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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 19 months ago by Carol Simmons


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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Lost for words..., 5 Nov 2012
This review is from: The 2nd Law (Audio CD)
I was disappointed with 'The Resistance' to say the least. I've been a massive fan of Muse for a long time, and think myself lucky for seeing them live in Wolverhamton on their Origin of Symmetry tour. So after Resistance I thought, maybe they will return to the old ways after this, boy was I wrong. This is the worst album I have ever listened to! This is a joke right?! During track 5, Survival, my shock disappeared, and laughter took over. Survival is... I can't even describe how awful that 'song' is. Please Muse, for the love of god, stop. You're breaking my heart.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent album, 23 July 2014
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This review is from: The 2nd Law [Explicit] (MP3 Download)
Great album and great band
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Queen are dead long live the Queen., 4 Jan 2013
By 
Philip A. Webb (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The 2nd Law (Audio CD)
Muse one of the greatest bands of all time. The best live band I have ever seen by far. What are you doing? Leave out the queenesk rock opera and get back to what you do best. Original in your face kick ass tunes. If you like Starlight, Origins of Symetry and Black Holes you are not likely to like this. If you liked the Resistance this is more of the same but somehow worse. Please Muse leave Freedie alone he's dead and only he could carry it off.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Are they getting a bit self-indulgant ?, 7 Nov 2012
By 
A. Wellman "disctone" (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The 2nd Law [Digipack] (Audio CD)
Iwas dissapointed with half of the tracks because I thought it was opera music.Sorry but the singers voice sends me cold.Don't think I will bother with there next album.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Prometheus returned and took his fire back, 18 Oct 2012
This review is from: The 2nd Law (Audio CD)
There comes a moment during your fandom where you find that you have to give yourself a reality check. Something happens and, finally you have to admit that what you loved about your favourite band has gone. That moment for me was after the 3rd listen of 2nd Law, where I found myself trying to work out ways of justifying the album to my friends. What was I doing? Surely something was wrong with the state of Muse if the die hard fan in me needed to fabricate the bands greatness. Surely the music should speak for itself?

Previous Muse albums have managed to deliver in abundance. Like you're being saturated in the greatness of their ability. Even the The Resistance, with its crazy Dr Who like intro and experimental back end, still provided quality, range and some worthwhile moments.

So what about 2nd Law? Why only a 2 star review?

I was surprised by the opening track. Yeah, some nice riffing and a good vocal hook for the chorus - but this is Muse returning after circa 3 years and their opening gambit is a Bond-a-like number that could have done with a pacemaker being fitted? I wanted to listen to this album and think 'Muse' but instead it conjured imagery of Daniel Craig ambling about with a martini.

If Supremacy had delivered anything at pace then perhaps Madness would have been a nice contrast. The problem is though that dropping this track in so early only helped cement the pace of the album. One plodding song after another. And I knew that the album was in trouble when the barnstormer touted by many fans as the showpiece of the album tuned out to be a mediocre tune that sounded like it had been fished out of the 80's. Panic Station disappoints because it's a contradiction. There's no panic in this tune - no sense of urgency - only a beat that needs to pick up the pace, some 80's bass and the ghost of a Level 42 7-inch being played at 33 instead of 45.

Then we get to Survival (ignoring the intro). This is a song I like, but it's also a song I bought a couple of months ago and didn't expect it to be sitting on the new album. I thought it was an Olympic 'special'. Amazingly, adding this to the album takes away from the songs power. What appeared to be a stomping track becomes homogenised with the rest of the low paced lack lustre tunes, somehow degrading its strength. Follow Me frustrates. Possibly a great song but after being dipped & coated in Euro pop, I find it hard to know.

If you weren't in danger of falling asleep by this point, we're then served up 'Animals'. Surely a band should only Segue in to its own naval for a bit of experimental after it's kicked you in to submission - but for me at least, the album had yet to begin. Exclusa opes omnes. All hope is gone.

Explorers would make a great tune for a Coke advert. It really has that 'Teach the world to Sing' vibe. Skipping on - Big Freeze is probably the best track on the album, yet if lack of pace is the primary downfall of 2nd Law, then tepid production is the other and this track suffers as a result.

Save Me is on par with Animals in the oomph department. Again, I would have appreciated the break from the relentless beat - if there had previously been a relentless beat! Liquid State sounds like a homage to Foo Fighters - as listened to through a quilt. It really is B side material. Then after this, we're treated to two tracks, almost 9 minutes of outro music.

