Music Video: Muse’s “The 2nd Law: Unsustainable” (Bonus: Electric Guest’s “This Head I Hold”)
So, as you probably know, Muse is releasing their sixth studio album, The 2nd Law, on October 1st. As you also probably know, it will feature what fans are calling, either with dread or with a more positive type of anticipation, “Musestep.” Apparently Bellamy and the gang have been inspired by dubstep production artist/DJ, Skrillex, and they wanted to make their own type of ‘dubstep’ through the use of instruments. We got our first taste of it in the teaser trailer for The 2nd Law at the beginning of the summer. Honestly, I thought it was a joke.
Well, it’s not. Today we get a taste of the full track that is featured in the teaser trailer. It is called “The 2nd Law: Unsustainable” and it is part of a two-track dubstep duo (the second of the pair and the final track on the album is titled “The 2nd Law: Isolated System”). Check out the video for the song here.
OK, so, not as bad as I thought it would be. The opening intensity is actually quite nice. It is composed of frantic strings, epic choral vocals, and what seems to be a full orchestra. It has some pretty characteristic qualities of a Muse song, characteristics that I know and love. Then the weird speech by the news anchor comes in. Not a fan. Kind of some weird stuff about energy and the like, which eventually leads to the ‘drop’ of a robot droning “unsustainable.” To be honest, it isn’t all that bad, but for a ‘dubstep’ song, there is a severe lack of bass. In my opinion they should be going freaking nuts on the kick drum. Maybe live it would be pretty epic with some overwhelming speakers, but this recording is just too empty for my taste.
And then Matt Bellamy starts crooning his now well-known croon and I fall in love. It’s beautiful because, well, it is Matt Bellamy and that guy knows how to sing. Also, the drum breakdown directly following his classic moan is reminiscent of the early Muse that I love so much (I’m thinking more Origin of Symmetry and Showbiz).
Then the anchor comes back in again and I feel like the momentum is totally lost. Unfortunately the last segment of the song is merely a repetition of the odd ‘dubstep’ chorus. There isn’t any addition of any sounds or beats, which is generally how electronic music works and why many songs from the EDM community are successful. Songs that gradually build, adding more and more are the most artistic of that genre of music, and those that fail to do so generally end up letting the listeners down. Which is exactly how I feel.
Overall, the song isn’t as catastrophic as I had anticipated. I can rock to it a little bit. But on a whole I just can’t really dig this new sound. Hopefully it will grow on me like much of Resistance did (I really didn’t like it at first, but now songs like “MK Ultra” and “Resistance” are among my favorites by the band), but I’m just not sure if I can see that happening. Fingers crossed.
In other news, which is honestly pretty old news, Electric Guest released a video for their hit single, “This Head I Hold.” We play the song a lot, and I can’t help but dancing every time that I hear it. I watched the video for the first time today (I know, I’m late to the party), and, surprise, surprise, it mostly hinges on an odd dance competition in which the lead singer, Asa Taccone, struggles to overcome his fear of dancing in front of people. I love the video, it is hilarious and so I felt that I must review it at least a little bit.
It is actually a pretty well-edited video. All of the dancers, and, eventually, Asa himself, dance their groove up on the stage. The cool part, however, is when they do certain dance moves the video cuts to them being assisted by various apparatus and stage hands, even though I’m pretty confident that the actors could actually do the dance moves (and probably do, for editing purposes). It is really skillfully done and I definitely appreciate the cuts between the real dancing and the comical assisted moves/lifts/breaks.
My favorite part, however, is when Taccone is about to go on stage. As he is about to go onstage to dance for the judges he gets intimidated and runs away as the music awkwardly cuts out. We are shown a montage of him running deep into the desert, surviving off of rats he kills and then roasts, and eventually meeting another wanderer of the desert, a woman that I am fairly certain is his wife. They end up making love, and raising a child in the desert. Asa also grows quite an incredible beard.
Suddenly, watching his son dance with his wife (I think she is his wife, but I guess in the video it is better to call her his “baby momma”), he realizes that dance is his passion and he runs all the way back to the competition, which, for some reason is still going on what seems to be at least two or three years later. He kills the dance, sampling the majority of the moves of his former competitors, and the judges give him a standing ovation. Please watch it, I was cracking up for the entire video. Enjoy!