User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 225 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 37 out of 225

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  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 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. Expand
  2. Pat
    Oct 2, 2012
    All I can say is, "not good." I am quite disappointed with this album. Almost every song on here makes me cringe. I was a long time muse fan up until resistance, and this album somehow is less listenable than that. Still, Muse is amazing live and will make these songs better when played on stage. Hopefully they will go back to using their full potential as musicians instead of this over produced queen want to be nonsense with dubstep baked in. The only song I liked, which gave me hope for the album, was the first one, 'Supremacy.' From there it goes straight down hill. Madness has the potential to be a good song but is marred with pop influences. The two songs where bassist, Chris Wolstenholme sings, are fairly dreadful due to a pretty obvious lack of vocal talent. He can sing well enough for backup, but he comes out flat at lead. Essentially, if you were a Muse fan pre Twilight, you will most likely hate this album. Post Twilight fans will eat it up. Expand
  3. 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.
  4. 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 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.
  5. Oct 2, 2012
    I think this Album is great. Have been a muse fan since Showbiz and I'm glad they are willing to mix things up rather than growing old and stale. Good music is good music. The track Big Freeze is currently my fave on the album with the powerful chorus resonating deep inside me. If you hate this album and think Muse have gone down a terrible road... then stop listening. Go find a band that sounds exactly the same to everything else you like. If you can't stand this album because its to "pop" or whatever, then you're too insecure to consume media anyway. Expand
  6. Oct 2, 2012
    As a fan of previous Muse albums, I am really disappointed that Muse had to do this to the fans. What did Muse do you ask? Well Muse decided to create a terrible album that completely destroys what made them so good by the slow and incredibly tedious tunes and the unnecessary dub step used in one of their songs. This album also lacks cohesion and is completely joyless and dull when trying to be cinematic. Muse, you need to clean up your act and create something that made your previous albums most memorable, if not amazing. Expand
  7. Oct 3, 2012
    Definitely worst Muse album to date. Bits and pieces of different styles and different concepts thrown in one not-so-good-smelling mess.

    Out of 13 tracks 8 are fillers, other tracks sound like a collection of singles, not an album.
  8. Oct 2, 2012
    Guys!!! Some of you really need to chill out. This is a different sound for Muse but you need to appreciate that they are able to make new sounds and touch other genre's. Muse is such an amazing band and its better to show off some new sounds than to produce the same music over and over.
  9. Dec 11, 2012
    It's a generally very good album, but not a patch on some of their earlier albums. Unfortunately for Muse, they seem to have already set up their own legacy with the classic albums of Origin, Absolution and Black holes. This though seems a wholly unremarkable album, its a bit all over the place and contains no really career defining songs. There are some good ones don't get me wrong. The dub-rock powerfest of - Follow me, is obviously the stand out, but there are others. These include the happy, catchy and beautifully layered - Big freeze, the funky Panic Station, the relentless - supremacy and even the two electric title tracks at the end. Madness is probably the best example of a song that grows on you out there. When I first heard it I was like "What...?" but now I love it. Weaker songs include; Survive and liquid state. I still recommend it to everyone, its an interesting but not perfect album. Collapse
  10. Oct 3, 2012
    Well I can say that Muse did a splended job here. They haven't turned mainstream with this album (unlike Coldplay's newest album) and that is what is important. The record has got a lot of avantgarde sounds and lot's of alternative styles in songs. There are some songs that you will skip later when listening but only 1, max 2. All in all a great album that reminds me of Queen and other alternative rock bands. Expand
  11. Oct 2, 2012
    I want to like it but it is by far Muses worst album, the lyrics just make me cringe like they were written by a child. During the build up they kept saying how they were going to be doing dub step and funk and crazy electric guitar solos, none of which exist. They make an attempt at something... however it never hits the genres they advertise. I'm a big Muse fan but I cannot recommend this album to anyone. Songs I do like again I get put off because they're obvious rip offs, Supremacy is obviously trying to be a James Bond title track, Panic Station just rips off the bassline from Another One Bites the Dust and Big Freeze is basically a generic U2 track. I just don't get this album, it isn't Muse, it isn't creative and just makes me cringe so much.

