Thermodynamics leading to the creation of a rock album? That’s what our reviewer says led to Muse’s The 2nd Law! Green Day is showing some maturity with Uno, putting their “bratty” roots behind them. And it’s not football season without a new release of Madden NFL, the thirteenth edition—it sounds almost classy!
The 2nd Law, Muse (Warner Brothers)
The title of Muse’s sixth studio album is inspired by the second law of thermodynamics and it certainly seems to fit. This unpredictable album deals with survival within a society by showcasing Muse’s ability to reinvent itself. Each of its previous albums stressed a specific musical style, but on The 2nd Law the listener hears a multitude of styles and sounds all together on one album. Tracks go from loud symphonic and throbbing synths and guitar solos to classic sounds with simple vocals to dubstep. From the thunderous opening track “Survival,” which became the official anthem of the London Summer Olympics to the passionate but simple sounding “Save Me” and “Liquid State,” written and sung by bassist Chris Wolstenholme. Other great tracks are “The 2nd Law: Isolated System,” “Panic Station,” and “Supremacy.” Even though the album is all over the place musically, it is still an artistic feat. Muse fans should be pleased.—Uma P, grade 10, Floral Park (NY) Memorial High School
Uno, Green Day (Warner Brothers)
This is the ninth studio album for Green Day, which has evolved from the bratty, rebellious punk band from Dookie to making rock operas and Broadway plays. Uno, the first of a garage-rock trilogy that will be released over the next few months, tries to combine the commercial pop-punk sound with the smart-aleckness of earlier times. Many of the songs on Uno are about themes the group has addressed over their long career. Uno is a typical record that tries to capture the past and not something I expected from Green Day. It is a solid album but nothing earth shattering; Green Day just seems to coast on this one. Tracks to check out are “Sweet 16,” “Fell for You,” “Troublemaker,” “Let Yourself Go,” and “Oh Love.”—Maureen L., grade 12, Floral Park (NY) Memorial High School
Madden NFL 13 (EA Games)
There are definitely a lot of changes accompanying this latest installment of the Madden NFL franchise and many are for the better. First is the addition of receiver awareness. The receiver must be ready (indicated by the icon changing from a gray to color) before the quarterback can throw him a pass. This is much more realistic since a blind throw into the field should not result in a completed pass. Also a new physics engine breaks the repetitive sequences that have occurred in other versions. This makes playing challenging, exciting and more interesting. The game has a more subdued and classic presentation style and swapped out the former booth announcers for the likes of Phil Simms and Jim Nantz. Instead of loud hip-hop and rock and roll tunes it has opted for instrumental scores, changing the whole feel of the game. Another improvement is that Xbox players can use the Kinect microphone and call out commands such as blitz or deep pass rather than using the traditional controls. Madden NFL 13 provides hours of great football entertainment and has made some dramatic changes that were needed to set this installment apart. Platform: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 Rating : E for Everyone.—Will P.,grade 11, Floral Park (NY) Memorial High School