Album Reviews, Rock — May 22, 2013 at 10:02 am

REVIEW: Thirty Seconds to Mars – LOVE LUST FAITH + DREAMS



Artist Name: Thirty Seconds To Mars
Label: Virgin Records
Reviewed by: Jarrod Macartney


Thirty Seconds To Mars are no ordinary band. With an actor/musician front man in Jared Leto, you can be assured that the trio are dramatic at the very least – or in the case of LOVE LUST FAITH + DREAMS: over-dramatic. To back up the melodramatic claim, the band launched lead single “Up In The Air” into space via Cape Canaveral Air Force Station to the International Space Station. Now for the band’s latest endeavour the L.A rockers invited Steve Lillywhite (U2, The Killers, The Rolling Stones) back into the studio to co-produce the band’s fourth LP with Leto after working on Thirty Seconds To Mars’ epically scaled This Is War back in 2009.

LOVE LUST FAITH + DREAMS begins with “Birth”. The brass orchestra instrumental opens the album with violins, pounding drums and a cinematic touch in true Thirty Seconds To Mars’ fashion. Merging in with “Birth” is “Conquistador”, which features an opening riff which will set your mind to Muse, though the track quickly turns into 30 Seconds to Mars territory with the distinctive Leto screaming.

As we move on to the album’s third track, “Up In The Air”, enter the “woah-ohs”, which hang around the album like an annoying cousin. Honestly the song is not bad at all, it actually has a nice hook but the amount of “woah-ohs” and chanting grow too thin too quickly – though we must remember that this is ‘Music 101’ for 30 Seconds to Mars (epic sounds – check!, screaming – check!, woah-ohs – check!).

“City of Angels” brings keyboard into the mix for a refreshing change and the influence of U2 is apparent with Leto’s vocals echoing those of Bono’s during the apex of “With or Without You”. The remainder of the album fails to satisfy; the backing chanting from This Is War returns during “The Race”, while the instruments take a backseat with “End Of All Days” which is driven by the screeching vocals of Leto. “Convergence” offers a very bland interlude when compared to the other instrumental track “Pires of Varanasi”. Unfortunately, it is too late for any reconciling by the time we arrive at “Northern Lights”, the synth-heavy track that makes for an enjoyable listen.

The trio tried something bigger and bolder, though instead it eventuated into something hollow and repetitive. So was the band’s latest effort 2954 seconds of marvelous or 2954 seconds of mediocre? Well in terms that Jared “Hollywood” Leto would understand, LOVE LUST FAITH + DREAMS is certainly a sequel to This Is War. It is as overproduced as the recent Green Lantern film and will be as memorable as Pyscho 2 for me.



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