Love Lust Faith + Dreams review by 30 Seconds To Mars

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  • Released: May 17, 2013
  • Sound: 6
  • Lyrics: 5
  • Overall Impression: 6
  • Reviewer's score: 5.7 Decent
  • Users' score: 5.3 (106 votes)
30 Seconds To Mars: Love Lust Faith + Dreams
3

Sound — 6
The band originally formed in 1997 by brothers Jared (vocals, rhythm guitar) and Shannon Leto (drums). Currently, since 2007, they are the only original members and the band is completed with lead guitarist Tomo Miličević. The band has had a few lineup changes over the years, always attributed to members leaving due to the touring schedule. The band's sound has changed drastically since their first release, and has been labeled one of several dozen different genres basically everything from emo to nu-metal to progressive metal. Their most diehard fans call themselves "The Echelon" and insist they aren't fans at all but "family." The band is involved in charities and has inspired much of their fan base to be involved in charities as well (which is admirable). Even more admirable, Jared Leto has made a point to keep his acting career and his band separate, refusing to play in venues that try to promote the band by using his name. There are a lot of things the band is doing right, but somehow their latest release still seems to fall a little flat.

"Love, Lust, Faith and Dreams" is the fourth full length studio album released by 30 Seconds To Mars and has a total runtime of just under 45 minutes. The first single from the album is "Up In The Air" which was debuted aboard the international space station on March 18th, being the first commercial release to be sent to space. It was released the next day, on March 19th as an available download on iTunes. The band recorded the choral support vocals via an event called "The Summit" where they invite fans to meet up to provide these vocals. They had used the same practice previously on the album "This Is War." The album is divided into 4 sections named after the words in the album title ("Love," "Lust," "Faith" and "Dreams") and the album was written as a concept album. Now, let me tell you how this album has failed they wrote every song on the album like it is intended to be a stadium ballad. Every song is written with very little substance but instead is full of hooks and big choruses and at the end of the day just sounds gimmicky. On the positive, the mixing and production on the album were nicely done and this could have potentially been an astounding album with more thoughtful songwriting.

Lyrics — 5
Jared Leto really does have an excellent voice, even when supporting sub-par songwriting as on this album. On the band's previous releases Jared's voice has really shined as a raw and soulful voice, but there seems to be a tad more in the way of post-processing completed on this album which makes his voice sound great (from a pop standpoint) but isn't doing him any favors with rock fans. I've read a little bit about Jared Leto getting caught up in some kind of rock 'n' roll messiah god complex, and after hearing this album I'm beginning to wonder. The lyrics from the album tend to range from pop music shallow to just ridiculous. As an example, here are some lyrics from the track "City Of Angels": "There was truth/ There was consequence/ Against you, weak defense/ Then there's me/ I'm seventeen/ looking for a fight/ All my life/ I was never there/ Just a ghost/ Running scared/ here our dreams are made/ the one." Jared Leto doesn't have any kind of leg to stand on singing about being seventeen and looking for a fight it just comes off as ridiculous and cheesy. The other lyrics on the album don't really get much better.

Overall Impression — 6
Before the album "This Is War" I had pretty much discounted 30 Seconds To Mars as radio pop, but when I heard "This Is War" I thought I must have made a mistake it was better than I expected. Then with the release of "Love, Lust, Faith and Dreams" I have to wonder if my original opinion was right after all. None of us can know what happened with the members to bring them to this point, but honestly the music sounds pretentious and shallow in a way that makes me feel seriously negative about the band. I had read recently about Jared Leto working with Kanye West and the band performing covers of some straight pop music in concert and at the time I thought it was "tongue in cheek" or just a fun sideline, but maybe this is the honest direction the band is moving towards.

