The 2nd Law

The 2nd Law Image
Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 30 Critics What's this?

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7.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 344 Ratings

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  • Summary: The sixth album for the British rock band features bassist Chris Wolstenholme on lead vocals for two tracks he wrote.
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Top Track

Madness
I, I can't get these memories out of my mind And some kind of madness has started to evolve I, I tried so hard to let you go But some kind of madness... See the rest of the song lyrics
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 30
  2. Negative: 0 out of 30
  1. Oct 1, 2012
    92
    Muse fans will have a hard time being disappointed by "The 2nd Law," and rookies have a new perfect place to jump in.
  2. Oct 2, 2012
    80
    The scale [on The 2nd Law] is such that you have to stand back in a kind of addled awe. Much in the same way that you might regard a 75ft-high luminous pink pissing flamingo water feature; you have to admire the size of the ambition and the craftsmanship, even if it's not something you'd necessarily want at your own house.
  3. Mojo
    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]
  4. Sep 28, 2012
    70
    The array of musical styles on show across The 2nd Law means that, like many of this band's past albums, it doesn't entirely coalesce into a seamless collection of songs... But when this album works, it works well.
  5. Oct 16, 2012
    60
    Listeners may scratch their heads over the album in whole; but open minds will discover that the beauty of the standalone tracks saves The 2nd Law from total combustion.
  6. Oct 1, 2012
    60
    Though not all of the band's experiments necessarily pay off, the album feels like a worthy proving ground for the ideas that will take the band boldly into the future.
  7. Sep 27, 2012
    40
    This isn't an album; it's a series of OCD thoughts thrown together in passing, the only sense of cohesion coming during a rare chance for bassist Chris Wolstenholme to take centre stage on vocals.

See all 30 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 56 out of 91
  2. Negative: 13 out of 91
  1. 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.
  2. Sep 6, 2013
    10
    All the age old Muse fans will cringe and moan about how the album is not "real muse", but really, the album is excellent! Electric Rock is aAll the age old Muse fans will cringe and moan about how the album is not "real muse", but really, the album is excellent! Electric Rock is a really tricky genre to meddle into and Muse is one of the few bands to have done it right. Songs like Follow Me and Madness show the careful and intricate production that Muse have mastered over the years, while Supremacy, Panic Station and Animals deliver the classic Muse melodies and guitar riffs! The two Instrumentals, Unsustainable and Isolated System are the exact opposite of the 3-part symphony in The Resistance, as they exhibit the far ends of the electronic prowess that Muse tried to accomplish and succeeded in my opinion.
    So really, i am a Muse fan since Absolution, and everyone needs to grow up and accept that a band ventures and experiments with different music and all albums cant be like your old time favourites. Muse has incredibly shown their growth with The 2nd Law and it only makes me more excited for their future works, along with giving me, what is arguably the best Muse song ever, Madness!
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  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 beWhile 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. 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 theMuse'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
  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 theAfter 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. 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 problemWith 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.
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  7. Oct 3, 2012
    0
    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.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. Expand

See all 91 User Reviews