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The 2nd Law
Muse The 2nd Law
Released 28 September 2012
Producer(s) Muse, Nero
Label Warner Music
Length 53:27
Genre Alternative
Website muse.mu

It’s big, it’s bold, it’s completely over the top – it’s The 2nd Law – the sixth album by the stadium fillers and Devon three piece Muse. It’s like a massive Hollywood sci-fi blockbuster, it’s all action, all big guitar sounds and big beats but ultimately lacks any real depth.

You have to admire Matt Bellamy and co for adding something new to their sound but this just manages to sound like everyone else. There are massive ‘80s influences throughout especially the guitar solo in the incredibly catchy lead single 'Madness' which is basically the same as Brian May’s on Queen’s 'I Want to Break Free'. The third track here 'Panic Station' is exactly the same as 'Suicidal Blonde' by INXS.

Opening track 'Supremacy' has huge drums, huge bass lines and a string section that would see this as the perfect Bond soundtrack. The aforementioned 'Madness' is my favourite track here. It’s quite sexy with its funky bass sound and haunting backing vocals.

Things start to relax slightly more for the instrumental 'Prelude' which blends nicely into the London 2012 Olympics song 'Survival' on which Matt Bellamy croons, "It’s a race and I’m gonna win, I choose to survive, whatever it takes" before another huge guitar solo and drum burst from Dom Howard. 'Follow Me' is quiet a pop sounding track, very radio friendly. Matt Bellamy’s vocals sound a little like Brandon Flowers in places. There are some more INXS comparisons on the guitar intro to 'Big Freeze' which turns out to be another version of 'Undisclosed Desires' from Muse’s previous 2009 album The Resistance.

It’s not until 'Save Me' and 'Liquid State' that we really see the effects of Muse trying to change their sound. The band’s bassist Chris Wolstenholme takes over singing duties on both these tracks to brilliant effect. 'Save Me' is a slower song with gentle vocals accompanied by some plucked guitar and keyboards which builds into a Beach Boys style harmony. 'Liquid State' couldn’t be any different. It’s a bit more Muse-like with its Queens of the Stone Age style riff.

The last  two songs (if that what you’d actually call them) 'Unsustainable' and 'Isolated System' are a bit of a mess really. A little bit too over the top for me really. Matt’s moaning groan over the dub-step beats on 'Unsustainable' are just ridiculous. 'Isolated System' is just some sci-fi dialogue over some piano chords. This is more like a interlude than an actual song. Probably best to have left these off altogether really. They do the album no favours at all.

As a whole though I thought this was quite a fun album but with a little too many similarities to other bands. Maybe if they just went their own way, cut out the filler at the end, it would have been a lot better.

- Leon Byrne