Thirty Seconds To Mars

I was expecting more from this. ‘The Platinum Album!’ screams the sticker on the front. “The fact that a great many gifted thespians have pumped out some pretty awful albums hasn’t slowed him at all” the Press Release says of Jared Leto, actor-type blokey and lead singer in the band. I was expecting something pretty special, but I’m afraid the title “A Beautiful Lie” may be a bit more fitting than intended.

To get things straight, I don’t think this is a bad album. The title track is powerful, as are some other tracks, such as “Attack” and “The Battle Of One”, both of which are more up-tempo and alerting. It’s just that the entire album has the feeling that it’s actually the soundtrack to a movie, in the kind of ‘background to action’ way. I just couldn’t stay focussed on it. And I even tried doing nothing while listening to it.

Even the track titles are uninspiring. “Attack”, “The Kill”, “Was It A Dream?” and “The Fantasy” all sound like chapters from some cheesy fantasy novel, not a platinum-selling album.

And why begin “The Fantasy” with one of the best-known song lyrics of our generation? There is no way that any track can take ‘With the light off / it’s less dangerous’ away from Nirvana. So don’t try.

This really isn’t a bad album per se. At times there are elements of “Sixteen Stone” Bush and early U2, but, sadly, these are fleeting. As a whole, I would recommend you pick out the few tracks I have rated here rather than spend your cash on the full album.

Simon Middleyard