Title: “The 2nd Law”
The most memorable thing about Muse’s latest, “The 2nd Law,” is that there are so many parts that are disastrous.
Let’s ignore for a moment “Unsustainable,” the band’s dubstep symphony.
You know it’s a bad sign when a song commissioned for the 2012 Summer Olympics, “Survival,” was swatted away like a pesky fly, playing little to no role in the festivities.
“Madness” channels electronic dance music with a throbbing bass fizzle, snap clap percussion and autotuned voices providing the backup vox. If the rest of “2nd Law” had the courage to be this messy and experimental, maybe Muse would’ve found something.
Instead, many of the others that don’t dip into EDM collapse under the weight of their own staginess.
There’s “Unsustainable,” as bad an idea in practice as it sounds on paper, strings climbing until the song violently switches gears into the slow, low thump and swirl of dubstep. But other than for the sake of saying they tried it, the genre’s inclusion is unclear.
Muse can’t lose points for being “why so serious?” about this because the band’s theatricality is born from its self-important temperament. But there’s nothing to save “2nd Law” from being remembered poorly as “that Muse dubstep record.”
Our Music Year is Daily Republic popular culture writer Nick DeCicco’s yearlong online review in 2012 of albums he had previously not listened to. The reviews will appear in print on their corresponding days during 2013. Reach him at 427-6966 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ndeciccodr.