The 2nd Law Image

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

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 230 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: 49 out of 73
  2. Negative: 14 out of 73
  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. Mar 23, 2013
    The 2nd Law combines 13 completely different songs to create a surprisingly magnificent whole. Best songs are Follow Me, Animals, Explorers, Save Me and Liquid State. Collapse
  3. Aug 25, 2013
    On first listen, The 2nd Law will leave Muse fans gawking in shock; every song on the album has a unique sound, many of which are quite different from anything Muse has done in the past. However, the songs are as complex and infectious as ever, and many will only reveal their beauty on the second listen. It's an amazing work for fans to appreciate and newcomers to dive in through. Highlights include the popular single Madness, funk infused jam Panic Station, electronic ballad Follow Me, and U2 inspired Big Freeze.

    Be wary of irritated so-called "fans" who can't accept that Muse would rather experiment with genres than produce innumerable copies of Origin of Symmetry and Absolution.
  4. Oct 2, 2012
    This is one of those albums that has to grow on you before you like it. At first, The 2nd Law didn't strike a chord with me. It didn't seem as heavy as Muse's past records like Absolution and Black Holes & Revolutions. But after a second listen, I can say that this album has some amazing moments and some very good songs.

    Overall it has a Queen-U2-Depeche Mode kind of vibe.The opening track, "Supremacy," has a Led Zeppelin-esque style (it reminded me of their song "Kashmir"). "Madness" begins quietly with bass and samples, building up into a Queen-style climax. "Panic Station" (my personal favorite) is a heavy funk-driven track. The bombastic "Survival" (the 2012 Olympics anthem) is probably the only song on the album similar to "old" Muse. "Explorers" sounds very similar to "Invincible" from BH&R. "Save Me" and "Liquid State" are both sung by bassist Chris Wolstenholme. "The 2nd Law: Unsustainable" sees Matt Bellamy emulating dubstep via guitar (similar to what Tom Morello did in RATM by emulating turntables and synths via guitar), although the choppy, distorted vocals ruin the song.

    Most of the lyrics deal with personal subjects. "Madness" details a shaky relationship. "Follow Me" is about Bellamy's newborn son. "Save Me" and "Liquid State," the two songs sung by Wolstenholme, describe his dark experience with alcoholism. The final two songs, "The 2nd Law: Unsustainable" and "The 2nd Law: Isolated System," refer to the second law of thermodynamics (hence the name of the album).

    In conclusion, The 2nd Law is an album that takes a little while before one can appreciate it. It may not be as "in-your-face" as past Muse albums have been, but it is still an interesting record that can be enjoyed.
  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 73 User Reviews