Evolution of a band usually comes slow and steady as the existing style transforms into something new. Sometimes it works out well, other times not so much. When Muse come to evolution they throw everything into a stew and mix it all up. Mushrooms, chicken, peppers, chocolate, bananas, anything. And the anything stew tastes just so… like the 2nd Law. Anything goes.
The Resistance took the guitar ballads and made them into pop ballads, The 2nd Law has some of that too, but it also has dub step, a James Bond-esque theme and radio commentary. This is the Haribo Star Mix of albums and it works on varying levels. It doesn’t mesh together as a coherent whole, but it’s often exciting or excruciatingly painful to hear what’s about to come next. Depends what you thought of the last album. Resistance haters should get a bottle of whiskey at the ready to drown away the sound.
The new dub step sound actually manages to work well with Muse’s sound as seen in ‘Follow Me‘ and ‘The 2nd Law: Unsustainable‘, and ‘Supremacy‘ tries to keep some resemblance on what Muse used to be about, despite sounding like a rejected opener for a new Bond. Having Chris Wolstenholme take centre stage on ‘ Save Me‘ and ‘Liquid State‘, was a mistake though, as they make for a forgettable back-end of the album. He should keep to backing vocals. Or to drinking. Sorry.
The real offender of The 2nd Law however is ‘Survival‘. This piece of junk was the official song for the 2012 Olympics and it should have stayed running there and not stinking up the joint here with its post marathon sweat. It’s an anthem song which has those cheap lazy lyrics and that tacky over flamboyant style which go with the territory of money grabbing event music. It’s almost like a parody band rather than the real deal.
That aside, The 2nd Law ranges from decent (Explorers) to forgettable (I can’t remember…) and while they are sometimes sounding like Keane, U2 ,Queen or The Exorcist theme rather than Muse, Bellamy’s distinctive vocals manages to pull through.
An album to listen to when you want everything in one place. And you want it now.