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How would you change The 2nd Law?


Niall
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I think it's safe to safe some of us aren't entirely satisfied with how the album turned out. That's not to say it's bad, but that we think there could be a few changes as to how it went.

 

This is my idea for how the album could have been made a lot better very simply...the track list should have been changed a lot, to this:

 

Unsustainable

Prelude

Survival

Madness

Follow Me

Save Me

Explorers

Liquid State

Panic Station

Big Freeze

Animals

Supremacy

Isolated System

 

There's a few reasons why I think this would have worked better. Firstly putting Unsustainable first makes a much bigger statement about the album. It's the first introduction we had to the new material, and it completely sets the scene for the album as the prologue. The news reporter is reading out the albums central theme and thesis. The following songs then play out as the views and lives of people navigating their way through the unsustainable system we're presented with. You go to Survival which is all about being the best and quashing the competition. It's very Darwinian and is basically the antithesis of the songs that follow it. Madness is up front as the lead singles usually are. Follow Me and Save Me follow as two different perspectives, a person saving and other needing to be saved, and it promotes Chris's material to the middle of the album rather than clumped together at the end. Liquid State picks up the paces after Explorers. Animals and Supremacy serve as reflections on how the album began. Supremacy is the complete antithesis of Survival: it's all about sacrificing your power, and of course Animals preceding it is all about the corruption that can come about from a mindset like the one in Survival, and Supremacy serves as the big closing song of the album, with the epilogue of Isolated System representing the "drifting away from the planet and going into the peacefulness".

 

If you've seen the film Romeo+Juliet you'll be familiar with the news reporter reading in and out of the film as pro/epilogue and I thought Unsustainable and IS would have been so much better if used exactly like that. The current track list just doesn't work for me. You don't hear Matt sing a single word for the last 4 tracks of music. It's a 19 minute section of music that essentially doesn't even sound like Muse, which is bizarre and I find it a bit alienating.

 

Anyway, please do listen to the album next time in the order I gave and see what you think, because I really think it works a lot better like this.

 

How would you have changed it? Would you drop some songs completely, break the album into EPs? Or if you'd leave it exactly the same why would you?

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Agree with fixing the track order.

 

The album feels too long, IMO. Some of the songs could have been left for an EP release a few months down the track. That might change with a reorder, but it's hard to reorder these.

 

Fix some of the production oddities, tone down some of the more extreme flourishes in favour of the basics.

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The muse board is about the only place I've not seen it universally caned. Controversial, but I feel Muse should have quit while they're ahead. Everything just sounds like an embarrassing copy of something else - it's too hard to swallow anymore.

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The muse board is about the only place I've not seen it universally caned. Controversial, but I feel Muse should have quit while they're ahead. Everything just sounds like an embarrassing copy of something else - it's too hard to swallow anymore.

 

So...

 

what would you change about it?

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So...

 

what would you change about it?

 

Change?

Matt's song writing has gone down the pan. Everything fresh, dynamic and exciting about Muse's music is gone. So, uh the opposite of that.

 

The riffs are stale and unoriginal. Some more thought needs to go into them.

 

Matt's vocals are completely ridiculous. Why are they so forced and contrived? His melodramatic howl has always split people but at least it used to be natural.

 

I'd be more subtle. Muse could get away with making OTT symphonic rock but OTT electropop? It doesn't sound right. At all.

 

As for the dubstep, which is gracefully kept to a minimum, it sounds like they've literally heard a few seconds of Skrillex and thought "feck it, we could do that." If they're gonna incorporate new influences, they need to invest themselves in that style of music, see what works from it and what doesn't. Instead they just plunged in without a paddle.

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As for the dubstep, which is gracefully kept to a minimum, it sounds like they've literally heard a few seconds of Skrillex and thought "feck it, we could do that." If they're gonna incorporate new influences, they need to invest themselves in that style of music, see what works from it and what doesn't. Instead they just plunged in without a paddle.

 

If you're talking about Follow Me, I agree.

 

If you're talking about Unsustainable, you're an idiot.

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Easy, I'd get rid of Unsustainable and Isolated System and replace them with two amazing new tracks. I'd also ask Chris to shorten Save Me and work a little more on Liquid State, to make it a bit more memorable somehow - maybe a little less heavy and more melodic. I'd also either get rid of Prelude or attach it to the beginning of Survival - as it is now, it's just a waste of a track number.

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Change?

Matt's song writing has gone down the pan. Everything fresh, dynamic and exciting about Muse's music is gone. So, uh the opposite of that.

 

The riffs are stale and unoriginal. Some more thought needs to go into them.

 

Matt's vocals are completely ridiculous. Why are they so forced and contrived? His melodramatic howl has always split people but at least it used to be natural.

 

I'd be more subtle. Muse could get away with making OTT symphonic rock but OTT electropop? It doesn't sound right. At all.

 

As for the dubstep, which is gracefully kept to a minimum, it sounds like they've literally heard a few seconds of Skrillex and thought "feck it, we could do that." If they're gonna incorporate new influences, they need to invest themselves in that style of music, see what works from it and what doesn't. Instead they just plunged in without a paddle.

