Aaaah! My first post and review on MusicTastic, ever. And I’ve started off with an album I’ve wanted to review ever since it came out, ever since I’ve heard it for the first time.
I have always had a thing for Thirty Seconds To Mars, certainly the front man and singer, Jared Leto. But with this album, they surprised me, all three of them. The first thing that catches my eye, and everyone’s eye, was the cover. Not only did the big tiger draw the attention, the alternative covers are quite different as well. I say covers because there are more. There are more than 2,000. No, I didn’t miss with the oh’s. Apparently, all of the covers are close ups of Thirty Seconds To Mars fans. Thank god the tiger cover is inside, too.
Once you open the cover and put in your CD in the stereo, the first song you can hear is the song called Escape. Its a short song but with a long intro that comes to surprise you at the end. And from the first song you already know it’s going to be a big concept album. With the choir singing in almost all songs, including the first single Kings & Queens, its pretty clear this album will be a lot different than their second and previous album, A Beautiful Lie.
After a long break between two albums (A Beautiful Lie already came out in 2005 but it lasted until 2007 for the band to get their big break), the band is back with a fresh and new sound.
The second song, without a choir, Night Of The Hunter, has a interesting ring to it. It starts off with a lady who counts 1,2,3,4 in French. If you want to know, that would sound like “Un, Deux, Trois, Cinq”. I personally think its one of the best songs off the album, with clear lyrics. One of the lyrics that strike you goes like this:
“Honest to god, I’ll break you’re heart, tear you to pieces and rip you apart.”
I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want to be the person Jared calls “you”. Especially since he repeats it a couple of times. He might mean it, don’t you think? . The song reminds me a little of their old work, their first album.
Everyone has heard the third song before, the first single “Kings & Queens”. I don’t know if I can describe this song, its strong but also quite slow. Since it takes Jared at least 30 seconds (what a coincidence) to sing a verse.
The band is probably already known for their impressive videos, and Kings & Queens is one of them. With troupes of young people riding a bicycle, you can’t think anything else than “damn, that must’ve have cost a fortune.” But the band can get away with it, since their leading singer is used to playing in big screen movies anyway.
Another impressive and massive song is This Is War, where the album is probably based on. This Is War and 100 Suns, the short acoustic track that is more of an outro for This Is War, are both songs that are probably the most powerful songs of the album. No wonder, with a title like that. The beauty of the song are the drums, that sound like an army is approaching. In 100 Suns, Jared constantly sings the words “I believe in nothing”, which can be taken in many ways.
Throughout the whole album you hear a lot more synthesizers than in their previous albums. That is certainly the case for ‘Hurricane’, with Kanye West. The song is a calm song, but again, has very strong lyrics. While Kanye raps “I need a heartbeat”, repeatedly, Jared sings “Tell me would you kill, to save a life? Tell me would you kill to prove you’re right?”. With the help of Brandon Flowers, the front man of The Killers, this song will be a single. There is no other way or choice.
A song that I also predict to be a single is Closer To The Edge. The track is one of the more happy songs off the album. Even though you can call the album and the band happy, at all. But it has an energy people will happy to scream with at concerts. Jared and his choir sing “No, no, no, no!” quite a few times, and its also quite catchy.
The choir continues in A Call To Arms, and its almost the exact same song like This Is War, to my opinion anyway. Of course its not, but it’s like This Is War, probably one of the songs that defined the album. Not my favorites, though.
Search & Destroy, to me, is a continuation of Hurricane. With the synthesizers back in the game again, its a slower than most of the songs, and more of a filler.
Alibi starts of with a slow, long intro and the slowness stays ’till the end of the song. It reminds me a lot of A Modern Myth, a song of their last album where Jared seemed to be saying, singing and screaming “goodbye” for about seventeen times. In Alibi, its kind of the same. The song builds up slowly, to crash down at the end. You love it or hate it.
Stranger In A Strange land is in the first listen a continuation of the whole theme in the album, but after a few listens it reminds me a lot of their early work. The song has a long intro, like a lot of their songs, but goes really fast once the vocals start. And when it starts, he sings; “Enemy of mine, I’ll fuck you like the devil. ” Great first line…
Equinox, the last track off the album, is the weirdest song off the album and one of the weirdest songs I’ve ever experienced. Don’t let it shock you. It shocked me.
Overall, the album is worthy buying, if you can stand Jared Leto’s way off singing, which goes along with a lot of heavy breathing. As told before, the album has a big theme, and that theme comes back in almost every single song off the album. 30 Seconds To Mars has always had a lot of contradictions. With their last single of the ABL album they preached on a melting ice berg, now they’re preaching for war. I don’t know if I should think its sarcasm or not. But strangely enough, everyone buys it, and I bought it too. The contradictions, the synthesizers, the choir and… the album, of course.
Woa, this was a long review. Great first one? I wouldn’t know, I haven’t read it yet.