This isn’t a dubstep album. Just thought I’d get that out of the way from the beginning. And yes, dear readers, thanks to all of the moaning and whining at the presumed wobble bass future for this, I was really expecting a few dozen bass drops. So fear not, fans of Muse, this album is not what everyone thought it was; it is, however, all over the place.
Throughout the years, Muse have really
stopped trying to sound like Thom Yorke come into their own. While it is not what everyone thought it would be, The 2nd Law really is a departure from their usual fare.
The first track “Supremacy” is the one song on this album that I think is typical Muse. It still has a different feel to it, though, being much heavier than usual. Fans will probably enjoy this very much.
The next track, “Madness,” gets electronic. That’s right (cue shock music), there is wobble bass in the background of this track. Now before everyone gets all upset, let me tell you, it’s one of my favourite tracks on the album. Though I’m sure people will find it completely shocking that a BRITISH band that came from a place that has been incorporating wobble bass into its music for years has included this instrument. Out of nowhere this song almost becomes a power-ballad toward the end. Pretty interesting to listen to.
“Panic Station” sounds like a Queen song at first, and then starts sounding like a song by the The Killers. Seriously. I have no idea what is going on with this song, but it’s kind of fun to listen to. One of the album’s highlights and extremely different for not only the band but the whole album.
It’s next up that the album starts getting a little strange(er). “Prelude” preludes the next track but would it technically be an interlude? Anyway, the next track “Survival” is what you might expect from Muse, but more grandiose than usual – much more. “Follow Me” sounds like a modern ’80s song, and not in a good way. The album continues its downward spiral with the next track “Animals.”
“Explorers” perks things up a bit with its catchy melody, but sounds a bit out of place. Take that statement with a grain of salt. At this point in the album, every track sounds out of place. It lightens the tone and drops some of the darker programming heard in other tracks.
“Big Freeze” then proceeds to bring back the funk that had been missing since “Madness,” and then gets a little ’80s again. After this is “Save Me,” a track which is beyond saving. While the guitar and rhythms are very nice on the track, something has been done to the vocals that makes them obnoxious to hear. This is followed by “Liquid State,” which is the most alt-rock sounding track on here. You will in all likelihood forget about this track as soon as the last two tracks play.
Now for the finale, and that dreaded dubstep song that got everyone so worked up. “The 2nd Law: Unsustainable” has that typical Muse programming, followed by a woman who explains the second law of thermodynamics, yada yada yada, “an economy based on endless growth is unsustainable (BASS DROP).” This song isn’t for everybody. If you like dubstep, you can do much better. If you like Muse… well, you might hate it. Closer “The 2nd Law: Isolated System” is a bunch of programming, and is okay.
Now, let’s get down to business. You may be wondering if I actually liked this album or not. The answer is: I don’t know. Some songs I enjoyed very much, some I just hated. Does this collection of songs work together as an album and go with the theme they created but never got into until the last track? Absolutely not. This seems like one of those love-it-or-hate-it kind of albums. I’ll give it a 7, simply because after almost a dozen listens, I still just don’t know. I figure that’s the vaguest score on the board.