    The biggest disappointment since Resistance, which at least had some original ideas and a few good songs.
  12. Oct 2, 2012
    La tournure commerciale qu' a pris Muse et le nombre de groupies qui s'est multiplié montre l'évolution musicale pathétique des anglais.
    Rien ne sert de faire une critique sur l'album puisque c'est le néant, le vide, le rien !!!
  13. Oct 2, 2012
    if you want to get something different go for this album . muse is the best band in the world and they know what to do . let me make it clear , this album is not a rock album ! you will get some dubstep with guitar (!)as well as rock , pop-rock , heavy metal , funk ...
    it's not the best album from trio cause all of their albums are awesome but it's the most perfect one ! matt bellamy's
    vocal is the best ever and their music is perfect . bellamy shows you that you can sing about energy , politics , illuminati , love , apocalypse ... even in dubstep and pop genre .
    so if you're a muser you will be satisfied and if you're not , give it more listens , you will love it ...
  14. Oct 14, 2012
    seems to be very under-rated so far, lots of good old fashioned muse with a lot of new style to it, not their greatest but definitely not their worst, definitely worth a listen.
  15. Oct 2, 2012
    This album is a waste of time, if you want to listen to muse than listen to their other albums because this album is just **** boring, Bellamy is a sell out.
  16. Oct 2, 2012
    The problem with the 2nd law is it is less a cohesive album and more of a collection of diverse songs that just do not flow. That said, the majority of the songs on this album are brilliant, from the ridiculously epic supremacy to the funky panic station, or the subdued guitar genius of animals to the chilling Isolated system. The songs big freeze and liquid state may be weak links, but the rest of the album is very strong. It's a much more diverse and interesting record than the resistance, with Muse showing the bombastic sound that made them famous ahead of the manufactured sound from their previous effort. You may not like the album, but you cannot complain of a lack of heavy songs-survival, supremacy, liquid state and possibly even follow me are all loud tracks. It's heavier than the resistance, and again features a wide range of genres, with influences coming not just from Queen, but also from INXS, David Bowie, Led Zeppelin and even Stevie Wonder.

    The addition of tow tracks by bassist Chris Wolstenholme is also a welcome addition, as he has a good voice and produced a great track in save me.

    Overall, the album is ridiculous, over the top, but also brave enough to explore every genre-those fearing an album of dubstep can rest easy. This is the best work they have produced since Absolution.
  17. Oct 2, 2012
    Another great album from Muse. I have been a Muse fan since the first album and I find it really brave of the band to experiment and mix with new sounds. Music is always likely to change, and nothing stays the same forever. Big Freeze by far is my favorite from the album, along with Isolated System. Big Freeze has similar tones to Map of the Problematique. It still annoys me to here complaints that Muse sound too much like U2 or Queen. Bands are out there to inspire other people, and other bands, it is how new music comes out... through inspiration. Muse are inspired by other bands, and they inspire other people! Deal with it! Expand
  18. Dec 20, 2012
    As a longtime Muse fan, a new album is always a nervous event to comprehend because of Muse and their ever-changing approach to music. From the depths of their uncertain 'Radiohead-esque' era of Showbiz to the masterpiece that was Origin of Symmetry, Absolution, and Black Holes & Revelations, Muse have always impressed me as diverse musicians. Of course, 2009's The Resistance wasn't a great release bar a few tracks and the mighty, and beautiful, Exogenesis Symphony, but The 2nd Law has somehow evolved Muse even further than anything previously has ever done before. Though the recent tour leaves a lot left to be desired (hopefully Undisclosed Desires and Matt's Bono impersonations will be left alone for the stadium tour), The 2nd Law is a solid era, and a rather solid album.

    Back when Survival, Unsustainable (shortened via 'The 2nd Law: Unsustainable' on the album), and Madness were released as singles before the album release, I was worried, naturally. Madness, a simple but effective electronic track stripped to its bones, was a concern, but it eventually grew on me. Hearing how diverse this album was going to be, my nerves soon relaxed. Unlike others, I instantly fell in love with Survival and Unsustainable, two monster tracks built for stadium experiences. Still to this day, Survival remains my absolute favourite from The 2nd Law, for its over-the-top builds, its dirty and meaty riffs, and the brilliantly hilarious, but fun, choir. Aside from those three releases, the album holds up as one strong piece of work well polished.

    The album itself opens with the epic Supremacy (a nod to James Bond, perhaps) which doesn't set tone at all, but proves Muse have still got it when it comes down to beefy riffs and stunning choruses. This is by far one of the greatest tracks on the album (after Survival, and later Panic Station) and perhaps one of their greatest works. This is followed up by Madness, Panic Station, and later a lovely short prelude progressing into the monster Survival. Panic Station is one track I was initially worried about before the album release, but now stands as one of the strongest on the album. A 'funk-like Stevie Wonder induced anthem', Panic Station is a mountain of fun. It's brilliantly paced as a track, and would work wonders as a single. Follow Me soon follows, an electric 'rave' track deemed the new single (sadly) which was mixed and mastered, I believe, by Nero. This is a track that you will either love or hate, depending on your mood. Strong vocals, cheesy lyrics, surely to attract the chav population of England. Animals is the complete opposite, almost a nod to their Origin of Symmetry era. Strong Pink Floyd styled guitar solos, brilliantly orchestrated lyrics, and a superb ending. Animals is also one of the stronger tracks on the album.

