The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Monday December 6th


Music Review: 30 Seconds to Mars

30 Seconds to Mars




30 Seconds to Mars is back with their fourth full-length studio album, LOVE LUST FAITH DREAMS, but unfortunately they are not better than ever.

The band tries for a cinematic, orchestra-driven sound on this record rather than the loud, epic rock sound exhibited in their first three albums. One exception to this is “Conquistador,” which is everything fans know and love about 30 Seconds To Mars – loud guitars, driving drums and crowds of people chanting. Like many songs from their previous albums, it sounds like a true battle anthem.

The rest of the album incorporates electronic and symphonic instruments. “Up In the Air,” the album’s first single, is heavily electronic, upbeat and easy to sing along to – a track that could undoubtedly crossover to pop radio. “Pyres of Varanasi,” with its string and horn ensembles, loud drums and Middle Eastern influences, is so dynamic that it could be the score of an action movie.

There are, of course, some raw moments during the record, where Jared Leto’s songwriting skills truly shine. “City of Angels,” Leto’s love song for Los Angeles, has a beautiful melody and lyrics that would make even the shyest of people consider moving to Hollywood.

The major fault of LOVE LUST FAITH DREAMS is that there are too many uninteresting songs, and most of them are towards the end of the album. “Convergence” is a quiet, 2-minute instrumental track that doesn’t contribute much, if anything, to the flow of the record. “Northern Lights” is a 5-minute song with a dull, redundant melody and no climax whatsoever.

Overall, even the impressive parts of LOVE LUST FAITH DREAMS can’t make up for the fact that it just doesn’t live up to the brilliance of 30 Seconds To Mars’s first three albums. The album provides an enjoyable first listen, but doesn’t offer much entertainment beyond that.

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