I'm hoping that Muse next collaborate with a producer who's prepared to put a fire cracker up their tail pipe. They've been one of my favourite bands over the years and I would hate to see them fade away like this.

---

EDIT:

A number of months on and I still stand by what I've said above. Every time I've attempted to re-listen / re-appraise this album, I've been quickly overcome by the direction-less & vapid content. There is very little that works in its entirety. The best thing they could do is chop the last 5 'songs' - weed out a couple from the middle & boil the rest down to an EP. Even then, it would still need some serious production work. Truth of the matter is - if this had been their first album, nobody would give it the time of day.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A superbly crafted album despite being highly derivative, 2 Oct 2012
By 
M. C. Whiting "cwhiting72" (NORFOLK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The 2nd Law (Audio CD)
As a huge Muse fan I was eagerly anticipating this release. I heard the single Madness and thought, this is different but I can still hook into it. I heard Panic Station and being a huge funk fan I thought this song is just perfection.

Anyway, on to the review. If you like classic Muse then you will instantly be pleased with the opening track Supremacy. Excellent chord structures reminiscent of Led Zep's Kashmir and a touch of James Bond + Muse make this all very epic and entertaining. In fact if this isn't used as a Bond tune, which it won't be for now as the much overrated Adele has been given the gig, I will not be pleased.

So far we have Mus being Muse with a bit of Led Zep and Queen but they always had a bit of that right?

Then we go into alien territory. Madness is a synthed up ballad influenced heavily by Prince and Queen (wow what a combo) with some new age synth fx. Then after the Brian May/Prince guitar solo it then becomes a first class U2 song until the end. This song is hugely derivative from other great artists but if you're going to steal then Prince, Queen and U2 certainly rank amongst worthy material to take from. A great track that sticks in your head. I always used to frown upon Muse's attempts to become commercial such as Undisclosed Desires and Guiding Light which are very average songs. But this time they seem to have nailed the commercial with the creative perfectly.

On with the Prince theme, Panic Station is the best track on this album. It so isn't Muse but it is SO good. In fact the fact Muse are doing it makes it even better. They should do more funk tracks as the evidence here shows that they do it well. Throw in some Prince style guitar chords, slap bass licks and, admittedly a sprinkle of Another One Bites the Dust, Stevie Wonder's Superstition and the campness of the Scissor Sisters and a little touch of a band called Muse then out pops Panic Station. Superb track.

Survival, and its preceding Prelude, are back to more recognisable Muse. Lots of time is given to this on the bonus DVD of making the album which is actually a really great watch. Dramatic choirs, orchestral manoeuvres and all the glitz you would expect from the band Muse. After this, the album takes a dip I feel. First 5 tracks are unstoppable but after that the album is average, which is why I went for the four stars.

Follow Me is very average and a bit too R&B for my tastes. Animals is a good Muse track which, as people have said, could easily have slotted in on their older albums and really gets you with that 5/4 time signature. Big Freeze is a fairly good track but is exceptionally U2-esque and really pays homage to the term derivative. The guitar licks and drumming style almost identical to a U2 track. Even Bellamy tries to sing like Bono at times. Perhaps filling in at Glastonbury and supporting the Irish mega band on a US tour has rubbed off. The 2nd Law: Unsustainable is very effective and experimental. Some beautiful music sometimes rudely pervaded by a news reader attempting to compare the 2nd law of thermodynamics to th current economic climate. Muse have always been apocalyptic and sometimes politically slanted but it does border on cringe when bands, not just Muse, try to get 'political'. The closing track Isolated Systems finishes the work nicely but is a bit of a damp squib compared to the climax of previous Muse albums.

Then there is the Chris tracks. Save Me (borrowing Queen titles now as well) is a touching ballad and it is weird hearing a Muse song without Matt singing lead. For Save Me Chris sounds like Gary Barlow. For people saying they didn't know Chris could sing clearly never have seen them live where he sings backing vox all the time! Liquid State is a good heavy track but because of Chris' voice it is less Muse and more Foo Fighters.

