The 2nd Law

The 2nd Law Image
Metascore
70

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

User Score
6.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 291 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.
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. 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: 51 out of 85
  2. Negative: 14 out of 85
  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. 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 manyFrom 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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  3. Oct 4, 2012
    9
    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 plentyThey 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.
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  4. 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 'GetDecent 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. Expand
  5. 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 melodicProbably 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.
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  6. 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 fromAll 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. Expand
  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 85 User Reviews