The 2nd Law

User Score
6.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 291 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 43 out of 291

Review this album

  1. Your Score
    0 out of 10
    Rate this:
    • 10
    • 9
    • 8
    • 7
    • 6
    • 5
    • 4
    • 3
    • 2
    • 1
    • 0
    • 0
  1. Submit
  2. Check Spelling
  1. Nov 21, 2012
    6
    It's a fun album, and it is clearly meant to be one, but some of are still waiting for them to get a grip on and focus on one theme and stop making parodies out of themselves. There are a few jewels on the album, but also some utter misses (Big Freeze, Explorers, Survival). The highest peaks are Supremacy, Madness, Unsustainable and Isolated System. All in all, a drop in quality after TheIt's a fun album, and it is clearly meant to be one, but some of are still waiting for them to get a grip on and focus on one theme and stop making parodies out of themselves. There are a few jewels on the album, but also some utter misses (Big Freeze, Explorers, Survival). The highest peaks are Supremacy, Madness, Unsustainable and Isolated System. All in all, a drop in quality after The Resistance, I am still hoping for a MotP inspired album. Expand
  2. Dec 17, 2012
    6
    As much as I love Muse and their efforts to mix up their sound, their attempt this time round is not a very good one, with songs ranging from absurdly good to laughably bad. Examples of the good are Supremacy, Madness, Panic Station and Follow Me, while the laughably bad includes Animals, Save Me and Liquid State. It's not a bad album, but an incredibly inconsistant album, which is notAs much as I love Muse and their efforts to mix up their sound, their attempt this time round is not a very good one, with songs ranging from absurdly good to laughably bad. Examples of the good are Supremacy, Madness, Panic Station and Follow Me, while the laughably bad includes Animals, Save Me and Liquid State. It's not a bad album, but an incredibly inconsistant album, which is not what you'd come to expect from Muse. Expand
  3. Oct 8, 2012
    6
    40% of this album is good, the rest is an experimentation soup that doesn't taste so well. It could've been an epic album, an incredible come back rock monstrous opera, but the chance has gone once again... The audio and sound engineering is amazing though...

    Best: Animals, Liquid State, Isolated System
    Worst: Big Freeze, Explorers, Unsustainable
  4. Dec 13, 2012
    6
    very different from their previous albums, it's so different that it sounds like someone else wrote it. i still think though that absolution will always be their best album
  5. May 27, 2013
    6
    After a long and dull 3 years of waiting, muse have finally issued some new and fresh material, awaited by many spoilt musers around the world. The 2nd Law, as you've already learnt in these couple of months, is the second law of thermodynamics and the album is not only referencing it, it's actually telling and describing how actually is that law affecting our lives and those who are aboveAfter a long and dull 3 years of waiting, muse have finally issued some new and fresh material, awaited by many spoilt musers around the world. The 2nd Law, as you've already learnt in these couple of months, is the second law of thermodynamics and the album is not only referencing it, it's actually telling and describing how actually is that law affecting our lives and those who are above us, well you know muse. So the album is telling us a story but it's not in my power nor interest to try and tell you that story as you have to have some brain in you to play with the words and music to figure it out. So on the embedded message the album gets a 10. The music on the other hand should've been composed better. For me clear favourites are survival, unsustainable and isolated system. These songs, especially the last 2, are brilliant, pure muse, that is, these are the songs which are hard to read and analyse, these are the songs that start you thinking and these are the songs where music describes everything it should with no words needed. On the other hand, songs like big freeze, liquid state and save me are just appalling. Other songs, hiding in between like madness, supremacy and animals should get some praise, but the others are in overall just better than mediocrity. Recognisable by influences, more than themselves, this album is kind of a let down especially when you know what they are capable of doing, getting you to space and keeping you there. Even though this album raised some dust, in the end even those dust particles realized that they should just slowly be heading back to the ground.… Expand
  6. Sep 18, 2013
    6
    OoS was the reason I can't normally function without music (rock especially). Each of MUSE albums was very close to my heart, until now. As much Resistance was a bit of let down, The 2nd Law is just disappointment. I can't think of one great song (on Resistance at least we had few older style MUSE songs which I still listen to this very day). 2nd Law is just mixture of 13 decent tracks.
  7. Nov 18, 2013
    6
    Muse will be one of the greatest rock band that emerged from the 2000 decade, no matter how many people love or hate them. As for this album, while I believe this sounds more like Muse rather than their previous effort, this isn't nearly as good as their other releases. It opens promisingly with "Supremacy", "Madness", the "Prelude", and "Survival" ("Panic Station" is a weakling for me).Muse will be one of the greatest rock band that emerged from the 2000 decade, no matter how many people love or hate them. As for this album, while I believe this sounds more like Muse rather than their previous effort, this isn't nearly as good as their other releases. It opens promisingly with "Supremacy", "Madness", the "Prelude", and "Survival" ("Panic Station" is a weakling for me). But right after Survival, it went downhill boring and nowhere near exciting. "The 2nd Law: Unsustainable" stands out but that's all to the second half of the album. Expand
  8. Oct 13, 2014
    6
    With The 2nd Law, Muse tries to musically expand itself even further compared to previous releases, however, this time the results aren't as solid as past efforts. The bland dubstep on "Follow Me," the cheesy anthem "Survival" are a few examples of failed experiments with "Explorers" and "Big Freeze" also being included among them. However despite the misfires and lack of cohesivenessWith The 2nd Law, Muse tries to musically expand itself even further compared to previous releases, however, this time the results aren't as solid as past efforts. The bland dubstep on "Follow Me," the cheesy anthem "Survival" are a few examples of failed experiments with "Explorers" and "Big Freeze" also being included among them. However despite the misfires and lack of cohesiveness through the many different musical styles presented in The 2nd Law, the album has its moments of brilliance as well. The R&B/Soul ballad "Madness" is a standout along with the funky "Panic Station" and the simply beautiful "Save Me."

