30 Seconds to Mars – This is War. Or is it?

When I pressed play on my iPod after I had loaded This is War onto it, I was blown away .  Jared Leto’s voice murmered softly on the opening track ‘Escape’ and all of the sudden a chorus of people-seemingly a huge stadium full of people-proclaimed “This is War!”  Wow.  It was a really powerful introduction.  An introduction  that sustains itself through the first half of the disc, but ultimately loses steam.  

The following track, ‘Night and the Hunter’ is an interesting electronic layered piece that sounds nice, but has no semblance of a interesting hook.  The first single, ‘Kings and Queens’, which I liked the first time I heard it, fits nicely on the disc, along with the title track, ‘This is War’.  The band takes a promising acoustic turn on ‘100 suns’, one that  is over way too soon when it breaks into the dark, moody track, ‘Hurricane’.  

Originally, 30STM planned a cameo by Kanye West’s on ‘Hurricane’, but it was removed in the final release.  I listened to West’s version, and as much as I dislike West and the thought of him adding anything to Leto and Co, it worked.  I didn’t hate it.  Unfortunatly, the disc dies at the midway point.  What follows is an agonizing mixmatch of overused crowd vocals and cliche lyrics.  I feel This is War is a step in the right direction for 30 Seconds to Mars. But unlike their album cover that features over 2000 different versions of fans faces printed on it, the music contained within it not diverse enough to solicit repeat listens.

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