Muse Mixes It Up With The 2nd Law
by: Katie Grimmer
October 3, 2012
Muse is best known for many things in their musical career. In the beginning they were known for being the poor-man’s Radiohead (which is incredibly false). More recently they are known for each album sounding completely unique from the former ones.
In their recent sixth studio album, The 2nd Law, each song is individual. The album seems to be influenced by an eclectic, if not unexpected, mix of Stevie Wonder, Skrillex and (of course) Queen. Matt Bellamy, lead vocals and guitarist, once again wrote all but two of the songs.
The 2nd Law refers to the second law of thermodynamics,
“All natural and technological processes proceed in such a way that the availability of the remaining energy decreases. In all energy exchanges, if no energy enters or leaves an isolated system, the entropy of that system increases. Energy continuously flows from being concentrated, to becoming dispersed, spread out, wasted and useless. New energy cannot be created and high-grade energy is being destroyed. An economy based on endless growth is unsustainable.”
The first single, “Survival,” was chosen to be the Official Song of the 2012 Summer Olympics and it is one of the stronger tracks on the record. A 58 second “Prelude” plays right before the Queen-esque song begins, resembling “Knights of Cydonia” with the operatic vocals and strong guitar solo.
“Panic Station,” supposedly their next single, is influenced by funk rock. It mixes the best 70s music with the worst 90s music, but in the strange Bellamy-style, it works.
This is the first time bassist Chris Wolstenholme has written and performed the lead vocals for the two songs, “Save Me” and “Liquid State.” Unfortunately “Liquid State” is one of the weaker tracks on the album, maintaining a grunge-rock sound that the band can’t seem to pull off.
Similar to The Resistance, the last two songs on The 2nd Law more or less blend into each other. “The 2nd Law: Unsustainable” and “The 2nd Law: Isolated System” mix dubstep and piano solos with the aforementioned definition of the second law and broadcast clips.
The best tracks on the album include “Prelude” with “Survival,” “Follow Me” — which was written about Bellamy’s newborn son, Bingham Bellamy — and “Animal.” The tracks that seem to be lacking a special Muse quality are “Explorers” and “Big Freeze.”
There may be Muse fans who are disappointed by The 2nd Law. But this is what Muse does: they experiment with their music and get it right (practically) every time.