User Score
6.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 266 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 42 out of 266

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  1. Jan 6, 2013
    7
    Muse's latest album is another effort to stretch the band's repertoire, but still maintaining the accessibility that they have taken in the last two albums or so. The fact is, singles are important in the current marketplace, and a band that doesn't sell out will be in trouble, especially in the current economy. The 2nd Law starts out with several strong tracks before descending intoMuse's latest album is another effort to stretch the band's repertoire, but still maintaining the accessibility that they have taken in the last two albums or so. The fact is, singles are important in the current marketplace, and a band that doesn't sell out will be in trouble, especially in the current economy. The 2nd Law starts out with several strong tracks before descending into experimentation. If you are a fan of Muse in their early years (The Origin of Symmetry a standout effort), you will still be disappointed, especially if you are enamored with their 'concept albums'. Expand
  2. Mar 23, 2013
    10
    The 2nd Law combines 13 completely different songs to create a surprisingly magnificent whole. Best songs are Follow Me, Animals, Explorers, Save Me and Liquid State.
  3. Oct 3, 2012
    9
    While i am more of a rap/hip hop lover, The Resistance was one of my favourite albums when it came out and I would even argue it could be considered "classic". I had very high hopes for this album and while I admit the first couple of listens scared me (as I was expecting the 2nd coming of god), in the end this is an excellent album that grows with each listen and I tip my hat off toWhile i am more of a rap/hip hop lover, The Resistance was one of my favourite albums when it came out and I would even argue it could be considered "classic". I had very high hopes for this album and while I admit the first couple of listens scared me (as I was expecting the 2nd coming of god), in the end this is an excellent album that grows with each listen and I tip my hat off to Muse. Well done chaps! Expand
  4. Apr 23, 2013
    8
    I'll never understand the deep hatred towards this record. Muse have not only made a great rock opera record, but my 2nd favorite Muse album I've had the pleasure to listen too. Much more rock-orientated than The Resistance, which was a huge disappointment, Muse touch upon their apocalyptic rock roots that made them huge in the first place. Matt Bellamy hasn't just grown as a vocalist andI'll never understand the deep hatred towards this record. Muse have not only made a great rock opera record, but my 2nd favorite Muse album I've had the pleasure to listen too. Much more rock-orientated than The Resistance, which was a huge disappointment, Muse touch upon their apocalyptic rock roots that made them huge in the first place. Matt Bellamy hasn't just grown as a vocalist and songwriter, but also a guitarist. Easily Muse' guitar record.

    All In All, Muse are only getting bigger, and The 2nd Law just proves it. B+
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  5. Oct 10, 2012
    7
    This album is such a mixed bag. It is definitely more a collection of tracks rather than a cohesive whole...it 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 doThis album is such a mixed bag. It is definitely more a collection of tracks rather than a cohesive whole...it 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
  6. Oct 2, 2012
    7
    This is one of those albums that has to grow on you before you like it. At first, The 2nd Law didn't strike a chord with me. It didn't seem as heavy as Muse's past records like Absolution and Black Holes & Revolutions. But after a second listen, I can say that this album has some amazing moments and some very good songs.

    Overall it has a Queen-U2-Depeche Mode kind of vibe.The opening
    This is one of those albums that has to grow on you before you like it. At first, The 2nd Law didn't strike a chord with me. It didn't seem as heavy as Muse's past records like Absolution and Black Holes & Revolutions. But after a second listen, I can say that this album has some amazing moments and some very good songs.

    Overall it has a Queen-U2-Depeche Mode kind of vibe.The opening track, "Supremacy," has a Led Zeppelin-esque style (it reminded me of their song "Kashmir"). "Madness" begins quietly with bass and samples, building up into a Queen-style climax. "Panic Station" (my personal favorite) is a heavy funk-driven track. The bombastic "Survival" (the 2012 Olympics anthem) is probably the only song on the album similar to "old" Muse. "Explorers" sounds very similar to "Invincible" from BH&R. "Save Me" and "Liquid State" are both sung by bassist Chris Wolstenholme. "The 2nd Law: Unsustainable" sees Matt Bellamy emulating dubstep via guitar (similar to what Tom Morello did in RATM by emulating turntables and synths via guitar), although the choppy, distorted vocals ruin the song.

