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30 Seconds To Mars
- Love Lust Faith + Dreams

Leto has aimed far too high with this one, and clearly forgotten the art of subtlety.

Justine Keating

Jun 17th 2013 | Label: Universal
If anyone was going to collaborate with NASA and launch a piece of music into space, of course it would have to be Thirty Seconds To Mars. This is a band that is all about grandiosity, and their fourth album unashamedly oozes the desire to sound bigger and more extravagant than its predecessors. Love Lust Faith + Dreams succeeds in that respect, but it's mostly smoke and mirrors. In a similar fashion to their film clips-cum-short films, the amount of ambition present doesn't really account for substance.

Jared Leto's adoration for the overdramatic presents itself almost immediately. After what sounds like a gentler version of Microsoft Mary blurting out the first word of the album's title (“Love”), a soft drum beat builds into brooding orchestration which progressively adopts more layers as Leto sing-speaks in drawn out sentences. A crowd roars in small, distant bursts, and that's about the time when track number two, Conquistador, gets introduced in all its cinematic glory. Just when you think the melodrama has been softened a touch with the cautiously subdued synth introduction and neatly broken-up first verse of City of Angels, the chorus kicks into gear and things get pretty cheesy once more. What started with a bang gets old pretty quickly; the second half of the album – while still full of the initial aspiration – is quite weak and easily forgettable.

Leto has aimed far too high with this one, and clearly forgotten the art of subtlety. This album is built on big ideas that never actually come into fruition – even with the schmick production sensationalising every aspect of the album.

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