Muse |The 2nd Law (Warner Bros.)

muse 2ndlawAs we all know, Bellamy’s goal in life is to become Freddie Mercury.

 

The new Muse album is familiar yet fresh. The guitars are deep, epic, and symphonic, just as they’ve always been. Everything is still as grand as it was on The Resistance. However—what was that? That deep rumbling: might you call it…a wub? Yes, several of the songs on this album incorporate our newfound fascination with Americanized dubstep. It is subtle at times, such as on “Madness,” and pretty much nonexistent on most of the album.

While bands like Korn went all out in their incorporation of “brostep” (a term I fully endorse for artists like Datsik, Skrillex, and Excision), Muse takes an approach very fitting of their style. “Madness,” in particular, utilizes synthesizers in a manner that is reminiscent of “Starlight” if it were updated for 2012. “Follow Me” has a distinct breakdown in the chorus of the song that feels immensely appropriate. It is not overwhelming, yet it shows their audience a glimpse of what we might see taking a more focal presence on their next album. I don’t know what to make of it, but vocalist Matt Bellamy lets out some very “Bono-esque” wails at the end of this track. The second to last track, “The 2nd Law: Unsustainable,” features the brostep influence most prominently. It begins with the symphonic buildup that heavily characterized their last album, and then goes all out with the bass drop.

Aside from these three songs, the whole album is guaranteed to please all of their fans. I enjoyed the entire album and felt that these songs might even be essential to its character. As we all know, Bellamy’s goal in life is to become Freddie Mercury, and on “Panic Station,” the bass line even sounds like Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust.” In addition, we’ve got some very funky horns. This is one of my favorite tracks.

Honestly, I can hear some U2 influences on this album, as well, especially looking at tracks like “Big Freeze” and “Follow Me.” Most notably in the backing vocals, I feel like Bono wandered into the studio. Let me bring this review full circle and leave you with this: What if U2 did dubstep? B+ | Brian Cheli

RIYL: Queen, David Bowie, The Killers

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