British alternative band, Muse, comes out with their new album, The 2nd Law today as their sixth studio record. Fans streamed the album for free via iTunes, a special that started September 24th to promote the big release.
The album is both the same and very different for Muse. In the past, Muse was classified as an alternative rock band. Their last album, The Resistance, started to break away from their norm by introducing an orchestral element to their sound—since then, they continued expanding their stylistic features, going all the way from dub-step to dance-pop.
Many of these new elements deviate from other bands within their genre. Two of their singles, “Madness” and “Survival”, draw heavily on the styles and harmonies of the timeless band Queen. “Big Freeze” sounds very much like a U2 song and “Panic Station” is very similar to the style of the up and coming band, Awolnation, who came out with their first big single “Sail” last year.
Another interesting aspect of this album, in comparison to the others Muse has released, is that the bassist, Christopher Wolstenholme, is the lead vocalist and writer of the songs “Save Me” and “Liquid State”—which are based off his experiences with alcoholism. This is the first time that front man Matthew Bellamy, was not a vocalist in the band’s history.
To me, this album is Muse at their best. Many long-lasting bands decide to mainstream their sounds and they usually sell themselves out to production companies who dictate the sound and lyrics of the band. Fans like me appreciate Muse’s self-production because they evolve as a band at the pace they set themselves.
The incorporation of various influences on their sound is also something I value. If everything stayed the same as their first album, this new record would not stand out against their old music. The differentiation shows that they are moving in a new direction while keeping the appeal for their initial fan base with recognizable Muse-like sounds throughout The 2nd Law. This is definitely one of my favorite Muse albums because it keeps you engaged from the first song to the last. Each song flows into the next.
To all my fellow Muse lovers out there, The 2nd Law gets a big two thumbs up! Make sure to buy The 2nd Law starting today on iTunes!
Front page photo courtesy of fanpop.com.