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Album Review: 30 Seconds To Mars - Love Lust Faith and Dreams (2013 LP)

love lust faith and dreams

After the success of 2009’s This Is War, 30 Seconds To Mars had to do something big to top it. They accomplished this by sending the first single “Up In The Air” into space prior to the release of the album. Although this was big publicity for the album, the band's fourth album Love Lust Faith + Dreams doesn’t really live up to expectations and varies vastly from the previous three albums.

The album begins with “Birth”, a short, mostly instrumental track, that seems to act as nothing more than an introduction song. However, the combination of the brass, violins, loud drums give the song that “epic” sound fans have been used to hearing. Previously released “Conquistador” is next, and is perhaps the track that is closest to their signature sound, sure to please both old and new fans. This is followed by “Up In The Air” which includes more “whoa-oh”, which featured on the previous track.

“City of Angels” is the first song that could nearly be classified as a ballad, as it doesn’t include any “whoa-oh’s” you’re able to listen to Jared Leto, whose vocal strength is highlighted in this song. “The Race” starts off with fast violins, before a more synth beat begins and the chorus of backup vocals are back. “End Of All Days” is another ballad that takes one listen to learn the lyrics of the repetitive chorus, which states 'all we need is faith, faith is all we need'. “Pyres of Varanasi” is a mostly instrumental track which seems to act as an interlude before the 'faith' section of songs, with 'love' being announced at the beginning and 'lust' before “Up In The Air.” The track seems like it should be included in the soundtrack for a movie, rather than on a band's album.

“Bright Lights” is another more electronic sounding song, with the “whoa-oh’s” making yet another appearance. “Do or Die” is another track that could have easily been included in the previous album, and is a bit reminiscent of “Kings and Queens.” “Convergence” is another instrumental track, however this one is very soft and not as dramatic as "Pyres of Varanasi", however it also acts to break up the sections of the album, with 'dreams' being announced at the conclusion of the song.

“Northern Lights” has the darkest lyrics of the album, with the lines '...they’re going to send me on a murdering spree, I cannot wait to dance upon your grave...' being sung in the first verse. Final track, “Depuis Le Debut”, is divided into three clearly different sections. It starts off as an acoustic track with Leto’s voice being filtered. This abruptly stops and turns into a mix of synth and violins, again sounding like it belongs in a movie. As abruptly as it began it finishes and the sound of chimes from a music box end the track. It seems a somewhat strange way to end an album, but with an album this experimental, anything goes.

Overall, the album is very experimental and is nothing like the sound on their debut self-titled album. Because of the different direction, this concept album is a bit disappointing and may take a few listens to start liking a few of the tracks. It’s an album that seems to have divided opinions, however the album debuted in Australia at Number 4, so the band clearly still have the support of their fans and family known as 'the Echelon'.

Review Score: 7.0 out of 10.