Muse’s last album, “The Resistance,” released in 2009, somewhat eerily predicted the political unrest the world would soon experience. Songs like “Uprising” and “Unnatural Selection” seemed purposefully built for the Arab Spring and Occupy movements. The band’s new album, “The 2nd Law,” touches on these themes, but the political references seem to take a backseat to a more personal subject matter.
Avid Muse fans were concerned when lead singer Matt Bellamy alluded to the album’s dubstep influence during the recording process. Thankfully, that was an overstatement. While “The 2nd Law” samples some electro elements, it’s a far cry from a Skrillex album.
Album opener “Supremacy” is a Bond theme just waiting to happen. The track kicks off with dramatic string and trumpet fanfare complete with a menacing bass line. It doesn’t take long for Bellamy to kick in the vocal distortion effects when he shrieks, “The time, it has come to destroy your supremacy.”
This album represents something of a departure from the rest of Muse’s catalog. Besides the heavier electro influence, the lyrics of “The 2nd Law” reflect more personal experiences rather than the overarching political themes the band is known for.
Bassist Chris Wolstenholme lays out his struggles with alcoholism on “Save Me” and “Liquid State.” Wolstenholme wrote both songs — the only two known Muse tracks where he is the principal singer. “Save Me” is remarkably softer in nature compared to most Muse tracks, as it features ambient interlocking guitar lines. “Liquid State” shatters this tranquility and is a return to Muse’s harder guitar-centric tendencies.
Even though “The 2nd Law” does experiment with different styles, it should not be difficult for both casual and hardcore Muse fans to make the jump and appreciate many of the album’s tracks.
Overall rating: 3 stars
Muse released their sixth studio album ‘The 2nd Law.’