Muse’s experimentation alienates fans
Published: Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 3, 2012 23:10
The British rock band, Muse ,released their sixth studio album, “The 2nd Law” on Oct. 2, 2012. Unfortunately, “The 2nd Law” is not as good as their previous Grammy-winning album, “The Resistance.”
Muse, whose band members consist of Matthew Bellamy (lead vocals and guitar), Christopher Wolstenholme (bass), and Dominic Howard (drums), incorporates different elements of music, like dubstep, electronic, and pop, into their songs on “The 2nd Law.” Although it is important for a band to continue to explore new territory in order to survive, they stray from what made them a truly fantastic rock band, but that doesn’t mean there are not a few gems on the album.
Arguably the best song on the album, the track “Supremacy,” is gigantic in feel and can be easily recognizable as a Muse song. Being the first track off the album, it sets a tone that would be similar to a James Bond movie. There are huge orchestrated sections of the song that fit perfectly with the lyrics and Bellamy’s voice matches the orchestra excellently.
The next track on the album is “Madness.” This is the first glimpse of Muse attempting to explore new territory and in this instance it works. Initially the song sounds strange, starting off pretty slow with Bellamy stuttering the word madness. However, it builds over the course of the song and when it finally reaches the crescendo, Bellamy gives all he has vocally, making the song memorable and a highlight on the album.
However, the next track on the album, “Panic Station,” is where Muse’s exploration of new territory takes a turn toward the bizarre. The song sounds like a combination of David Bowie, Stevie Wonder, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers (with how the bass sounds), which they are not used to. Muse forgets their identity on this track and it seems as though the band is trying too hard to be different, leaving dedicated fans scratching their heads. This does not make it a bad song; it just does not fit with Muse’s identity.
One of the singles they released for the Summer Olympics 2012 was the song “Survival.” The song’s lyrics are not very creative, but it was trying to fit the themes of athletic competition, so that is understandable. However, the song is trying too hard to be large, ornate, and exciting like a Queen song from the 1970s (however, Queen succeeded at doing that). The background vocals, for instance, do not seem to fit into the song, and it fails at “exciting,” which is the purpose of the song.
The other songs off the album are good, but fall short of memorable, such as tracks like “Animals” and “Big Freeze.” Other tracks, Muse also experiments with an electronic sound such as in “Follow Me” and in the dubstep song “Unsustainable.” The problem with “The 2nd Law” is that it is almost an hour long and there are only a few songs on the album worth remembering (“Supremacy” and “Madness”). Therefore, the album is a disappointment.
Similar to the downfall of their main influence, Queen, Muse tries too hard to stay relevant in a culture dominated by electronics and pop. Though there are still hard rock songs on “The 2nd Law” that had gained Muse a following, their experimentation with new territory leaves much to be desired.