This is less an album, and more like a mixtape filled with mini meditations of musical movements.
What Muse have done is re-establish themselves as a respected British institution by being fun.
The 13 tracks lack some focus and cohesion, weakening what should be a limitless, quasi-spiritual slice of rock and roll transcendence.
On their sixth album, The 2nd Law, they continue to shake things up, diving deeper into the electronic rabbit hole as they experiment with a sound that's less reliant on Matthew Bellamy's guitar heroics, resulting in an album that's a bit of a mixed bag.
The 2nd Law is a love-it-or-hate-it record. It contains some of the best songs Muse has done in recent memory, but also the worst.
The problem is that it's not any fun at all, and the "message" feels like an unnecessary overcompensation for the campy streak that draws people into this kind of comic-book stuff in the first place.
What was a forgiveable indulgence on previous albums now just seems to highlight the absense of new ideas.
What the band has created on The 2nd Law is the musical equivalent of a massive-budget action film: men blowing shit up just because they can, a forced romantic subplot, and above all, the ego required to believe one band can save the world.
You were delusional if you thought for one moment that this album would be anything other than what it is: a bunch of friends making the music they've wanted to for a while.
Their genre-hopping, ostensibly the signifier of their artistic maturity, is in actuality the most concise description of their fatal flaw.
|# 45 -||Drowned in Sound|