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Courtesy of EMI & Virgin Records
Courtesy of EMI & Virgin Records

Zachary Risinger: 30 Seconds to Mars, boosted in part by the celebrity of Jared Leto in his acting and musical career, is a band that excels in nearly every aspect of what they do. Whether it’s through their heartfelt and moving ballads or their driving guitar riffs, 30 Seconds to Mars has made their mark on the world of music, breaking world tour records and playing to gigantic crowds from every corner of the world.

David Conley: 30 Seconds has always been a band that’s changed their sound. The only time they didn’t change their sound too much was from their debut album to “A Beautiful Lie;” their newest album draws upon their past sounds but also drives them into a new direction that shouldn’t surprise fans who are familiar with the psuedo-pattern that the band follows. When that happens, you gain and lose fans. Jared Leto continues his virtuoso ways with “LOVE LUST FAITH + DREAMS” with inspired performances coupled with their new type of sound.

ZR: Leto and crew definitely approached this album with variety of content in mind. Songs like “Pyres of Varanasi” have a “TRON”-inspired feel with chanting vocals textured over the top, giving it a sort of grandiose and theatrical feel. “Convergence” takes quite the opposite approach, calming the mood of the album down for a moment. The entire album is a ride up and down the emotional spectrum, and it’s one that works well with the inspirational setting that 30 Seconds to Mars works within.

DC: I’ve really enjoyed their progression; it’s a very Coldplay-esque thing for them to do. I mean that in the way that with their latest albums, Coldplay and 30 Seconds have taken to working with these grand ballad pieces that highlight their vocal and musical talents instead of working within what fans perceive to be their “sound” as dictated by their previous work. This new angle looks to blow the roof off arenas, and you can tell with the sheer passion and energy that 30 Seconds to Mars puts into their songs. “City of Angels” is very much a ballad that can be expected to do just that; “Northern Lights” is a personal favorite. Leto’s voice sounds more rugged and raw, and you can tell that he’s getting older and more impassioned. I would definitely recommend this album; it’s different (which we should come to expect), and it is 30 Seconds to Mars at their best.

ZR: There’s something for everyone here. “Up in the Air” is the most radio-friendly song that’s going to appeal widely, but there are also songs like “Northern Lights” that will move you. The key here is to let the album take you where it wants to go.

Recommended. The variety and emotional value of this album are worth the listen.

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