    Then the album takes a turn (for the worse?) with classic Bellamy influenced Explorers and Big Freeze. I love Explorers, though some don't seem to enjoy it. Which is understandable, actually. A wonderful piano piece with haunting lyrics and a magical closing, which leads to the 'U2 rip-ff' that is Big Freeze. I despised Big Freeze upon first hearing, though like the rest of the album, it's a grower. If you don't mind a U2-inspired track with Bellamy trying his hardest to sound like his idol (almost a parody, think United States of Eurasia), Big Freeze still stands as a great song. Though I'm not surprised it hasn't been presented in their live shows just yet.

    Chris Wolstenholme, the legendary bassist (legendary; in no way an understatement), has given his fair share of commitment to The 2nd Law, too. Almost absent from The Resistance, Chris pounds back with two tracks of his own. Though, they're aren't on top form. Save Me is a slow, dragged out, track backed up with beautiful and personal lyrics. Liquid State is what I wanted from Chris, though turns out to be some short clutter, though by far one of the heaviest tracks on The 2nd Law.

    Matt naturally closes the album with two masterpieces of music composition, Unsustainable and The 2nd Law: Isolated System. Unsustainable is a massive 'rock take' on Dubstep, with news reader commentaries (a science lesson in itself), which is closed with the haunting and perfect Isolated System. Though no Exogenesis Symphony, Isolated System is one of Muse's greatest works. Haunting, intimate, massive, bold, furious, but calm at the same time. Wonderful stuff.

    Overall, The 2nd Law is a bold direction Muse have undertook, and you'll either love it or hate it. Though it seems like a collection of singles with no flow, The 2nd Law is a brilliant achievement and a clear advancement from their prior album, The Resistance. If you can forgive some cheesy lyrical content and some rip-off guitar solos, The 2nd Law will surely work for you.

    Overall Score: 9/10
  19. Mar 4, 2013
    While the album started off in a spectacular fashion, it quickly lost its charm with like Follow Me and Save Me.

    I honestly feel that this album should have been titled "Matt Bellamy: The Club-Rock Album." It seems like they focused so much solely on Matt's vocals at the beginning of the album, that they just decided to remove him from the last four songs altogether.

    This album has
    very little in the means of excitement, with only 4 of the 12 potential songs (Supremacy, Survival, Panic Station and Liquid State) and having the feeling that they were even written by a rock band originally known for their driving songs. (Remember the days when we had songs like Space Dementia?)

