30 Seconds to Mars

30 Seconds to Mars has always been a unique band. Frontman, Jared Leto, is a very artistic person with a lot of unique ideas. The band released their first full-length album in 2002 to only modest success. This, however, did not detour the band off of their course. In 2005 they released their second album, A Beautiful Lie, and the band finally began to really catch steam. There were several singles from this album and most of them did really well on the charts. The album the band released in 2009, This is War, came with a lot more of a pop influence and even featured Kanye West on one of the tracks. The band was still strongly identifiable as 30 Seconds to Mars, but showed signs of change in their sound.

On May 17, 2013 30 Seconds to Mars released their newest album, Love, Lust, Faith + Dreams and it stayed right on track with the direction This is Wars was heading. If you take This is War and add in a little more pop influence you get Love, Lust, Faith, + Dreams. This may have caught some people off guard if they hadn’t been following the band’s progress, but it really makes perfect sense to those who have been fans throughout the band’s career. Newcomers feel free to jump in at any time, as this band remains great from the beginning of their career to this album.

The new album really does have a lot in common with This is War and that is definitely a good thing. That aspect alone makes the album perfect for fans to jump into. One major change up the band did was head into a more theatrical style with the background music. A lot of the music on the album sounds like it could be thrown right onto a movie soundtrack and be right at home. This gives the album a really atmospheric and suspenseful feel, especially on mostly instrumental tracks like “Pyres of Varanasi.” This track in particular feels like it could have been added to any Christopher Nolan flick and felt right at home.

The first half of the album feels very much like the pop side of the album and even features their first single, “Up in the Air.” It’s not hard to imagine that most of their singles for this album could come from the first half. The second half is where things get a lot more musical and slowed down. Starting with the afore-mentioned “Pyres of Varanasi,” and continuing on into “Bright Lights” for a chill transition into a slightly different style that doesn’t feel out of  place.

The two halves combine to make an excellent album that is the perfect natural follow-up to “This is War.” This band definitely retains its relevancy and continues to grow musically. Fans of the band will be pleased to hear this album, and newcomers with find the catchy songs in easy entrance point to begin listening to this awesome band.

REVIEWER'S SCORE: 9/10