I have left the track Explorers till last. It is rubbish. Why? Well it's not actually an awful song BUT for one of you that know anything about Muse it is pretty much a copied version of Guiding Light from The Resistance album and, as some people have quoted, is very similar to Invincible from BHaR. Listen to the chorus and you will see what I mean. It is EXACTLY the same tune as Guiding Light. Shame on Muse for trying to flog us more material using the same melodies, harmonies and structures. This track, and most after Survival, feel like filler and you get the impression a lot of effort went into the first 5 tracks without any regard for the rest. Also, what is with thhis Prelude stuff? They did thhis on Absolution with a Prelude to Hysteria. If you like it just put it on the front of the track rather than use it to desperately rack up a large amount of tracks. So, be prepared to be blown away for 5 tracks before experiencing some pleasant but not overwhelming filler. Jeez Louise, its almost as bad as John Lennon wasting 8 and a half minutes of the White Album on Revolution 9. Sorry if you like Revolution 9. I don't.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Experimental Muse - Not for the purists.(review of CD only), 1 Oct 2012
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This review is from: The 2nd Law (Audio CD)
Reviewed after several days of re-listens.

It seems to be that every time Muse releases a new album it's a bit different - a bit more commercial, or experimental, and always a bit less Origins of Symmetry, which for some reason upsets some people, who hope that every new album will hark back to Origins and Absolution. Absolution is my favourite Muse album, but I they each have their place. Each album is different in its own way, and they all get played regularly (actually with the exception of Showbiz).

Living overseas, Muse just doesn't get on the radio - or rarely, so listening to Madnesss was a complete surprise. This isn't big commercial stuff like the previous album, but it's certainly very experimental, and will upset the purists.

Upon repeated listens the influences of Queen, George Michael, White Stripes, U2, Prince, the Prodigy of new, Mike Oldfield, and (ahem) La Roux all stand up to be counted. It's the Queen influences that first grab you, though.

As an experimental album this is rather good, certainly better than the last album, The Resistance. But it can't really be compared to the other albums at all. It says Muse on the tin, but in reality it is like nothing that has gone before. So, it is hard to say that if you are a Muse fan you must buy this but I think if you like Madness (the song, not the band!), you will really enjoy this. I have really enjoyed listening to this over the last few days (paid for, but not from Amazon, clearly), and I think it will become a regular on my stereo. It is let down a bit by inconsistency, and a lack of imagination in parts, and a couple of tracks felt like they were good but could have been so much more. That's the reason for the lack of a star. I don't feel Muse pushed the envelope quite as far as an experimental album should. I hoped that the experimental sound would have been more forward looking and innovative rather than borrowing sounds and styles. An experimental Muse should contain less Queen, not more - much as I actually like that sound. I must also the say the song titles are a bit lacklustre also - although that's not been taken into account in the review.

5 stars is for albums that are simply that much better than all the rest. Classics. This Album just isn't that - but true 5 star albums are rare and should be. That's what makes them special, but all too easily given on Amazon by fans. So I am expecting a flurry of 5 stars and 2 stars - this will divide opinions. Personally I would have given 3.5 if I could.

1. Supremacy
The first track feels like it was written for James Bond, complete with hard hitting bass guitar and drums intro moving on to a slow string section. If you think you've heard the riff before - think back to the White Stripes' Jack White and Alicia Keys' another way to die and you will have you're answer. An attention grabbing track, and for it perhaps slightly let down by a lack of imagination musically. Belongs on a James Bond soundtrack; not quite in keeping with the rest of the album.

2. Madness
Here is where the Queen influences first come through. In fact if you locked George Michael in a room with Queen and gave them a massive Synth. , this is what you'd get, complete with a Brian May-esque guitar solo. The dub step bass line adds another dimension, but not a million miles away from some George Michael stuff. The last 3rd allows Matt Belamy to shine through. Does this make it bad? Absolutely not, I think it's the stand out track of the album. Crank up the bass!

3. Panic Station
More 80's influences, and influences from bands influenced by the 80s - it sounds like Prince in his funk days and more than a pinch of La Roux. As something a bit different I love it. Bellamy swearing on it seems a bit un-muse. Put this on your stereo at a party and people will dance, and then ask you who it is. Will upset some Muse die-hards. Good bass heavy track.

4. Prelude
Doesn't sandwich well between the previous track and Survival. I know that some liked the extended version of Survival, but it just jars with the experimental feel of the album. Personally I never felt it let smoothly into the piano punching intro of Survival. You could take this track out and it won't be missed. A relative weakness in the album.

5. Survival
Survival - this is the track that divided opinion for the Olympic games. However, once you listen to the album through - this will actually feel like the most old-muse track on the album. Personally I like it, bad lyrics, cheesy chorus and choir and all. Unlike track 3, this isn't a disco-dance-along, it's a festival-mosh-along. Just goes to show the diversity of the album. It absolutely belongs and deserves to be here though.