    Most of the lyrics deal with personal subjects. "Madness" details a shaky relationship. "Follow Me" is about Bellamy's newborn son. "Save Me" and "Liquid State," the two songs sung by Wolstenholme, describe his dark experience with alcoholism. The final two songs, "The 2nd Law: Unsustainable" and "The 2nd Law: Isolated System," refer to the second law of thermodynamics (hence the name of the album).

    In conclusion, The 2nd Law is an album that takes a little while before one can appreciate it. It may not be as "in-your-face" as past Muse albums have been, but it is still an interesting record that can be enjoyed.
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  7. Mar 25, 2013
    8
    This album is a great experience to listen too. Only a few songs on there own can be listened to regularly, but if you listen to it all at once, it will sound amazing. The only problem are the last 2 songs are terrible and out of place. Song Suggestions from this album: Big Freeze, Panic Station.
  8. Oct 3, 2012
    8
    Pretty cool album. I'm not a huge Muse expert, as I've only briefly listened to their last one and this one, but this is awesome! Solid mix of arena style Muse rock and even elements of dubstep. It's like everything cool wrapped into one musical sushi roll. There's even a song that reminds me of George Michael (track 2). Maybe if you're a Muse purist, or an early adopter of the band,Pretty cool album. I'm not a huge Muse expert, as I've only briefly listened to their last one and this one, but this is awesome! Solid mix of arena style Muse rock and even elements of dubstep. It's like everything cool wrapped into one musical sushi roll. There's even a song that reminds me of George Michael (track 2). Maybe if you're a Muse purist, or an early adopter of the band, you won't like it (probably because they're popular now). But bands grow over time, and I dig what they're doing. Expand
  9. Oct 4, 2012
    8
    Muse has shaped and shifted their sound in so many ways since the early days of Showbiz. While some (many?) fans have been disappointed with the direction muse has taken over the past 6 years, Muse has successfully executed entirely new directions, expanding their own horizon's as a band and rising out of a stagnation most bands would see after 6 studio albums. The 2nd Law is bound toMuse has shaped and shifted their sound in so many ways since the early days of Showbiz. While some (many?) fans have been disappointed with the direction muse has taken over the past 6 years, Muse has successfully executed entirely new directions, expanding their own horizon's as a band and rising out of a stagnation most bands would see after 6 studio albums. The 2nd Law is bound to receive mixed reviews due to its controversial influences and aspirations.