    Lyrically, it is a bit of continuation on Muse's political/apocalyptic themes (on The 2nd Law they particularly cover the sustainability of society's energy/resource consumption) but they also explore more personal themes such as on the aforementioned "Madness" or "Follow Me." The 2nd Law covers a lot of musical ground (perhaps too much) but it still is bold and ambitious and includes moments of greatness that make up for the duller ones.
    Expand
  9. Jun 9, 2015
    6
    Probably the worst records Muse have ever released. A mish-mash of everything Matthew and the band could think of.. going from a melodic stile, to funk rock, to some pop sounding tunes and even to experimenting with dubstep. It really feels like a very confusing set of tracks, even though some of them I still consider to be good, like the over the top Panic Station, the epic Supremacy orProbably the worst records Muse have ever released. A mish-mash of everything Matthew and the band could think of.. going from a melodic stile, to funk rock, to some pop sounding tunes and even to experimenting with dubstep. It really feels like a very confusing set of tracks, even though some of them I still consider to be good, like the over the top Panic Station, the epic Supremacy or the dramatic Animals. Despite this, there are some tracks I feel like they can be considered some of the worst material Muse have ever conceived, Follow Me and Save Me especially.
    Overall, because of some very cool tunes and because I appreciate the way they experiment and try always new ways of doing music, I can't give this LP a bad score.. still.. it does not hold up to its predecessors and it's clearly worse even compared the newest album Drones.
    Expand
  10. Oct 2, 2012
    5
    With regards to the 2nd Law, my greatest fear, that it would be a dubsteppy and bad mess, was relatively unrealized. The unpredicted problem arose when I realized I couldn't remember any truly great songs, or even riffs. There wasn't the amazing Rachmaninoff/Bach/Prokofiev virtuosity I'd come to expect, there wasn't a landmine of unexpected pr
    og-rock devastation to be stepped upon like
    With regards to the 2nd Law, my greatest fear, that it would be a dubsteppy and bad mess, was relatively unrealized. The unpredicted problem arose when I realized I couldn't remember any truly great songs, or even riffs. There wasn't the amazing Rachmaninoff/Bach/Prokofiev virtuosity I'd come to expect, there wasn't a landmine of unexpected pr
    og-rock devastation to be stepped upon like BH&R's Knights of Cydonia...there were a bunch of songs sounding like Guiding Light off The Resistance, a few dubsteppy whatevers, and a couple synthy-rock mashes that were simply straws too short to drink from the 64oz big gulp of satisfying Map of the Problematique.

