Album Review: 30 Seconds To Mars – Love Lust Faith + Dreams

They’re not Skittles.

Four years on from This Is War, an album that garnered 30 Seconds To Mars a legion of adoring fans worldwide and saw Jared Leto take up a newfound Rock-God guise, the trio are back with their fourth studio album.

Entitled all in caps, ‘LOVE LUST FAITH + DREAMS’, it suggests that what’s contained within is a grandiose, captivating musical odyssey. Having always been aesthetically pleasing and admirably OTT, 30stm have tried to push their boundaries further with a little help from their friends. Artist Damien Hirst lends his world-famous Polka-Dots to the album’s cover, whilst the folks at NASA literally launched the lead single, ‘Up In The Air’, into space.

Naturally, ‘Up In The Air’s music video was an epically-bonkers short-film directed by Leto’s director alter-ego Bartholomew Cubbins, and of course, Leto was topless at some point. The aforementioned build-up towards ‘LLF+D’, made for a safe bet that 30stm latest might possibly be their greatest, but alas, Leto proves that even he is in-fact human.

What has in the past been 30stm’s greatest strength – their passion for the grandeur within previous songs, is one of ‘LLF+D’s biggest weaknesses. Gone are the booming choruses that swept away fans and critics alike, instead they’re replaced with empty ballads such as ‘End Of All Days’ and ‘Northern Lights’. It’s hard to find any real emotion in any songs, an exception being ‘City Of Angels’, where Leto bellows his love for Los Angeles‘Pyres Of Varansi’ and ‘Convergence’ prove to be meaningless fillers, bringing nothing new to the table.

However, the record isn’t a complete disappointment, ‘Birth’, is a pleasing enough curtain-raiser; combining classical orchestra with modern synths, before bursting into a rare straight-up thumping rock song, ‘Conquistador’.

Up In The Air’ cleverly integrates synths and the signature 30stm alternative sound previously found in A Beautiful Lie‘Attack’. ‘The Race’ is an intriguing blend of rapid orchestral strings and rocking guitar riffs, whilst ‘Bright Lights’ and ‘Do Or Die’ provide those gargantuan choruses, although, it’s still not as fulfilling as it should be when they reach their respective climaxes.

‘LOVE LUST FAITH + DREAMS’ just always feels like a side-project, like it’s a work of art that’s tried to of been polished to perfection, rather than feeling like a band that have gone into the studio trying to rock the fucking world. That’s what made ‘This is War’ and ‘A Beautiful Lie’ so stupidly successful (and quite brilliant), it was the fact that 30stm were so relentlessly bold and energetic. That past attitude seems to have disappeared on this record, which makes it such a mild-mannered affair.

The banality of ‘LOVE LUST FAITH + DREAMS’ is unbecoming of one of the biggest bands on the planet. Hopefully, they can recapture that narcissistic swagger of albums past.

3 out of 5 stars.

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