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48 comments sorted by best / new / date

    TryTheKetchup
    The whole thing is weak and empty. Not terrible, not disgusting, just ... empty. You listen to it and you feel nothing. It's the worst thing that could happen to any album. This is it.
    mc92
    I know this might be controversial statement but when I compare their last two albums (LLFD and TiW) to 2nd Law and The Resistance by Muse, I see both bands are following the path of recording egocentric quasi-art rock LPs which are nothing but boring ripoffs from Radiohead, U2, Queen and sometimes Led Zep. 30STM and Muse both have become pitiful caricature of progressive rock.
    Gerard Way Jr
    Same. The Jared Leto Project and The Matt Bellamy Experience are both a lesson in hilariously shallow call-to-arms type noise. It all feels very cold.
    SocksAndTrees
    I seriously wonder what Tomo does in the band anymore..
    Johnsson6
    me too. i seriously don't think he's happy. same with shannon. no real drums, just awful fake drum beats
    JadenCaruso
    Well he does play violin. "The Race" surprised me with how good he is at violin. As a guitarist he never really impressed me, I mean he plays very strong rhythm guitar and melodies but he never seemed like "lead guitar" material. He has little to no blues in his style, and unlike other lead guitarists that shunned blues he doesn't shred much. His role in the band seems to be more complementing what Jared plays with either guitar, keyboards, or more recently the violin. It's a shame, because I'd love to see some sweet solos from Tomo.
    tdwpozzy
    Im really hoping for a return to for a la Linkin Park next go around. The mixture of old and new with passion reinvigorating the songwriting. It seemed the same way with Brad Delson and Rob Bourden until the new album. Have yet to give this album a listen tho. We'll see.
    BuriedAlive7x
    For the new songs he plays the piano leads/synths and a few guitar parts. Jared Leto was always the main composer, I think he writes all of the songs, even on previous albums, but like some noted this feels like Jared Leto's solo album. I won't be surprised if Tomo quits the band one day.
    GoToSleep
    Kinda sucks to be a 30stm fan at the moment. I felt that This is War was a fairly strong album but this one is just totally underwhelming.
    Van Guff
    This is war was good, but LLF+D I find is awful. Conquistador is a good song, same with up in the air, but they're the only ones. I spent 9 on the album because it was hyped to be the best album of the year and I find I wasted my money. Seriously disappointed, starting to loose faith in the rock industry because everyone keeps going electro.
    365_days_gone
    First album was actually quite genius. Anyone that was not heard it needs to. After the first album though, their world ended cause it was all crap afterwards.
    False_God
    Their first 2 albums were good, but since "This is War" I haven't enjoyed their music at all.
    SocksAndTrees
    I agree, This Is War had some strong tracks, mainly the title track, and a few others. However, it got pretty old, there were a few songs on there that were nothing but electronic sounding music playing while Leto sung quietly, which I thought were the worst tracks, unfortunately, this album seems to be made of those.
    Abacus11
    I hate when people judge music before hearing it... but I'd bet any vital body part that this album is a pile of sh*t.
    AshandRuin
    I haven't heard this yet, and I know bands tend to mature and change as they get further on in their career, but god I wish they would go back to doing what they were doing on their self titled album.
    bonerjams03
    i used to enjoy watching the band live when jared would rock out and play guitar... this is war and llf+d changed that... their shows won't be the same. i understand bands like to evolve, but listen to the grunge era bands. they didn't go from grunge to pop to fit the mold. they continued to rock and for the most part still do today. would be great for leto to get some of that angst back he had when cameron diaz broke his heart which eventually turned into a beautiful lie.
    Kueller917
    But then at the same time you have bands like Radiohead from the same era that went completely 180 and abandoned the sense of rock, and it wasn't to fit the mold. It was the opposite rather. Not saying you need to like changes in direction. I don't always enjoy them. But it just feels kinda limiting to say "I like it when you experiment, but just don't experiment too much"
    Gerard Way Jr