    This is NOT an album for an "old-school Muse fan," as I guarantee that you will be pulling out your hair wondering what the hell had happened to the trio you knew before. However, if you are more into the new-age "popular" style that Muse that has become more accustomed to, then this album should have nearly all that you need. I really feel sorry for the drummer, Dominic Howard. He really has no real shining moment on this album at all. Some of the songs could have been done without his presence entirely. The album overall is... nice. (my god, I HATE THAT WORD) But there is just little to nothing at all that makes it really stand out.
  20. Mar 5, 2013
    When you constantly check if the minijack is properly connected to the player in fear of embarrassment that someone might hear what you're listening, then you know the music is bad, really bad. Being a fan of Muse, im stumped. Dont wanna give it zero so might as well mention that Supremacy is somewhat decent, but... ugh... I dont like this album, at all. I guess they cant all be good.
  21. Oct 5, 2012
    It is after buying my first album from muse (this album) made me buy their entire collection - except for Hullabaloo and Showbiz' ! This album was the defining moment for new listeners to run out of their house, find the nearest music store and get their entire collection!!! I know it is gonna be a good investment, because you know it is gonna be an evergreen band, once you hear the entire album and you just know that¬!
    It is something about the atmospheric cult, intentions, and presence that made me jump out from the seat and get their previous albums. The 'can't get enough of Muse syndrome' imposed to me at the point of wanting more from what the band already had accomplished'' The effects from listening their albums are highly addictive;; This album will make one dwell into Bellamy's surreal resounding tone which compliments the musical scores, composition well enough to say this is the album I am waiting for this! - certainly a different approach from their previous albums, - Bellamy's voice for the word 'pure' on the 'undisclosed desire' track still resonate in my mind , he said it so effortlessly, convincingly, like he meant it - piercing through your heart - made the affirmation of getting their collection ever so satisfied and to the point of believing this cult projected from this band will leave a trace for a long time and will persevere if they continue to outperform what they already achieved; - You can;t go wrong with this album, if you already enjoyed their previous tracks.
  22. Oct 3, 2012
    Awful! The worst album Muse has so far produced. It seems to me Bellamy has spent too much time in hollywood! Really boring and disappointing. Hopefully he'll get back on track.
  23. Oct 3, 2012
    If you understand music, and don't have a predisposition to already hate Muse, this album is remarkable. Genre -bending, done better than anyone else, all in a package that is much better live. Muse always has been and always will be a live band, and this album will be massive in all the right ways in front of a crowd of true music fans.
  24. Oct 4, 2012
    They continue to amaze me. Even though The 2nd Law is not as big of a leap from Resistance as Black Holes was from Absolution it brings plenty of freshness. It's light and sometimes funky. Starts with a grand James Bond-like opening. The bass line from Panic Station just makes you wanna grab the nearest lamp and dance to it. Sometimes you can even hear a little latino influence in the guitar and the brass sections.
    The dubstep influence is not as grate as you might have expected, but it's there and it sounds brilliant... and yes Chris puts down the bass and does the lead vocals on two tracks, a bold move but in my opinion a good one. So I definitely recommend it.
  25. Mar 5, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Muse have never been the type of band that has a jam in the rehearsal room, come up with a few song ideas and picks out the best ones that should go on the album. No, Mr Bellamy knows exactly what he wants an album to sound like. It’s almost as if each Muse album shows just a snippet of what goes on in that man’s unpredictable mind. The 2nd Law can be summed up by listening to the first minute of the first track, Supremacy. It shows the two sides to Muse; the grandiose screeching guitar riffs and apocalyptic rhythms, but also the soothing symphonic passages which act as reflection scenes on the album. This first song is crying out to be the soundtrack to a James Bond film as it resembles Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir before it settles into the contrasting military-like march which leads you to believe Muse have skydived as 007 and landed into the aftermath of an epic sci-fi battle. The lyrics towards the end of this section suggest something is building up; “You don’t have long, I am on to you, the time, it has come” (are you ready?) “To destroy…” Prepare yourself as Bellamy exclaims “Your supremecyyyy!” with all of his might whilst being overdosed on voice effects. Ladies and gentlemen Muse have arrived. Their first single, from the album, released by the band was Madness, a real pop song with heavy influences of Queen. Chris Martin described it as “Muse’s best single yet” so obviously questions were going to be asked of the bands new sound. Madness is based around a pulsating synthesiser bass riff and contains reminiscences of vocal harmonies from Killer Queen, for example, and the guitar solo from I Want To Break Free, however this song explodes into life to create an emphatic bridge section with inspiring vocal melodies in which Bellamy is declaring he has realized his mistakes from a past relationship.

    Muse do like to be unpredictable, don’t they? I don’t think anybody expected the band to kick out a track like Panic Station. A real powerhouse-funk jam which you can not help nodding your head to. Chorus-filled slap bass, drums with 80’s style gate-reverb and Matt Bellamy shouting and squealing like he’s just completely taking the mickey, like a British Michael Jackson, but funnily enough, it works. The synthetic brass in the background only adds to the brilliance of this track and they help it erupt into a stomping joy-filled groove.

