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30 Seconds to Mars - This Is War Album Cover

30 Seconds to Mars - This Is War

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7.8
30 Seconds to Mars - This Is War
Record Label: Virgin, EMI
Release Date: December 8th, 2009 (US)
"This is war"

This is the resounding cry of the new album from 30 Seconds to Mars. From the first song "Escape", which ends in a full choir singing/screaming it, through the title track where Jared Leto warns everyone that "this is war", this is a call to arms.

With their third studio album, 30 Seconds to Mars have not labored to create a sound that is so different from their last two albums, but to create an entirely different feel. Far from the cries of "The Kill" or "Attack", they have crafted an album where the vocals are crisper, and the message is crystal clear. Musically and lyrically, this album is as straightforward as they come. There are no ambiguous lyrics about lost love, no hidden messages about how terrible the government is, and no experimental rhythms or chord progressions. This is an album about war. Rolling off their nearly devastating lawsuit with Virgin Records, Jared Leto and his band mates went into the studio with fresh fire. They "killed themselves to make this record" and you can hear it in Leto's voice.

On first listen, this album can sound boring because it's so simple and straightforward. But upon subsequent spins, it becomes clear how much the music industry is lacking in honest music. It's refreshing to hear someone's voice not tainted by studio effects and to hear lyrics not muddled by mystery and meaningless rhymes. In "Alibi", Leto repeats the mantra "I fell apart, but got back up again" over and over again, eventually nearly screaming it. It's simple, and it's straightforward. It sounds almost childish and immature, but it's true. It's honest. It's real. This is the high point of the album as a whole. It's real. 30 Seconds to Mars went "to hell and back" to make this record and they're loud and clear about it.

My biggest problem with this album is that for all its honesty there are plenty of times when it sounds over-produced. There's an inescapable droning synthesizer in the background when all you really want to hear is Jared Leto's voice, although they got it right with "100 Suns." This is the quietest song ever from 30 Seconds to Mars. There's nothing but Jared Leto and his acoustic guitar as he mourns.

Overall I like this album. It's an honest, powerful album. It's clear and concise in meaning. It's big, anthemic, and catchy. I'd recommend it.

Recommended If You Like30 Seconds to Mars; indie rock; arena rock

myspace.com/30secondstomars
This review is a user submitted review from drailskid. You can see all of drailskid's submitted reviews here.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 8 of 8
10:44 PM on 12/29/09
#2
NateFoundGlory
Why do you stay till you see blood?
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Recommended if you like "indie rock"? Disagree. However I find myself really liking this cd.
03:32 AM on 01/03/10
#3
SuNDaYSTaR
[Pull The Trigger]
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Recommended if you like 30 Seconds To Mars? Really?
04:18 AM on 05/30/10
#4
DecipherRob
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idk what happened to them, sounds like a AVA copy, their first self title was cool and interesting though
01:52 PM on 06/22/10
#5
sean4123
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You've gotta love this whole "sounds like an ava copy." Do people not realize that 30stm have had this epic sound from the very beginning? If anything, Tom Delonge copied 30stm.
08:22 AM on 07/06/10
#6
aksensavvy
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I honestly can't get over how disappointed I am in this CD. The first two, with their bad and good, were much more heartfelt than this CD. All the respect to Jared Leto, he's an amazing vocalist. But this CD lacks the soul of 30stm that I enjoyed so much in the first two CDs.
10:05 AM on 02/01/12
#7
Kub1-k
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I honestly can't get over how disappointed I am in this CD. The first two, with their bad and good, were much more heartfelt than this CD. All the respect to Jared Leto, he's an amazing vocalist. But this CD lacks the soul of 30stm that I enjoyed so much in the first two CDs.
This.

S/T and ABL were great, This is War was a utter disappointment.
05:11 PM on 07/21/12
#8
statusqu0
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No word for this band's sound other than "big". I've always loved their "scream it from a mountaintop" style, but when they tone it down and go soft, I find myself getting bored. That said, This is War is my favorite 30STM release so far.

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