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 10,000 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
A drippy, if anthemic, second date with the latest teen dreams
Live-show charisma lifts anodyne material
A night of highs as the US rock band tackle 'Low'
Music that surfs the elation of post-colonial freedom
What are the elements that make up Einaudi's music?
Nostalgia and nonsense on Irish siblings' big return
Mammoth, warts-and-all compendium of what the Seventies superstar got up to behind closed doors
All-star trio delivers meticulously crafted performances of new material
Grand piano man in solo mode
The Sheffield soft rockers are back - just be careful which songs you download
London rockers deliver an object lesson in buzzy, contagious guitar pop
Multifaceted performer on the Mercury Prize and musical humanity