 

I agree about the dubstep. I think it was really really unnecessary. I was also expecting more mind blowing riffs from them and yet the absence didn't really bother me. I still enjoyed the album. I chose not to take it too seriously. It's clearly an experimental album. That's fine to me. It doesn't have to be classic Muse to be good. I've always felt like Muse was first and foremost a progressive band. You may feel like The 2nd Law is the opposite but in my opinion experimental is always good, always progressive. And THAT is Muse at it's roots. I enjoy Muse the most when they're funky and different even if it's hit or miss.

 

What grinds my gears the most is when they churn out the same "epic stadium rock songs with ok riffs" everyone seems to want. That sound was new and fresh in the BH&R era and yeah, they'll probably always incorporate some of that element but The 2nd Law is by far the most interesting sounding of all the contemporary albums. Without a doubt better than The Resistance. It's aroused my interest in them as musicians again.

 

Edit: The album could have benefited from some structure. It didn't flow together at all. That would probably be my number one complaint aside from Liquid State.

Edited by Moriah
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Change?

Matt's song writing has gone down the pan. Everything fresh, dynamic and exciting about Muse's music is gone. So, uh the opposite of that.

 

I agree to some extent with you. Most of the songs are hit or miss (for me).

Chris' songs are not too bad. Liquid State is short and heavy. :yesey:

 

The riffs are stale and unoriginal. Some more thought needs to go into them.

 

No, I enjoy the riffs in Supremacy and Animals.

 

Matt's vocals are completely ridiculous. Why are they so forced and contrived? His melodramatic howl has always split people but at least it used to be natural.

 

Oh my god, yes. I had that thought after listening to Explorers. :LOL:

But I think we just have to get used to the new songs.

It helps, if you don't take Matt's vocal delivery too serious.

Imo it's ridiculous in a good sense.

 

I'd be more subtle. Muse could get away with making OTT symphonic rock but OTT electropop? It doesn't sound right. At all.

 

Madness is not over the top, but still meh.

Follow Me is... I don't want to talk about it. Probably I just don't like the song.

 

As for the dubstep, which is gracefully kept to a minimum, it sounds like they've literally heard a few seconds of Skrillex and thought "feck it, we could do that." If they're gonna incorporate new influences, they need to invest themselves in that style of music, see what works from it and what doesn't. Instead they just plunged in without a paddle.

Unsustainable feels like an experiment. However I don't like it. The strings are a bit generic. The Dubstep part is alright, but not too good. The robot voice is too much.

 

I will try out your playlist, Niall. :happy:

Edited by Strangeseas
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I agree about the dubstep. I think it was really really unnecessary. I was also expecting more mind blowing riffs from them and yet the absence didn't really bother me. I still enjoyed the album. I chose not to take it too seriously. It's clearly an experimental album. That's fine to me. It doesn't have to be classic Muse to be good. I've always felt like Muse was first and foremost a progressive band. You may feel like The 2nd Law is the opposite but in my opinion experimental is always good, always progressive. And THAT is Muse at it's roots. I enjoy Muse the most when they're funky and different even if it's hit or miss.

 

What grinds my gears the most is when they churn out the same "epic stadium rock songs with ok riffs" everyone seems to want. That sound was new and fresh in the BH&R era and yeah, they'll probably always incorporate some of that element but The 2nd Law is by far the most interesting sounding of all the contemporary albums. Without a doubt better than The Resistance. It's aroused my interest in them as musicians again.

 

Edit: The album could have benefited from some structure. It didn't flow together at all. That would probably be my number one complaint aside from Liquid State.

 

Well said.

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After quite some tryouts, I finally came to a conclusion. I didn't change as much as Niall did, but to me it flows the best this way. It's not really perfect or anything but this is what I feel most comfortable with, while still including all the songs.

 

The 2nd Law: Unsustainable (Needs some static stuff or ANYTHING to cross-fade to...)

Supremacy

Panic Station

Madness (Honestly this couldn't fit anywhere. :LOL: It sounds too much like a song that would be placed at the front of the album. Otherwise, I would have wanted Panic Station -> Follow Me.)

Follow Me (Follow Me -> Prelude is pretty good.)

Prelude

Survival

Animals (The contrast here, wow.)

Explorers

Big Freeze

Liquid State (I felt really uncomfortable with Big Freeze -> Save Me since Chris's voice just comes straight to you. Liquid State kinda helps to rejuvenate the listening experience with a more upbeat track. Besides, Big Freeze could have cross-faded to Liquid State with the guitar sustain. Also, if only it were more longer with more melodic changes...)

Save Me

The 2nd Law: Isolated System

 

My complaint is really just the flow of the album could have been executed better. Anyways, I think Liquid State is not long enough and doesn't have enough melody changes. Had great potential actually. And I had great trouble with Madness's placement. :p No specific theories here, just concentrating a lot on flow.

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