CD: Muse - The 2nd Law | New music reviews, news & interviews
CD: Muse - The 2nd Law
The world's most brilliantly preposterous band set the amps to stun
Muse have spent their careers becoming Muse. With each album they have consolidated their most obvious influences – Radiohead, Queen, U2, various prog and metal, widescreen science fiction visions and paranoia on a global scale – more and more, until by the time of 2009's self-produced Resistance and its attendant sold-out stadium shows they stood completely alone as the world's most brilliantly preposterous band.
But where to go from that culmination of all they'd worked towards? There was only one answer, and thankfully it's the one they've chosen: become MORE MUSE. If you're the band that has already turned everything up to eleven, then get them to build you machines that go up to A HUNDRED AND ELEVEN. Thus The 2nd Law, which is just ludicrous on every front. From “Panic Station”, which somehow wrestles with Faith No More, Franz Ferdinand and Simple Minds simultaneously and still comes out on top, to the Olympic theme “Survival”, which sounds like The Darkness if they genuinely were vengeful Norse gods with Carl Orff doing their arrangements instead of an end-of-the-pier drag act, it is as big, explosive and gloriously silly as rock music has ever been.
It is, of course, some kind of concept album, though whether there's actually a narrative to the themes of chaos, control, societal collapse and totalitarianism is beyond me. It doesn't matter one jot, because it's purely about the force and garishness of the ideas: they are just more bigger, brasher, bolder elements to add to the stew, just like the slithering dubstep bass synths on the title track or the skyscraper-sized lightshows in Muse's live performance. All is precisely as it could be; the only concern is where they go from here. Expect them to be firing lasers from the moon by 2013.
Watch the official video for "Survival"
Subscribe to theartsdesk.com
Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 7,000 pieces, we're asking for £2.95 per month or £25 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.
To take an annual subscription now simply click here.
And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?
more New music
Rock and pop’s fascination with realms beyond the Earth’s atmosphere
Ancient Australian combo defy the odds and turn it up to 11
The pithy princess of femme-pop on affable rather than thrilling form
Rocket-fuelled groove-jazzers take off into sonic space
Clowes' third album condenses and refines her exquisite control of instrumental colour
Leicester's finest may not be critical sweethearts but, in concert, they smash it
Newer songs have their subtleties quashed by the demands of rock's big tent
Compelling arrangements breath new life into classic material
A jazz festival finale of rare brilliance
An exciting new chapter in award-winning artist's development
Mind Fair take us for a wild, psychedelic ride on their debut album
Hypnotic acoustic Malian grooves for the closing day of the EFG London Jazz Festival