6. Follow me
Back to the Queen influences, the intro more Made in Heaven era than the full pomp, although featuring a more dub/dance bass line certainly has influences from Muse of old - a little hint at Hysteria in there somewhere perhaps. It seems strange to say a Muse album has Muse influences in it, but this album is that different.

7. Animals
Starts as a low energy classic Muse track, managing this time to get some Santana-esque guitar on there, before building up to something more reminiscent of Black Holes before inexplicably cumulating in what literally sounds like a pub brawl/football crowd. Don't like the end at all, the question is why? The track, however, is great overall.

8. Explorers
Another classic low energy Muse track with big Queen influences. A very strong track relying more on Bellamy's vocals than big riffs and dub-bass. A beautiful track that wouldn't be out of place on my all-time favourite Absolution. But is it Muse playing safe on this experimental album?

9. Big Freeze
The best thing Brian May has written in ages, but this time with his buddy Bono (think Street with nome). I joke, and actually this is a great track. Yes very Queen, very U2, but also very Muse - and Bellamy's voice really shines. The guitar solo is some more Brian May goodness though '. Good (and brief) as it is, surely we could have had a Bellamy arpegiated solo here? It would also have fitted well. One of the stand-out tracks.

10. Save me
Again not one for the purists. Even Bellamy's voice is different. Not bad, just different. A soft track - but not in keeping with previous Muse haunting tracks. A little bland to be honest. Leads into the slightly disappointing Liquid State.

11. Liquid State
Hard to say this is a Muse classic - but certainly more Muse than any other influences on this bass led standout track. Bellamy's vocals are like with track 10 a little bit of a let down. It's a great track musically, the problem is Bellamy just sings. His voice is a great instrument, and could easily have been employed so here - and the track could easily have been twice the length. A missed opportunity for what is actually a very good track, I feel.

12. The second law: unsustainable
A modern Muse track of old, if that makes sense. Lyrics and news snippets with an apocalyptic feel - opens with strings and choir of some urgency, gradually building through the news snippets to the penetrating dub-bass, and what I can only describe as robots with power tools...and ghetto-blasters; at which point Bellamy is finally introduced, if briefly, to great affect. Love this - will the purists? Not sure.

13. The second law: Isolated system
The second part to the previous track is what I can only describe as the post-apocalyptic part of this duplet. The leading piano which runs throughout the track is very tubular bells. The news snippets continue, this time the bass this time is of the guitar type. The bass becomes very dominant as the tracks reaches it's crescendo before ending with more news snippets. No Bellamy at all on this track, but a great finale.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Class, 1 July 2013
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This review is from: The 2nd Law [Explicit] (MP3 Download)
This is a excellent album, wasn't impressed with their last album but this is a class piece of work...worth a listen
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Only one Decent Song ......(Thats only Good Live), 21 Feb 2013
This review is from: The 2nd Law [Digipack] (Audio CD)
Whats Happened Muse!
My Sister and i have always been fans of the band since they arrived in 1999 with 'Showbiz',
I was only six at the time but i would always ask for muse to be played on long car journeys and even just a hop to the supermarket,
Since then it got better and better! with 'Origin of Symmetry'(BEST ALBUM EVER constantly in my car), 'Absolutiuon' and 'Black Holes and Revelations' i have Purchased every album that they have released including live albums 'HAARP' and 'Hullabaloo'. sadly it whent slightly downhill with 'The Resistance' but there were still some decent tracks.
At 19 you would think that this 'New' style of music would interest me but sadly not.
Its not the Muse i remember and the only half decent song is 'Supremacy' The hard hitting sound of the orchestral accompaniment is incredible, but it does sound like a 'James Bond' theme and sounds better performed live, The rest seems very wet and almost too synthesised, like a cheesy 80's rip off (granted i do love the classics) but there comes a point where everything sounds the same.
Sadly all the music nowadays is not to my taste too much R&B, Hip Hop and cheesy pop, i wanted this album to be a breath of fresh air but sadly almost a complete disappointment.
All i have to say now is: COME BACK MUSE WHERE HAVE YOU GONE!
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Music cd with no music, 13 Dec 2012
This review is from: The 2nd Law (Audio CD)
Got this cd only to find it has the video extra but no music not happy. Haven't bother to complain as don't have the time otherwise I would have bought it from a shop
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