Muse, I love you. You have truly done it again. The 2nd Law, readers, is an excellent album. It mixes their older musical style with musical styles that are entirely new to them. Added to this are themes consistent throughout many of their albums. I’m going to go through the album song by song, and give each song a rating out of 10.
This song had me hooked within the first couple of seconds. The guitar work is truly excellent here, and the trumpet adds a great effect. Dropping the volume, and losing the guitar and trumpet and replacing them with Matt Bellamy’s excellent voice and an awesome sounding snare drum roll and bass drum line makes the song even better. The choir in the background also gives Supremacy an added effect as it builds up to the chorus, which brings back both the trumpet and guitar. Dropping the volume again for the second was good as well, but the highlight of the second verse is the trumpet fanfare. And the frantic guitar solo is simply amazing. And finally, this song is also great lyrically.
Madness, one of the singles, was one of the reasons I was so excited for this album. The synthesizers are great, as is the drum line. Lyrically, this song is awesome, and is a great analogy, comparing love to madness. It’s great. I also love how the song slowly builds, with the inclusion of new sounds as it goes. It starts with just Matt Bellamy’s vocals, percussion, and synthesizers, but adds bass guitar as well as lead guitar, leading up to an awesome guitar solo. The solo, which gradually crescendos, leads into the best part of the song, adding a choir and piano, as well as a backing vocalist to the instruments and vocalists already present in the song.
3. Panic Station
The intro guitar stomp hooked me on this song. Adding Matt Bellamy’s voice, as well as percussion and a well defined baseline, relatively quickly is a great effect. Adding a drum machine sound that probably isn’t a drum machine in the second verse is awesome. And the trumpet fanfare? How awesome. The lyrics are awesome as well, especially the chorus. Overall, it’s just a really awesome song, though not as good as the first two.
4. Prelude + Survival
The orchestral intro to this song is extremely awesome, and sounds really great, especially since it slowly builds up, adding an excellent effect. And then it goes into a piano riff (I guess that’s what you’d call it) and a choir, before that goes into the background. And what does it make way for? Matt Bellamy. The lyrics in this song are awesome, and it is a really motivational song about winning and prevailing. The guitar riff, with the choir chant in the background is great as well. And then it transitions into Matt Bellamy chanting “It’s a race! But I’m gonna win!” Obviously, “race” is an analogy for life. And that is a masterful analogy. It makes sense, and it comes across really well, contributing to the theme of the song, which is life. The added guitar and drum work is also awesome, and makes for an awesome song.
5. Follow Me
This song reminds me a lot of U2. And that is a very good thing in my book. The violin at the beginning that backs up Matt Bellamy’s voice is awesome. The beat of this song is great, and gets better as the synthesizers are added in, creating an awesome sound. It picks up about halfway through, both in volume and speed, with an excellent drum line that slowly crescendos and goes into something extremely surprising. That surprise? Dubstep. Yes, dubstep. And, much like on KoRn’s Path of Totality, it works, and actually adds to the song. It’s awesome. really awesome. There is also a guitar, but it takes a back seat to some of the other sounds. Which is OK, since those sounds make “Follow Me” a really, really great song, both musically and lyrically.
The piano intro is great. Slowly, more instruments are added, beginning with the rhythm section, which creates a great beat, and then the guitar. Though soft, the guitar work is great. Bellamy’s voice, as usual, is also great. The message of this song is great, comparing humans to animals and asking people to “kill themselves and do us all a favor”. The lyrics are masterful, and they, along with the music, create an awesome mood. And then, there’s the guitar solo. A crescendo in both the guitar and bass guitar leads into the guitar solo, which, in turn, leads into the last few lines of the songs. And then the guitar builds into another awesome solo, with added sounds of people yelling. Drums are added to this, and the song crescendos into the end, creating a great effect. Both the musical and lyrical styles of this song are simply excellent.
This is yet another great song. This song is clearly a space rock song, about, well, exploring other worlds. This ballad is masterfully done, especially musically. The rhythm is excellent, and Matt Bellamy gets the rhythm across in his singing, which is masterfully backed by a choir, as well as an excellent percussion section and a great violin part. All of these fuse together to create a song that excels musically. The theme of the song also comes across clearly, about exploring a world where humans really shouldn’t have gone. The mood is perfect, and is contributed to both by the music and lyrics. A classic, no doubt.
8. Big Freeze
Big Freeze is decidedly different from the rest of the album. The guitar opening is reminiscent of U2’s The Joshua Tree. The use of crescendos in this song is great, starting soft, and building up, especially in the excellent guitar line. The chorus adds an awesome bass line that stands out above the guitar, which is great. The lyrics are also awesome, as a Big Freeze obviously represents a war. The line “We’ve destroyed something beautiful” stuck out to me, and, put in context, is referring to a person’s life. What a great analogy. And the guitar solo? Though it is brief, it is awesome. This is one of the standout songs on the album, and, like Explorers and Supremacy, is a classic.
9. Save Me
Save Me is, surprise surprise, another awesome song. It’s a combination of Explorers and Madness, taking the musical style from explorers and adding similar lyrical themes to that of Madness. The line “Run away and take me with you” is great, and well it may not seem like such a special line, the way in which it is sung is great, and just wowed me. All in all, Save Me is a great song, but not the albums strongest, as it feels and sound like some of the albums earlier songs.
10. Liquid State
Liquid State’s guitar intro is excellent. I knew right off the bat that this was, above all else, a rock song. It sounds like it could have been on the Foo Fighter’s Wasting Light or any of the Queens of the Stone Age albums, to be honest. And it even sounds like it could be Dave Grohl’s voice. But it’s awesome, and it is clearly about a struggle with alcohol, but could as easily be about a struggle with anything else. It’s the heaviest song on the album, and easily one of the best.
11. The 2nd Law: Unsustainable
This is an excellent songs. The orchestra in the beginning is awesome, with a great violin part, and an excellent low brass section. Add to this the choir and an awesome trumpet section, and this makes for an awesome addition to the mood. The song is about our waste of resources, and goes from someone talking about it with the orchestra in the background, to an all out dubstep song. And it sounds amazing. From here, it goes into a classic muse guitar part, and then back to dubstep. What this song is is classic Muse, but with debstep. It’s great, especially the talking, and giving us facts as to why our current style of living is unsustainable. I honestly cannot put into words how very, very awesome this song is.
12. The 2nd Law: Isolated System
Isolated system is extremely similar to Unsustainable. There is no dubstep, but other than that the two are quite similar. Instead of an orchestra intro, it has a slightly less awesome, but still amazing, piano intro. Synthesizers are added to this, giving it a pounding beat that is awesome. Instead of someone simply talking about issues, Muse has cut excerpts from news clips and put them into this song, to a piano backing. And, man, it’s really awesome, especially the mood that it creates. It goes soft again, and then picks up with an excellent bass sound, and the pounding rhythm returns to the fold. A choir and guitar are added, and make this song a lot better. And then it goes to the same female voice talking, which is really cool, and then it gets softer. Being essentially one song, I can overlook the repetition between Isolated System and Unsustainable, and recognize them both for being the awesome songs that they are.
Dabbling in a few music styles, such as jazz, dusbtep, and, of course, rock, The 2nd Law is an awesome album, and easily matches the epic scale of all of their other albums It is an extremely awesome album, and I simply cannot put into words how good it really is. My final rating is: 10/10
This is an awesome album. If you haven’t listened to it, please, do yourself a favor and listen to it as soon as possible. Once you’ve given it a listen, tell me your opinion in the comments below!