    Despite this, this album has something for everyone. If you like the old style of Muse, Symmetry opens up and rips you to shreds with it's classic rock swagger and dynamic shifts. If you jumped onto the Muse station-wagon in the Black Holes and Revelations era, there are plenty of lighter materials that you undoubtedly will be nodding your head along with (Big Freeze). For Resistance fans, there includes a distinct Queen sound in Panic Station and Survival. What I can't stand is Dom's vocals (sorry Dom). Matt SLAYS the vocals on this album and to step away from that really is upsetting to me. Stylistically, the songs are well orchestrated but the unfamiliar voice is something I won't be putting on my ipod soon. All in all, this album is a growing album. You may not like it off the bat but on your second or third listen through take it all in (cheesy lyrics aside) focus on what muse does best- present a sound that will rock your socks off.
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  10. Dec 26, 2012
    10
    Given: I pretty much give all Muse albums a "10". This one's at LEAST a 9.501. I took my time in judging: I skew heavily in favor of the BEST BAND ON THE PLANET. And I'm one of those weird fans who was enthralled with "Survival" (except the simple lyrics). "Supremacy" is one my favorite Muse songs EVER; side "2" as I call it (starting with "Follow Me") is 100% SUBLIME (subliminally,Given: I pretty much give all Muse albums a "10". This one's at LEAST a 9.501. I took my time in judging: I skew heavily in favor of the BEST BAND ON THE PLANET. And I'm one of those weird fans who was enthralled with "Survival" (except the simple lyrics). "Supremacy" is one my favorite Muse songs EVER; side "2" as I call it (starting with "Follow Me") is 100% SUBLIME (subliminally, even; and sustainable? Definitely). And what's-his-face from Coldplay thinks that "Madness" is the best Muse track ever...insipid, dull, vanilla, blond COLDPLAY. Gives me shivers. I LIKE "Madness", it deserves to be a bigger, er, "hit". But personally, it's in the "still-sublime-even-when-boring" MUSE category. Viva la Vida MUSE! Expand
  11. Feb 7, 2013
    7
    As a collection of songs The 2nd Law might be impressive. However, when taken in context of an album the entire things feels disjointed and there is little to no flow. It is also let down by a few weak tracks. That being said the album does offer some very fantastic tracks from many different genres. From the progressive rock song Supremacy to the pop song Madness and then the funkAs a collection of songs The 2nd Law might be impressive. However, when taken in context of an album the entire things feels disjointed and there is little to no flow. It is also let down by a few weak tracks. That being said the album does offer some very fantastic tracks from many different genres. From the progressive rock song Supremacy to the pop song Madness and then the funk inspired song Panic Station, Muse are firing on all cylinders. They have a good mix of new influences (dubstep, electropop, funk) and a bit of their old rockier/classical side which comes through on a few tracks as well. No Muse's best album but also not their worst. Expand
  12. Mar 26, 2013
    7
    What does Muse have left to cover? I find myself asking this question frequently when I think about where singer/songwriter Matt Bellamy will lead his band after The 2nd Law, an album that sees the most over the top band since Queen continue down the road to full on lunacy. "Supremacy," this album's opener, instantly tells us that this album will be no less ridiculous than The ResistanceWhat does Muse have left to cover? I find myself asking this question frequently when I think about where singer/songwriter Matt Bellamy will lead his band after The 2nd Law, an album that sees the most over the top band since Queen continue down the road to full on lunacy. "Supremacy," this album's opener, instantly tells us that this album will be no less ridiculous than The Resistance (fortunately, it's also better.) High points: Supremacy, The 2nd Law: Unsustainable, Panic Station
    Low points: Animals, Explorers, Save Me, Liquid State
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  13. Jun 9, 2013
    8
    I liked this album. It is fresh and muse showed that can rock in other ways. I know that it has some characteristics fro dub step however the music is good. i really like supremacy, panic station (which reminds me of red hot chili peppers), follow me and madness. It's a good one. Hope you enjoy it!
  14. Jun 26, 2013
    8
    Its not the same as the old albums but would you want it to be? I'm not going to claim 2nd Law is as good as Origin of Symmetry or Absolution but its still a decent album. Songs like supremacy and panic station in particular are brilliant and even unsustainable (which i initially disliked) while not a classic muse song really grows on you. Like all Muse songs once you have seen them liveIts not the same as the old albums but would you want it to be? I'm not going to claim 2nd Law is as good as Origin of Symmetry or Absolution but its still a decent album. Songs like supremacy and panic station in particular are brilliant and even unsustainable (which i initially disliked) while not a classic muse song really grows on you. Like all Muse songs once you have seen them live you'll find they grow on you. Expand
  15. Aug 25, 2013
    9
    On first listen, The 2nd Law will leave Muse fans gawking in shock; every song on the album has a unique sound, many of which are quite different from anything Muse has done in the past. However, the songs are as complex and infectious as ever, and many will only reveal their beauty on the second listen. It's an amazing work for fans to appreciate and newcomers to dive in through.On first listen, The 2nd Law will leave Muse fans gawking in shock; every song on the album has a unique sound, many of which are quite different from anything Muse has done in the past. However, the songs are as complex and infectious as ever, and many will only reveal their beauty on the second listen. It's an amazing work for fans to appreciate and newcomers to dive in through. Highlights include the popular single Madness, funk infused jam Panic Station, electronic ballad Follow Me, and U2 inspired Big Freeze.

