work for me. It's OK, but feels insubstantial.

"Survival" is this album's "United States of Eurasia" - the big Queen-alike epic, complete with lots of piano, squealing guitars, and will probably see lots of people wander off to the bars when they play it live. Perhaps too OTT for its own good?

"Follow Me" - the first of a few songs which seem to feature endless repetition of "(something) me" in the lyrics - is the first track featuring dubstep-like tones, a deep electronic bass smothered with synths dominating the chorus. It's fun, but doesn't sound like Muse, aside from Matt's voice. It actually sounds more like a club track than anything.

"Animals" - Had great hopes for this, but it just sounds a little too meandering. At the starts it sounds like something from the "Showbiz" era in a way, and becomes a bit more interesting as it goes on, but it doesn't seem to really go anywhere.

"Explorers" - Sorry, but I really don't like this one. Sounds almost like something from a musical in a way, and I always think it is called "Free Me" because Matt sings those words so many times.

"Big Freeze" - sounds like U2!

"Save Me" / "Liquid State" - Two songs written and sung by Chris, the bass player, and they really serve to show just how much Matt's voice brings to the band. To me these tracks just sound like a fairly run-of-the-mill rock band - competent but unremarkable.

"The 2nd Law - Unsustainable" - I may be in the minority but I think the blend of strings, choir and dubstep influences really works here. Noisy for sure, but it has grown on me more than anything else on the album.

"The 2nd Law - Isolated System" - Reminds me of Mike Oldfield, circa "Tubular Bells 2" or 3. An ambient-sounding instrumental.

All in all it is a reasonable collection of songs but for me it lacks that certain spark, and in some respects it feels a little rushed, as though they hurried it out before they had a couple of really excellent tracks to fit into the collection. You won't find another "Bliss", "Stockholm Syndrome", "Knights of Cydonia", "Plug In Baby", "Citizen Erased" etc. here, and although they're clearly very, very good at what they do it is all a bit of a disappointment. Maybe it will all sound better when I hear them play it live.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars always splendid, 19 Dec 2013
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This review is from: The 2nd Law [Digipack] (Audio CD)
Have nearly all Muse's albums, the opening track is very James Bond like. The rest of the album is typical Muse, always splendid.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Half of a brilliant album, 15 Sep 2013
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This review is from: The 2nd Law [Explicit] (MP3 Download)
Ok so this has some really good tracks. Supremecy, Panic Station; yeah these are great. In fact all the singles off this album are pretty damn good, but the rest of the album is a little dull. I'm not sure its worth the RRP, but its definitely worth the £5 that I paid for it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Album, 12 Sep 2013
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This review is from: The 2nd Law (Audio CD)
Some great tracks on the album. Brings back some great memories from the 2nd Law tour at the Emirates in the summer.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 16 July 2013
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This review is from: The 2nd Law [Digipack] (Audio CD)
Muse are a brilliant band, and this CD is very good indeed. There is nothing in this package really not to like if you are an avid fan, like me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic album, 7 July 2013
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This review is from: The 2nd Law [Digipack] (Audio CD)
I loved this cd. Back to their best with a range of rock, brass, experimental music and flowing string sections incorporated into the concept. Truly a great listen.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Muse classic!, 29 Jun 2013
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This review is from: The 2nd Law [Digipack] (Audio CD)
I am so biased as I love Muse. I was interested in the fact that Chris was singing on 2 of the tracks and realise that although Matt is a superb musician and showman, Chris can hold his own too! Great voice! Iwish I bought the DVD version now as I saw it at a friends and it is fascinating!
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