American alternative rock band Thirty Seconds to Mars return with their fourth studio album, Love Lust Faith + Dreams. Conceptual and ambitious, the record romances with four themes that form the title of the album. Provocative themes, artistic lyrics and buoyant chants provide the perfect foil for Jared Leto’s raw vocals.
“Birth” is a perfect opening to the album that plays a persistent crescendo which ultimately explodes with beauty matching front-man Jared Leto’s sinful voice. “Conquistador” is filled with gentle monotonous beats nicely patched with the sound of dirty guitars that rock from the start. “Up in the Air” is undoubtedly the edgiest track of the album.
It is full of brooding lyrics and has energy in abundance providing the irresistible urge to groove. “City of Angels” has slower beats and is influenced by electronica. “Pyres of Varanasi” is an instrumental track stitched with indecipherable dramatic chanting. The cut has an Indian feel especially at the start of the song. “Bright Lights” explores the idea of achieving your dreams and opening yourself to love. Leto’s mellow vocals add life to the subtle track. “Do or Die” is another powerful easy sing along track in the album.
“Convergence” is a soft instrumental track and perhaps the only track that doesn’t add much to the niche album. “Northern Lights” is a creatively composed track which creates an eerie, mysterious feeling. Written by Shannon Leto, it deals with darker themes of death and survival. “Depuis Le Debut” closes the album with Leto’s vocals accompanied by acoustic guitar. Eventually, it changes the musical style, loaded with dramatic synths and beats.
Overall, “Love Lust Faith + Dreams” is a brave attempt by 30 STM to be optimistic and inspirational. It’s not a great album but it’s good. It’s not even close to the darker corners from where the band emerged. At a run time of just over 44 minutes, it isn’t too long either, which gives it a good balance. So, it may or may not be a letdown for the band’s fans.
Published on Page 4 in INK, an SIMC initiative, on July 25, 2013.