November 23, 2012

Album Review: Muse 2nd Law

For the same reason Queen is one of my favorite bands, Muse is as well; it’s hard to clump them into one genre within rock. From orchestra filled moments, to edgy guitar riffs, and harmonizing with shades of Freddie Mercury and Brian May, Muse is one of the greatest modern rock bands out there.

They have sold over 15 million albums worldwide and they keep changing it up, so each album offers something different. 2nd Law is no exception to this rule. It may not be the usual five out of five stars, or whatever scale critics would like to use, but it’s a solid album nonetheless. This time they added the genres of dubstep with the tracks Unsustainable and Follow Me, and EDM to their list with the track Madness.

They didn’t inspire me on this album like their previous, but perhaps that’s because 1984 is my favorite book and The Resistance is essentially a soundtrack to that book. If there is one complaint I have on this album it’s that there seems to be a lack of continuity and focus, but I’m not complaining. Majority of the tracks are definitely worth listening to and Muse, yet again, pulled off a solid album that will provide listeners with enjoyable songs.

I have broken down each track and ranked them on a five star system.

1. Supremacy – 5/5

Excellent rough guitar riff mixed with orchestra like moments and brilliant lyrics, in other words the usual Muse, make this a great song and a great intro to their album.

2. Madness – 5/5

Love this song and yet another clear example of how Muse have many Queen like elements in many of their songs. One thing I have appreciated about Muse is that they are clearly inspired by Queen but still sound very original. In this song the sound of the guitar solo sounds almost identical to that of Brian Mays sound, I feel this song is a great tribute to Queen in many ways.

3. Panic Station – 4/5

It’s catchy and I like the bare bones rock sound that this track has.

4. Prelude – I don’t score these

5. Survival – 2/5

Okay, it was alright for the Olympics but I’m so used to brilliant lyrics and music from Muse that I just didn’t feel like this fit that mold; they really called this one in. When I listen to it I feel like I’m listening to a song that would be written for some rock opera in a high school.

6. Follow Me – 3/5

I like this track because Christopher Wolstenholme, the bassist, takes the lead vocals on this one and I like how it has elements of dubstep in it. I also feel like the lyrics are a little too simple and parts of the song sounds like it should be on the soundtrack of the Never Ending Story. But it’s still a good song.

7. Animals – 3/5

What the song lacks in the beginning they more than make up for in the second half.

8. Explorers – 5/5

This song is beautiful, simply put.

9. Big Freeze – 5/5

This song has great elements of rock and a great message in the lyrics, and even though it is very serious this song makes me want to dance and have fun and enjoy life; I love the feel of it. And trust me; I don’t often want to dance, so that’s saying something.

10. Save Me – 3/5

This is the second track where Christopher Wolstenholme takes the lead vocals and it’s the superior track between the two. I like this track because it’s not Muse-esque at all and is an interesting change and a pleasant tune to listen to. Fun fact; both of the tracks Wolstenhome sang on he also wrote, and they are about his battle with alcoholism.

11. Unsustainable – 1/5


12. Isolated – 1/5

This would be good in a movie, or perhaps a song that is played over the PA before Muse hits the stage, but not as a track on an album. If you have five minutes to spare, don’t use it listening to this song. But the video is kind of cool, kind of.

Image Credit: Muse

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