The 2nd Law Image

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

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 233 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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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: 50 out of 74
  2. Negative: 14 out of 74
  1. Oct 2, 2012
    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
    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.
  3. Oct 3, 2012
    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 to Muse. Well done chaps! Expand
  4. Feb 7, 2013
    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 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
  5. Dec 17, 2012
    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 not what you'd come to expect from Muse. Expand
  6. Oct 3, 2012
    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 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
  7. Dec 17, 2012
    This is one of the worst things I've ever heard. What a piece of c**p. Lobotomized Muse fans and payed music critics can say what the hell they want: this is a piece of s***t Expand

See all 74 User Reviews