The 2nd Law Deluxe Edition, CD+DVD
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The sixth studio album from Muse, and the latest release since 2009's Resistance. The 2nd Law features the official Olympic theme tune "Survival". The deluxe edition also includes a bonus DVD documenting how the album was made.
One of the most remarkable characteristics regarding Muse, themselves an entirely remarkable band, is the sheer speed at which many of their songs are recognised as being classic compositions of the grandest order. A track like 2006’s exquisitely bonkers Knights of Cydonia could only have been of their making. So it comes as no surprise that The 2nd Law takes no time at all to make its presence felt.
What is surprising, though, is that the band that so often would be Queen begins like Led Zeppelin. The swaggering Kashmir-style six-shooter riff of Supremacy is not only the sonic equivalent of a band bursting through the doors of a saloon bar and stopping the clientele dead; it also affirms that Matt Bellamy is a master of the guitar in the order of Metallica’s James Hetfield or AC/DC’s Malcolm Young.
The array of musical styles on show across The 2nd Law means that, like many of this band’s past albums, it doesn’t entirely coalesce into a seamless collection of songs. Panic Station borrows from both Queen’s Another One Bites the Dust and Michael Jackson’s Thriller, without ever attaining the majesty of either tune. But when this album works, it works well.
Survival, an official song of the 2012 Olympic Games, rides emphatic thumps, whereas Liquid State, one of two tracks penned by bassist Chris Wolstenholme, adopts a fluid groove. Closer The 2nd Law: Isolated System manages to unsettle the listener by use of a searching piano motif, reminiscent of Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells, famously heard in The Exorcist.
This may be Muse’s sixth studio album, but throughout the group present themselves in any guise they please. Where they go from here is anyone’s guess. But as it stands, this is a more than satisfying exploration into the unknown and more.
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Top Customer Reviews
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
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?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
saw this concert and had to replace my original copy as i had lost itPublished 1 month ago by chris
another great album by Muse, some of my most favourite tracks are on here, Panic Station, Madness to name a fewPublished 3 months ago by Robert H. Hutton