An A-Muse-ing happenstance

They say don’t fix what isn’t broken. As of late, many bands — including but not limited to The Killers, Muse, and The Shins — have been “rearranging” their sound for whatever reason, when they never really needed to “fix it” in the first place.

Early last May, popular brit-pop band, Muse, released a Youtube trailer for their upcoming album “The 2nd Law.” It was unclear, jumbled, and chaotic, but worst of all it featured a Muse-spin on an unbearable music genre: dubstep.

Myself and many of my friends were extremely weary of the album’s release. We didn’t want to believe that Muse was dabbling in dubstep, but we certainly believed that they could.

On my first listen of the album over fall break, I let out a slight sigh of relief. The dubstep in question had been secluded to a singular track towards the end of the album, but the whole of the LP was still unsettling.

Many tracks are reminiscent of Queen, much like their previous album “The Resistance,” however, I think “The 2nd Law” comes out sounding awkward because it sounds like bad Queen. Mix in a little Stevie Wonder and you’ve concocted the bulk of the album that has completely changed identities for the band as they release their 8th LP.

There are always exceptions. The first single — and what looks to me like the only worthy track on the album — is entitled,“Madness.” Don’t let the title fool you, the song is one of the smoothest tracks the band has released in years.

The new sound is due in part to the range of instruments that the band has seemingly created to form their sound. To create the infectious electro-synth beat that forms the base of the song, the bassist has what looks to be a tablet inset on his bass guitar that he beats out the rhythm to. (I highly recommend looking up their most recent performance of the song on SNL to see what I mean.)

The greatest part of the song is the casual breakout of a guitar solo that cuts through the air like a knife. It is the perfect bridge for the song as Matt Bellamy transitions from a killer guitar solo to a masterful vocal one to end the song.

You might be thinking to yourself, “Hey, that doesn’t sound half-bad.” And it isn’t, but the rest of the album is. And it’s all due to Muse’s ever-changing musical style that never needed to change in the first place.

So it goes.

If you’ve got any questions, comments, or concerns you can always email me at seantgundersen@gmail.com or tweet @thehippestcat. In spite of the let-down that is “The 2nd Law,” you will probably still find me at their upcoming concert provided I can scrounge some cash together.