Generally favorable reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 30
  2. Negative: 0 out of 30
Buy On
  1. From its atmospheric nineties leanings to Bellamy's consistently on-the-mark channeling of Bono, it's not too hard to imagine The 2nd Law having a similar legacy ten or twenty years down the road: not a great album, but an adventurous one.
  2. Kerrang!
    Oct 29, 2012
    Does this all meld together into the cohesive whole of a perfect album? Well, no, not really. But does The 2nd Law represent a band whose only limitations seem to be the high ceiling of their collective imagination? The answer here is an emphatic yes. [6 Oct 2012, p.52]
  3. Mojo
    Oct 22, 2012
    Muse and David Campbell's melodramatic arrangements occasionally raise a smile, but if you like your rock symphonic and your vocals histrionic, The 2nd Law delivers. [Nov 2012, p.87]
  4. Oct 16, 2012
    Listeners may scratch their heads over the album in whole; but open minds will discover that the beauty of the standalone tracks saves The 2nd Law from total combustion.
  5. Oct 11, 2012
    Muse's rather absurd spaceship may be welded together from bits of other acts--but it still flies.
  6. Oct 9, 2012
    For a band so seemingly full of big ideas, Muse sounds on its sixth album like a hard-rocking collection of other bands, some that they've previously been compared to, and others new.
  7. Oct 5, 2012
    The 2nd Law is a love-it-or-hate-it record. It contains some of the best songs Muse has done in recent memory, but also the worst
  8. Oct 3, 2012
    A concept album based on the second law of thermodynamics would likely be awful if done by Radiohead or Coldplay, but Muse nails it on The 2nd Law, creating a tale about survival within an imploding society.
  9. Oct 2, 2012
    The scale [on The 2nd Law] is such that you have to stand back in a kind of addled awe. Much in the same way that you might regard a 75ft-high luminous pink pissing flamingo water feature; you have to admire the size of the ambition and the craftsmanship, even if it's not something you'd necessarily want at your own house.
  10. Oct 2, 2012
    Having seemingly mastered all modes of excess, you'd think The 2nd Law would be Muse's unimpeachable triumph. It's not, and the problem isn't that Muse have gone too far... they haven't gone far enough.
  11. Oct 2, 2012
    Each new album (arriving as it does with the requisitely pompous title: Absolution, Black Holes and Revelations, The Resistance) finds Muse attempting to out-blitz OK Computer and Kid A in terms of overly serious Englishmen weeping for modern civilization and its myriad alienations. Which simply makes The 2nd Law's 50-plus minutes of 21st-century-art-rock-meets-sappy-popera business as usual.
  12. 75
    This is a far funnier (and funkier) effort than 2009's "The Resistance," which handled similar themes with a glum sobriety.
  13. Oct 2, 2012
    [Muse] is their most expansive and varied yet, filling out a go-to mix of Queen boom and Radiohead gloom with disco Bowie, Eighties U2, metal, dubstep and enough strings to support a suspension bridge.
  14. The none-more-Nietzschean, grandiose-apocalyptic mood continues through the utterly splendid Olympic theme "Survival", with its ├╝ber-ELO arrangement, and "Animals", with its sound effects of an angry, riotous mob.
  15. 60
    For now they remain pretty comfortable with the idea of obscene over-inflation. So should we.
  16. Oct 1, 2012
    The 2nd Law certainly isn't the career bomb that many might worry it to be, but that doesn't mean it's not any less of a red flag.
  17. Oct 1, 2012
    Muse fans will have a hard time being disappointed by "The 2nd Law," and rookies have a new perfect place to jump in.
  18. What Muse have done is re-establish themselves as a respected British institution by being fun.
  19. Oct 1, 2012
    Though not all of the band's experiments necessarily pay off, the album feels like a worthy proving ground for the ideas that will take the band boldly into the future.
  20. 60
    The 13 tracks lack some focus and cohesion, weakening what should be a limitless, quasi-spiritual slice of rock and roll transcendence.
  21. Uncut
    Sep 28, 2012
    Muse redeem high-camp absurdity with a genius for sumptuous arrangements, mighty pop hooks and irresistible melodrama. [Nov 2012, p.79]
  22. Q Magazine
    Sep 28, 2012
    The real surprises come when they sound relaxed, even delicate. [Oct 2012, p.92]
  23. Sep 28, 2012
    Too much of the album simply plods from dreary verse to dreary verse.
  24. Sep 28, 2012
    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... But when this album works, it works well.
  25. Sep 27, 2012
    This isn't an album; it's a series of OCD thoughts thrown together in passing, the only sense of cohesion coming during a rare chance for bassist Chris Wolstenholme to take centre stage on vocals.
  26. Sep 27, 2012
    No one goes to see a blockbuster for its profundity and deep characterisation. They go for the stunts and the special effects, both of which The 2nd Law delivers.
  27. 58
    Leave the rock operas to other Olympians; like elite sprinters, Muse are best when they're surging straight ahead.
  28. Sep 27, 2012
    Typically rich, but this time, a playful outing.
  29. Sep 27, 2012
    The 2nd Law is seriously fun.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 351 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 44 out of 351
  1. Oct 2, 2012
    Appalling compared to previous releases, The 2nd Law is disjointed and completely lacking in cohesion. They try to have too many styles andAppalling compared to previous releases, The 2nd Law is disjointed and completely lacking in cohesion. They try to have too many styles and influences on the album, from prog rock to dubstep and none of them form together in a satisfying way. Matt's staccato vocal delivery is just pompous and irritating, and the two part symphony at the end has nothing on Exogenesis. Like the rest of the album, it's just lots of tidbits thrown together to pass off as experimentation. The only acceptable songs on the album are Panic Station and Supremacy. Matt and the boys need to come down to a little place called Earth, somewhere they were clearly at during the Origin of Symmetry era. That album was amazing. This is pure crap. Full Review »
  2. Oct 2, 2012
    Massive grower - both for the listener and in terms of Muse's development. Take out Liquid State and it is pretty much perfect. Really enjoying this.
  3. Oct 9, 2012
    Pretty disappointing effort as far as I'm concerned. Muse turned to the fashionable sound of the day (dubstep) and made an album that willPretty disappointing effort as far as I'm concerned. Muse turned to the fashionable sound of the day (dubstep) and made an album that will easily date itself. It's all over the place and doesn't grab me like some of Muse's earlier work has done a good job of. Full Review »