    Long before the release of The 2nd Law Muse were asked to compose a song for the London 2012 Olympics and for this reason it received the most radio airplay. Survival is a real classic Muse song, showing off the incredible vocal and guitar talents Matt Bellamy has in his locker. Introduced by the orchestral masterpiece that is the Prelude, Survival begins similarly to the start of the second section of Bohemian Rhapsody (note: another Queen reference), but then in comes the infectious drums and choir. On piano is Matt Bellamy before the song ruptures and he takes hold of his guitar and unleashes a shredding solo. The kitchen sink unit along with the ominous choir, with lyrics like “Race, it’s a race” and “I’ll reveal my strength” are really quite adrenaline pumping, very fitting for the occasion. The penultimate song The 2nd Law has to offer is Unsustainable, one that really sticks out from the album. It was an internet sensation at the time of its release. It starts with a thrilling orchestral section, which could be heard in a sci-fi adventure movie, and then in comes a news reel explaining the world’s energy resources are running out causing mass eruption. This is reflected in the upcoming section that is none other than dubstep. It’s Hans Zimmer meets Skrillex, or you could just call it the excellence of Muse. You can just imagine Bellamy tapping and scratching away at his ultra-cool science fiction-like guitar effects pad, which I guess is a reason against the idea of it being ‘real’ dubstep. You can still pick out the drums, bass, and of course the face-melting guitar which works to Muse’s advantage as it dismisses all arguments from people suggesting the band are copying modern artists. Isolated System is final song on the album offering more reason to believe that Muse are more than capable of writing film soundtracks. The electronic piece of music is pumped with more ‘end-of-the-world’ news reel clips, syncopated synthesiser sequences. It’s not quite the futuristic cowboy monumental finale that is Knights of Cydonia, from Black Holes and Revelations, which I guess sums up the whole album really. In The 2nd Law Muse have let their imaginations run wild creating some breathtaking moments and completely unexpected turns, which works to the albums success. However, whether it can compete with past albums, such as Absolution, I’m not so sure. Nonetheless, any die-hard Muse fan would not be disappointed as the band demonstrates their unpredictable talents yet again.
  26. Jun 11, 2013
    It's well known that every Muse's album is a surprise for everyone, even the most hardcore fans.
    And yet, i used to be an hardcore fan of Muse. Until their 5th Album the Resistance. At first i found it pretty bad, now it's seems okay to me. Because this album, is like the begining of the end for the band i used to love.
    As a Muse fan, i have feel kind of betrayed. Even if the Opening
    title ("Supremacy") promissed me something good as heaven, the emotionnal rollercoaster begin with "Madness". A flat electronical title, cheesy as hell and with a solo that would make Brian May sue them for plagiarism. Another marketing title for the little teen who've barely reach puberty.
    Then, the hope is back on the dam emotionnal rollercoaster with Panic Station, a funky title, a bit short, but very catchy with a great bridge and a massive slap bass. Survival is next with a good prelude (kind of useless to be a title on the album) once again very "Queen"'s but a good title with an epic ending. Howereve(because in every sad story there's a however) the hope's gone with Follow Me. A wubwub dubstep as fu** title, that proves that Matthew Bellamy and his bandmates have sold their as*** to the great god of money and marketing music. The song start's pretty well but the "D-D-D-DROP THE BASS" is just to much. Animals could have been the savior but then the rest of the album is just pure mediocre title compare to what they have brought to the rock'n'roll world (Knights of Cidonya, New Born, Stockholm Syndrom...)
    This album might be the proof that they've grown up and maybe i'm not old enough to get it. But Muse used to be a ROCK band. And this one is just as good as another Pop band that will last for 2 years. Worst Muse album ever.
  27. Oct 12, 2012
    "Not a bad album at all. It has very great musical detail, and with [Matt's] soothing vocals. Though the album doesn't include as much great songs on the album and with some of the song's not being exactly 'perfect' and 'accomplishing', the album does give a great direction to a new musical era."
  28. Oct 15, 2012
    The first time I listened to this, I hated it (as a years-long Muse-Fan), it was too Poppy, too mainstream. But then, after the third or fourth time of listening, it grew on me. I still don't think it's their best work (in my opinion that was their last album "the resistance" and "Absolution"). Muse are still experimenting and their music is as epic as ever. And there's not too much Dubstep in this, only in two songs. That's bearable... Expand
  29. Oct 3, 2012
    I honestly don't entirely know what to think about this album. For the most part it just doesn't sound like Muse. I've read several reviews from people stating that their lack of traditional Muse trappings is due to the evolution of the bands sound but in reality it's not that they've evolved and more that they seem to have run out of original ideas. I really want to love it but this album is completely disjointed and sounds more like a tribute album to the '80's greatest pop and rock music with some dub step thrown in for good measure. On their own each song ranges from acceptable to great ( with the exceptions of "Liquid State" and "The 2nd Law-Unsustainable"), but many of these songs don't sound like Muse at all. That wouldn't be a problem and could be attributed to the progression of their musical style, except that those songs sound nearly identical to songs written and performed by existing bands, especially "Big Freeze" which sounds exactly like U2 with Matt Bellamy as the front man. All in all this isn't a bad album but it isn't a good one either and I feel like the least they could have done would have been to market this as a kick ass tribute to '80's rock instead of a Muse album. Expand
  30. Oct 10, 2012
    This album is such a mixed bag. It is definitely more a collection of tracks rather than a cohesive contains some of the best moments of the band's career (Animals, Follow me and Supremacy), but also a few of their worse moments too (Survival, and the too awful for words Big Freeze). Chris Wolfenholme sings on 2 of the tracks, and he is a pretty decent vocalist, but his songs do not really sound like Muse. Expand

Generally favorable reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 30
  2. Negative: 0 out of 30
  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. 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. 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]