    Oh, God, these guys again. To answer your question in that last paragraph, Brandon, the sound you experienced in "This Is War" was not progression. It was just Leto injecting pretentious spirit into a hilariously bloated soundtrack and passing it off as "art rock". No one can blame you for being fooled.
    jbass13
    It's an alright album. It most certainly is not their best work. Of course, that's the problem when bands put out more albums. People either hate new albums because it sounds like the old stuff, or it does not sound like the old stuff. If you separate this album from the others, it's pretty decent, but yes it does not compare with 30STM's previous work.
    ckadavar
    lame album,boring single video. Especially, when i'm just finished like clockwork.
    lflorentine
    I enjoyed it and I actually prefer when a band's sound is different on each release because as a musician, my style changes evrey so often that i see it impossible to be pigeonholed into one distinct style/genre your whole career. Songs like bright lights, city of angels, and up in the air are extremely enjoyable to listen to (IMO), and the rest of the album as whole i think flows well and is a very relaxed listen.
    MusicMan24
    30 Seconds to Mars - 9/10 A Beautiful Lie - 6/10 This is War - 7/10 Love Lust Faith + Dreams - 3/10 Seriously. What happened? They had 3 solid albums, then this art rock wannabe sh*t??? So disappointed in this band. They, along with Muse, shouldn't put out another album if they're going to continue with this like I said before, art rock wannabe sh*t
    Hebriqui
    I wonder... Leto said that he had written over 70 songs for the new album, yet they come up with a 45 minute album which just falls short on almost all points. I'm disappointed quite some bit, as I felt that This is War was quite a creative and good sounding effort. :
    Emperor's Child
    I have to say, the only 30STM album I've liked so far was their debut. Saw the film "Lord of War" the other day and his acting was very good in that, albeit sometimes humorous. I guess I prefer his acting.
    LesThanPaul
    Leto has one of my favorite rock voices. I loved A Beautiful Lie, and This is War was pretty good too. But these two singles fall short. The music just feels pointless and empty...it doesn't really say anything.
    Salvo416
    idk why people hate on 30 seconds to mars so much.. I think they make good music.
    gabthibud
    It's not that bad come on ... it's still better than all the top 40 radio shit. Now 30 Seconds to mars are trying to bring a more artistic style than musical. I got to agree it's not the best album i've bought but still I'm kind of happy I bought it!
    Kueller917
    Personally, I hated This Is War. Some of the singles were enjoyable in separate but when listening to the whole album it just felt like a poor attempt to sound big by making rather weak songs and coating them with constant choirs and reverb. Even the lyrics never really went anywhere with the album's theme after the first couple of songs. This I have to say I liked better. At least for 30stm standards it didn't seem to attempt to be something much larger than it could reach. Standard Leto trying to be dramatic and I think it had a bit of an edge that was present in the first two albums again. Not something I'll be going back to, but I didn't hate it, and in fact I thought it had its nice moments.
    Darth Wader
    Here is the review that I made on this album: There is much to compare 30 Seconds To Mars "Love Lust Faith + Dreams" to Linkin Park's "A Thousand Suns." Both bands are known for a vocalist with an impressive range that switches back and forth between melodic and aggressive and always intense. Both bands have put out albums with those moments with hard hitting guitars that perfectly compliment the intense vocals. Both albums have a message that is lost on this reviewer. And now both bands have put out albums where the guitar has become non-existent. I am unsure why rock bands of today are feeling a need to replace the guitar with keyboards and fake drumbeats. In an effort to improve the song, both of these groups have put out albums where the climax of songs come out flat. Granted, both of these albums manage to pull together a few decent songs and I truly believe that if you put some of these songs live in an arena with the guitar in the mix, they could make for great songs. Unfortunately, "Love Lust Faith + Dreams" is a disappointment in my opinion. Jared Leto claims that 30 Seconds To Mars is an "art project." This is clearly evident in their newest offering but