    Be wary of irritated so-called "fans" who can't accept that Muse would rather experiment with genres than produce innumerable copies of Origin of Symmetry and Absolution.
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  16. Dec 23, 2013
    7
    Decent Muse album, but there isn't really any memorable songs, kind of boring actually. Panic Station is alright, and reminds me of 'Get Lucky' by Daft Punk, and Survival and Madness are good, but meh overall, if you want a really good Muse album, check out Absolution.
  17. Aug 11, 2014
    10
    From the in your face deep rock riffs of Supremacy, to the chilled piano of Isolated system, The 2nd Law is, although unique and brave in many ways, still truly fantastic. The follow up to 2009's The Resistance, the album sees even further changes and experimentation from the days of 1999's Showbiz and 2001's Origin of Symmetry, but it's not ashamed of it.
    The album opens with Bond-esque
    From the in your face deep rock riffs of Supremacy, to the chilled piano of Isolated system, The 2nd Law is, although unique and brave in many ways, still truly fantastic. The follow up to 2009's The Resistance, the album sees even further changes and experimentation from the days of 1999's Showbiz and 2001's Origin of Symmetry, but it's not ashamed of it.
    The album opens with Bond-esque hard hitter Supremacy, featuring some of Bellamy's strongest falsettos to date. There's no messing around or progressive introductions with this opener, it throws you straight in at the deep end, which feels rather fitting given the concept behind the album.
    At the end of Supremacy there are only two thoughts going through a listener's head. "Bloody hell that was awesome" and "was Bellamy joking about the electronic stuff?" And then BOOM. Madness. Featuring the classically electronic "m-m-m-m-m-m-m-m-mad-mad-mad" at the intro accompanied by Dominic Howard's steady beat on the drum machine.
    Despite being different in every way from all of Muse's other tracks, it certainly doesn't disappoint. And boy, does it grow on you. The music slowly builds up, becoming one of the bands greatest songs to date as the electronics slowly drop out. Pay attention, Coldplay. This is how Magic should have sounded! It crams in many rock features throughout despite the electronic side, we still get a kick-ass (if admittedly a little brief) guitar solo accompanied by light hints of overdrive on Bellamy's Manson.
    Emerging from the calmness of Madness comes Panic Station... otherwise known as Everything Great About 80's Rock Jammed Into 3 Minutes. Everything you would possibly want in a Muse song is here. Clean Falsettos, about 500 uses of the word "you", one of the greatest bass lines since Hysteria or Another One Bites The Dust, and a melody that you just have to tap your foot to. 'Nuff said, give it a listen.
    At this point you know the album is diverse, and just to prove you right comes along an orchestral prelude (stunning) followed by the official song for the olympics 2012, Survival. With choirs, orchestras, and some of Bellamy's most powerful vocals to date. This is, in many people's opinion, the best song on the album. But not in mine, as the middle of the album ups the game yet again, with tracks Follow Me, sounding like something half way between the Pet Shop Boys and an extremely well produced Muse song. It's camp, it's poppy. And it's bloody brilliant. Even the rather irritating wubwubwub'd in the background grow on you, and suit the songs, and the live performances... wow, just wow. The song even features Bellamy's son, Bingham's heartbeat, setting the beat and tone for Bellamy's deepest vocals yet (both in pitch and meaning)
    Following Follow Me (yes I did that on purpose) is Animals, in my opinion, not just the best track on the album, but the best track of the year. it's so good! Lyrics from the next track, Big Freeze sum up my feelings about it "What words cannot convey"
    Big Freeze is the U2 style pop rock load of brilliant cheesiness. The vocals are Bellamy's best and hardest to sing to date, in particular on the above lyrics. It is a definite Muse future classic, and unfortunately marks an unbeatable high for the album, which is not what you want, the best should be saved for last, just look at The Resistance and Black Holes & Revelations as perfect examples.
    Explorers is wonderful, beautiful and one of Muse's best ballads, and it is unbelieveably hard to compare with the previous track, but it's better than the remaining 4 tracks, that much is certain. The next 2 songs are written and sung by Chris Wolstenholme, the band's bassist. And despite Chris being one of the greatest living bass players, it really doesn't make sense to have him singing on an album dominated by one of the greatest voices in modern rock. Of course the songs are about Chris, so it's only right that he should sing them, and they are good songs. They just don't fit in too well with the concept or style of the album. The same can be said to some extent about the 2nd Law electronic 2 part symphony. I was expecting another Exogenesis Symphony, which was an absolute masterpiece, but no. The orchetsral parts for the 2 tracks are great, but the UNSUSTAINABLE stuff does get a little tedious. But as usual Bellamy's vocals, even though they are only "woah, oh oh oh, oooh, ah ooh oh oh oohahwoahoh" are still brilliant, and almost too powerful for a man of his height.
    Isolated system is better in almost every way, and is extremely fitting in World War Z, and also to this album. It is the opposite to the intro of the album, it is calm, steady and peaceful, and a wonderful conclusion to this 52 minute masterpiece.
    The next album is said to go back to basics, and one thing is certain. I'll be queueing overnight to buy it.
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  18. Oct 2, 2012
    10
    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 hereAnother 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
  19. Oct 14, 2012
    8
    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.
  20. Oct 2, 2012
    10
    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.
  21. Oct 2, 2012
    9
    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, butThe 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.
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  22. Dec 20, 2012
    9
    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 aAs 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
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  23. Mar 4, 2013
    5
    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
    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.
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  24. Mar 5, 2013
    8
    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.
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  25. Oct 2, 2012
    9
    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 thatI 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
  26. Dec 11, 2012
    7
    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. TheIt'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. Expand
  27. Oct 3, 2012
    10
    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 otherWell 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
  28. Oct 11, 2012
    10
    I wouldn't call myself a Muse fan. I used to love Origin of Symmetry, but found the albums since then to be quite boring. For some unknown reason I became caught up in the hype around 2nd Law, after watching the preview video a few times, and wondering how Muse were going to fuse dubstep with their guitar-based band.