    The Resistance may have been rather haphazard, stilting between happily scratching a Muse itch and leading to worries that I Belong to You would become their new permanent sound in place of gorgeous operetic rock-anthems like the ENTIRE ALBUM of Origin of Symmetry. Yet, it still had its seminal moments, like the overblown Eurasia, the pulsing piano/drums lead in to the title track, the unforgettable synth pounding Uprising dishes out, and the wondrous oddity of the three-track symphonic suite close-out.

    The only tracks I can remember after my listen were of the interesting-yet-boring first single Madness, the unpleasant dubstep closer Unsustainable, and one or two tracks in the middle with a fun-yet-unremarkable sound. There wasn't one single game-changer.

    One of my favorite bands, unalike in almost every way to Muse except for Ability To Own Arenas, is the Goo Goo Dolls. Between 93 and 02 they released 4 albums that I consider to be nigh-flawless, with every song meriting special attention and playtime. Their 2006 effort Let Love In signaled the end of this streak, as it (and their 2010 album) had a few interesting new songs sandwiched by largely-forgettable tracks. For non-Goo fans, I'd submit other evidences via Metallica's Reload (eventually leading to the pathetic St Anger) and Smashing Pumpkins' Adore (as Machina I and II became their unfortunate (and temporary?) swan song).

    Muse has, I feared, reached this same point. Peaking with 2006's Black Holes and Revelations (if you like fascinating and creative masterpieces, you own that album), they have now released two straight albums where you can no longer hit play and go from start to finish with your mind buoyed to the heavens by exceptional musical craftsmanship. I am not so foolish or stuck in my ways to demand a band 'go back' to a seminal sound, but the direction for growth chosen in 2nd Law, extra electronica and crawlingly slow U2-ish medleys, doesn't strike me as an advancement for the band. It feels more like a diversionary toy. I had hoped for an expansion of the orchestral feel of the Exogenesis symphonic suite, or a more frenetic offering of synth-rock similar to Map of the Problematique and MKUltra, or (even more hopefully) an expansion of spaghetti-western rock much like the seldom-heard City of Delusion off BH&R.

    I wasn't obliged, and a kind of aimless tinkering filled the air for the better part of an hour. I was never so hooked on any melody that I stopped and had to know what was playing. I never felt challenged. I didn't feel like anything new or exciting was going on. And that makes me sad.
    Expand
  11. 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.
    Expand
  12. Oct 13, 2014
    5
    All the songs on the album are great, the only problem is that they sound nothing like each other, to the point where they could come from completely different bands. This album has no story or any connection between songs at all. However, I love songs like Animals and Explorers, so buy those if nothing else.
  13. Oct 4, 2012
    4
    It's not as bad as I thought it would be, but I realised after a while that I laughed my way between 'Follow Me' and both 'The 2nd Law' tracks. What was quite weird was, considering they're both title tracks, 'The 2nd Law' tracks don't feel like part of the album at all.
  14. Oct 2, 2012
    4
    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 theAppalling 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
  15. Oct 3, 2012
    4
    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 thisI 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
  16. Oct 2, 2012
    4
    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 tryingAs 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
  17. Aug 7, 2013
    4
    Supremacy and Panic Station are the two good tracks in this album. The rest are without a doubt their worst songs of all time. The vocals and lyrics in the lesser tracks are simply mediocre, some of the lyrics/songs are almost cheesy. As an album, few tracks share any form of similarity. The themes and messages in the songs are completely different.

    For a Muse album this is certainly
    Supremacy and Panic Station are the two good tracks in this album. The rest are without a doubt their worst songs of all time. The vocals and lyrics in the lesser tracks are simply mediocre, some of the lyrics/songs are almost cheesy. As an album, few tracks share any form of similarity. The themes and messages in the songs are completely different.

    For a Muse album this is certainly disappointing and mediocre at best.
    Expand
  18. Oct 3, 2012
    4
    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.
  19. Oct 3, 2012
    4
    First off, you guys don't have the best professional review on here: BPM! It's funny and pretty reflective of how Muse try to present themselves to their audience. This album is just the next in a long line of diminishing returns. The official song of the Olympics has a line that reads "vengeance is mine?" Seriously?
  20. Apr 8, 2014
    4
    an poor album, but don't leave the great work that doing the band, but is an poor album is the truth that I have to say, I know it hurts to say, but this album don't completing the expectatives of the band, I'm sorry for the fans of the good band
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]