Muse bucks past by moving its music into future

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Grade • A-

CD • Kate Hudson must be an inviting muse. Her baby daddy, Matthew Bellamy, and his comrades in the British rock band Muse unleash their stunning new album "2nd Law" in a release season that has seen tepid, play-it-safe records from Mumford & Sons, No Doubt and Green Day.

While often bombastic, the album still shows that ambition is made of sterner stuff, as symphonic orchestrations share space with EDM inspirations (not to mention deliciously decorative guitar riffs) while still remaining accessible in the best sense of the word. If the album wasn't relentlessly catchy, you could fault the band for tacking too far into left field, but you get the sense that if Béla Bartók was still alive, he would be making music as glorious and challenging as this.