as mentioned above, the art has failed. Co-mingled with this "art" are plenty of oh's and whoa's and other singalong moments that are strategically designed for the large arenas that 30 Seconds To Mars sell out on a nightly basis. While this album will do nothing to impede the quality of their live shows, I am hoping that their next album is more of a return to the group that put out one of the best albums of last decade, "A Beautiful Lie." 1) Birth (4/10): An interesting track that leads into a synth heavy album. Although only about two minutes in length, it has some cool moments. It begins with some keyboard and when Jared's vocals come in, I was feeling excited to hear what was coming next. Sadly, I did not know that the keyboard was going to take over this album. 2) Conquistador (6/10): Plenty of "oh's." References to fighting and wars and great background vocals of "We will, we will, we will rise again." There is some guitars in this song but unfortunately they are nothing special. 3) Up In The Air (8/10): More "oh's" and "whoa's" designed for an arena singalong. This is the first single of this album. Again, not to sound like a broken record but hard hitting guitars would have make this an epic song. But the mix of keyboards/synth and fake beats make it stale. Leto's vocals are great as usual. 4) City Of Angels (10/10): The highlight of this album. A slower song for 30 Seconds To Mars but it is one lyrically that I feel is quality. Again, keyboards reign supreme but this time it works. Probably will be a second single. 5) The Race (4/10): This song begins with...synth. And what again sounds like fake drums. There is a pattern here of similar sounding music and Leto starting quiet as the song builds. This would be more effective with some sort of buildup of intense music but with synths, it cannot reach the apex required to cut you to the core. 6) End Of All Days (2/10): Starts with piano which is a little different than keyboard/synths. Leto's voice is quiet and it builds...ineffectively with fake drums and keyboards. The chorus is simple enough: "All we need is faith. All we need is faith. Faith is all we need." The message of this song is lost on me. I can't tell if Leto is being ironic as the verses seem to betray the chorus. If that is the point, then it is pretty weak. 7) Pyres Of Varansi (0/10): Worst thing I have heard in awhile. It is a filler track with keyboards and what sounds like an Indian guy caterwauling. It is one that I wanted to skip almost immediately and wish that I did. 8) Bright Lights (4/10): Starts of slow with Leto's vocals. Builds with keyboard/synths with some more "oh's." And then more keyboards and synths. I am starting to wonder if anyone got credited with guitars on this album. 9) Do Or Die (4/10): You'll never guess how this song starts...synths. And then it is slow with Leto's vocals. And then fake drums come in. And if they are not fake drums here (or anywhere else on this album that I mentioned it) then they sure do sound fake and I apologize. Then the song builds a little with more synth and some "oh's" and "whoa's." It never reaches the climax it deserves. Leto's vocals sound great, though, but cannot save the mediocre song. 10) Convergence (0/10): Another throwaway, filler track. Just keyboards for 2 minutes. Press skip. It adds nothing. 11) Northern Lights (5/10): Fake drums begin this song. It begins slow and Leto's vocals come in. He does a little bit of his screaming which is unfortunately limited on this album. My guess is that it is limited due to the lack of hard hitting intense moments. It is a shame, especially at this point, when the album is near its close. This would be a pretty good song if you added in some guitars to go along with the synths/strings. 12) Depuis Le Debut (1/10): The last song is also close to a throwaway track. It makes an odd conclusion to the lackl
    sguitar
    "city of angels" is the highlight? No... "End of all days" was way better. *not my cup of music will never listen to this album again...
    D4CE
    Why the hell did you give Up In The Air an 8? I've given this album a listen, and my god.. Up In The Air is definitely the worst track on there.. + City of Angels sounds like a U2 rip-off
    Avery1
    I actually really liked this album... I didn't really care much for 'thisis war' but this album, I've been listening to it stright for 3 days now. I found their instrumentals The Pyres of Varanasi as well as Convergence really hypnotic.... Honestly, I like this album a lot!
    martina16
    Well i think it rocks amazings music i like it but i think its evil some how ... !!