The 2nd Law is the sixth studio album by English rock band Muse, first released on 28 September 2012 through Warner Bros. Records and the band's own Helium-3 imprint. Recording of the album took place in studios between London and Los Angeles County, beginning in October 2011 and ending in August 2012. The 2nd Law was Muse's second album to be solely self-produced, following The Resistance (2009), and features a plethora of additional musicians that performed brass, strings, and choir vocals.
The 2nd Law is a concept album about a deteriorating planet that its inhabitants can no longer live on. Major lyrical themes of the album include societal collapse, totalitarianism, and the second law of thermodynamics, which the album's title references. Musically, the band chose to experiment significantly and create a sound that was distinct from their past records. The album's sound incorporates art rock, progressive rock, and electronic music with Muse's traditional alternative rock style. Acts such as Queen, David Bowie, and Skrillex also served as key influences on the album. The album's cover art features a map of the human brain's pathways, which was taken from the Human Connectome Project.
The singles "Survival", "Madness", "Follow Me", "Supremacy", and "Panic Station" were released in the promotion. "Survival" had been chosen as the official song for the 2012 Summer Olympics, "Madness" became an international hit, most notably topping the Billboard Alternative Songs chart for a record-breaking 19 weeks, and "Supremacy" was performed live to begin the 2013 Brit Awards. The 2nd Law received positive reviews from critics and performed well commercially; it was a top ten-charting album in 31 countries and a number-one album in 13 countries. For its sales figures, it was certified platinum in four countries, including the United Kingdom, and triple-platinum in France. At the 55th Annual Grammy Awards, the album was nominated for Best Rock Album, and "Madness" was nominated for Best Rock Song. "Panic Station" was later nominated for Best Rock Song at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards the following year. As of 2018, The 2nd Law has sold over 2.3 million copies worldwide.
Label: Warner Bros. Records – 825646568772, Helium 3 – 825646568772
Format: 2 x Vinyl, LP, Album
Country: USA & Canada
Released: Oct 2, 2012
Style: Alternative Rock
A3 Panic Station
B3 Follow Me
C2 Big Freeze
C3 Save Me
D1 Liquid State
D2 The 2nd Law: Unsustainable
D3 The 2nd Law: Isolated System