Looking back it’s still strange to think that Teignmouth in Devon would be the place to produce a band with a penchant for surprises every time they churn out a new album. Still, after over 18 years in existance anyone who has tried to bag some Muse tickets for their succesful megashows will be aware that the trio’s popularity show’s no sign of diminishing.

For their  6th studio album ‘The 2nd Law‘ the band has taken several risks and generally ignored any criticism levelled at them by the music press at large and a fraction of their fans who may have mistaken the eclecticism on display on this thirteen track effort with a lack of a coherent musical project.

If anything this album proves that there is a fine line between eclecticism and flair and that it’s all in the eye of the listener. The fact remains that this last ouvre ranges from very light super radio friendly single such as “Madness“, reminiscent of George Michael‘s “Faith“, or “Panic Station” which could easily be an outtake from Queen‘s ‘The Game‘ or ‘Hot Space‘ albums.

It’s hard to know if the band are being serious with the classic sounding and super pompous, “Survivial” which got it’s fair share of airplay during this summer’s London Olympic Games and particularly the closing ceremony. Elsewhere album opener “Supremacy; a Big Freeze” feels like a track U2 acidentally left behind in the early 90’s (Muse of course opened the latest American dates of the 360 ° tour).

Let’s not forget the 5/4 timing they picked for “Animals“or the Skrillex-lite dubstep of “Unsustainable” (did we really need this?) or even the vocal debut of bassist Chris Wolstenholme who jumps right in successfully on two tracks like the inspired “Save Me” and stoner like “Liquid State“. The album final moments are entrusted to the disturbing and apocalyptic instrumental “The 2nd Law: Isolated System”  which will likely be used as the intro of the next highest grossing tour.

If ‘The 2nd Law’ is a celebration of the second law of thermodynamics, or the theory of chaos, surely the Muse can justify the incredible musical entropy present among the 13 tracks on this effort. Perhaps the critics will stop taking it so seriously someday.

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Post by Mario

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TRACKS:

The 2nd Law - Muse