The 2nd Law Image
Metascore
70

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

User Score
6.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 244 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 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 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 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 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
    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 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. Dec 17, 2012
    0
    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 77 User Reviews