Album review: Muse, The 2nd Law

Matt Bellamy currently presides over the biggest rock monster in the western world, yet Muse still appear conflicted about whether to be The Phantom Of The Opera or Queen’s Night At The Opera.

Muse

The 2nd Law

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Warner Brothers, £12.99

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Then there is the ultimate bedroom mirror persona, with multiple opportunities for shredding the tennis racket in an air guitar frenzy.

Explorers is a ghostly imprint of a Brian May tune, swelling from the modestly polite into a controlled West End crescendo.

Wriggling free of those gentle constraints to weep and wail is Animals, which captures the pomposity of U2 until a splendidly bonkers guitar break rips that façade apart while chasing down the fade.

Survival wears its Olympic status proudly and perhaps a bit too loudly, while Follow Me shares some of the defiance of Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive, mashed with some Bono-like, angst-ridden “whoa whoa’s”.

Tales of the title track embracing dubstep miss the mark – this is more akin to “everything but the kitchen sink” step.

Opening tune Supremacy is a whirlpool of James Bond themes, in particular the N64 version of Goldeneye, with some Mariachi brass melting down for good measure.

Record-making on a gargantuan scale, which sometimes neglects the devil demanded by the detail.

Colin Somerville

Download this: Supremacy, Animals