The 2nd Law Image
Metascore
70

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

User Score
6.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 247 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: 52 out of 77
  2. Negative: 14 out of 77
  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. 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 unknownI 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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  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. 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. AsOoS 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. Expand
  6. 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 decidedAs 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
    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 77 User Reviews