With a new album just weeks away, the tension is building for the moody Britons. Who isn’t salivating at Pavlovian proportions after hearing Muse’s “Survival” as this year’s Olympic theme song?

Madness

Muse
Warner Bros

That is, if you’ve actually heard it. The mish-mash of random sounds wasn’t even close to the anthem that London needed, quietly pushing the track into relative obscurity.

Muse’s new single “Madness” is a step further in the wrong direction. An album’s first legitimate single should be catchy, concise and enticing, baiting you to bite on the record as a whole. “Madness” is none of that.

Instead, the track is a five-minute build-up of vibrating bass and Matthew Bellamy’s self-aggrandizing voice. And, honestly, the end does manage to pay off with soaring vocals and booming rock. But who cares? “Madness” would be a fine addition as a deep track. But by making it the harbinger of The 2nd Law, Muse has essentially stated that this is the best their new album has to offer. But when the masses need to listen to three minutes of anticipation, who’s going to be left for the finale?

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