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I'm still not seeing the Radiohead comparisons in Explorers :unsure:


Not sure why.


Some reviewers think that it sounds like "No Surprises", because of it's instrumentation (piano based song :rolleyes:). Add the proggy/post rock feeling of this song and general Radiohead comparisons to the mix and you have a rip-off.

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Pitchfork actually have quite a balanced, vitriol free review giving the album 5.5/10 (it's here if it hasn't been posted already).


The Pitchfork review is worth quoting here in it's entirety. The reviewer really nails it. :LOL:


When Muse released the "trailer" for The 2nd Law, it was the kind of preemptive shock tactic you typically expect from a record that has a lot riding on it. "MUSE GOES DUBSTEP!!!" created a minor firestorm, albeit one that was containable because it was utterly predictable. Of course Muse fans would storm the YouTube comment section with bloodthirsty vengeance. However you think Muse fits into the lineage of Queen or Rush musically, they've benefited greatly from establishing themselves as a last bastion of technically boastful and very popular prog-rock that's always implicitly held unkind attitudes toward synthesizer-based music. On the other hand, of course Muse would eventually glom onto EDM. It's the last frontier for a band that's only now integrating those sandworm basslines but whose music has always provided listeners with equivalents of "the drop"-- a glass-shattering falsetto run, Wagnerian crescendos, solos that are gunning for the one tab per month in Guitar World that's from the last decade. Having seemingly mastered all modes of excess, you'd think The 2nd Law would be Muse's unimpeachable triumph. It's not, and the problem isn't that Muse have gone too far... they haven't gone far enough.


Wait, this is Muse we're talking about, right? Hear me out, because the first half of The 2nd Law does indeed indicate that Muse have absolutely no interest whatsoever in staying within the boundaries of good taste. For about 45 seconds of "Supremacy", they actually sound like a real band, immediately after which hushed military snare rolls, chesty timpanis, and anticipatory string wells lead you to believe Matt Bellamy has unwittingly sauntered into a Michael Bay movie or Metallica's symphonic tragicomedy S&M. And titans shall clash as Bellamy speaks with the conviction of a man who is either going to tell us they'll never take our freedom or to release the kraken. With dramatic flair, he intones "your true emancipation is a fantasy," which... OK. But "the time..." Go on. "...it has come," that "it," perfect. "To destrooooyyyyyy..." Destroy what? Make sure you put your drink down as Bellamy screams "YOUR SUPREMACYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!" because all of a sudden having The 2nd Law only in audio form feels pathetically inadequate-- next time you will place it against footage from Starship Troopers, although the closest visual equivalent to this batshit moment is a dinosaur with a cowboy hat manning a F-15 and blowing evil aliens to bits while scoring the game-winning touchdown in the Super Bowl. That's not even the most ludicrous part-- wait until that bit of spy guitar comes in at the end, bearing no melodic resemblance to what just transpired and inferring Muse believes they've made their James Bond theme. No, really.


And that's the jumping off point for The 2nd Law, which wields its unlimited studio resources and chops like a stockpile of nuclear warheads, all implicit intimidation and explicit explosion. You think wimps like Purity Ring and James Blake are taking dubstep to stadium status? Peep the genius, stuttering hook and vacuuming bass of "Madness", which serves as a reminder that Muse's pop instinct has them and not Mars Volta headlining Coachella. "Panic Station" reimagines the Red Hot Chili Peppers as multimillionaires back in the "Fight Like a Brave" days, bolstering a pelvic bassline with the finest in gated Linn snares and fake orchestra hits. There's obviously a "Prelude" here, and because this is Muse, it's actually the fourth song, not the first. And "Survival" totally needs it.


"Survival" is by far the most ridiculous song on The 2nd Law, if not Muse's entire career, meaning it's the most successful. Just imagine Watch the (Game of) Throne(s) or if Queen tried to write "Ogre Battle" and "Bicycle Race" at the same damn time. As Jess Harvell noted in his review of The Resistance, Muse have an "us vs. them" perspective that's always fit well in the gamer lifestyle, and this one's for all the Mario Kart heads using Wario to troll the shit out of Princess Peach-- Bellamy bellows, "Life's a race! AND I'M GONNA WIN!" He's soon surrounded by a mock Greek chorus, hamming with operatic haughtiness, "I'll light the fuse, and I'll never lose." And you cross your fingers, sincerely hoping, "please Lord, make him rhyme it with Muse." He doesn't, and it's the first time Muse draw the line. At its best, The 2nd Law is sort of like spending a week in Dubai, the ostentatious excess is simultaneously offensive and weirdly comforting for its mere existence in this economically depressed state.


So what the hell happens? As you might be able to tell from song titles like "Save Me" and "Follow Me", Muse's insatiable quest for sonic largesse is anchored by an equally consumptive messianic streak. This in and of itself isn't much of a problem, seeing as how Muse do create superhero music. (Imagine Christopher Nolan roping in Bono to play Batman and you get an idea of where Bellamy is coming from.) Sure, they're capable of saving the world with their own two hands, but only out of a sense of grim, solemn duty that's recognizable only to adults who've aged out of wanting to be a superhero-- Bellamy's too damn sincere about the fate of the planet to go full-leotard, leaving no space for any humor, sex, or any escapism, really.


"Animals" and "Explorers" are anti-topical enough to leave something to the imagination, but it doesn't give you anything to work with either. They're also where Muse ditch the pyrotechnics for actual piano-tinkling prog and remind you that they're still not that far off from Showbiz, their charming debut of slavish OK Computer worship. You can see the iceage coming on "Big Freeze" from two towns over and every time Bellamy pushes for a higher note, you can imagine him being yelled at by a weightlifting spotter. By the time the trailer-leaked "The 2nd Law: Unsustainable" pops up toward the end, the panicked transmissions about our energy crises are handled as delicately as The Dark Knight Rises' Occupy Wall Street overtones and are every bit as enjoyable.


Truth be told, The 2nd Law superficially succeeds for the same reasons as that movie-- the whiz-bang technical effects and relentless soundtrack is overwhelming, a justification of "you gotta spend money to make money." 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. Sadly, there's a greater chance of Christian Bale dancing the "Batusi" than Bellamy writing a song about big asses for the hell of it. Both seem like a dead end or at least a point where, contrary to the cliché, if it gets any bigger, it will fail. When saving the world feels this much like a chore, you just wish for "Apocalypse Please".


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I've just... gotten bored of reading reviews. I didn't even bother with the second one. The first one vocalizes it's bias of Muse, including OoS and Abso, in the first sentence... brings up a valid point with influences... but then proceeds to only really complain about the two singles, which are probably the only songs they listened to all the way through.


I'm not saying everyone has to LIKE the album... but why can't someone write a negative review that isn't based in "I hate Muse. Always hated them. Therefore, this album is terrible?"

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Yeah I find reading reviews boring. I only read them before we got the album. Afterwards I stopped caring what reviewers say as I can make my own mind up. They usually just spout out a bunch of crap in any case.


I love reading and listening to interviews, hearing and reading what the band say, but apart from that, reading stuff in the media is quite dull.

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Posts created by new users that have links in them have to be approved by moderators. I've approved it for you. And that "review" is shit.


Wait... someone registered to post that?

I know I've been a bit fed up with reviews, but that... That read like a 5 year old boy's report on why My Little Pony has cooties. Who probably creamed his pants at his own genious M. Night Shyamalan ending.


In fact, that sort of read like everything M. Night Shyamalan has written after the Sixth Sense...

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  • 2 weeks later...

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