    The album is very disjointed - no two songs seem to sit quite
    I wouldn't call myself a Muse fan. I used to love Origin of Symmetry, but found the albums since then to be quite boring. For some unknown reason I became caught up in the hype around 2nd Law, after watching the preview video a few times, and wondering how Muse were going to fuse dubstep with their guitar-based band.

    The album is very disjointed - no two songs seem to sit quite comfortably together in the way an album might be expected. But strangely it works, in much the same way as Queen's Night at the Opera, to which this album owes a lot. However, I haven't been able to get the songs out of my head all week - surely a sign of a great album? Having a listen seems to be the only cure, albeit only for a few hours.

    Rather than simply sounding like a Radiohead tribute as they did 11 years ago, Muse now display a wide variety of influences. Queen, David Bowie, ELO, and U2 all crop up here. The song Big Freeze could very easily be made by U2. Survival might as well be an ELO song.

    One stand out song is Panic Station, which should join the ranks of Junior Senior's Move Your Feet as a surprise club hit, with its strong beat and brilliant writing.

    The band here have evolved, with Matt Bellamy's voice matured almost beyond recognition since Origin. No more screeching falsetto all the time (although it's not completely absent). There is a distinct lack of guitar work here too, with a lot of synths providing the background to his moving vocal work. Clearly Muse are not afraid to experiment in order to move their sound forward.

    The only weak point, somewhat ironically, are the final two songs titled The 2nd Law: Unsustainable and The 2nd Law: Isolated System. They lack the power and finesse of the rest of the album.

    All in all this is a fantastic collection of songs, and gets better with each listen. I haven't listened to an album in such depth in about 15 years, so I'm sure you can understand my excitement with it.
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  29. Oct 5, 2012
    8
    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 theIt 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.
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  30. Oct 3, 2012
    10
    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.
Metascore
70

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
    80
    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
    80
    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]