With all of the massive success Jared Leto has had as an actor it’s easy to forget that he’s also lead to a fairly popular band. It’s a fact that I honestly had forgotten til I saw Thirty Seconds to Mars were coming out with their first album in years. While the current extremely polarized climate of the United States can be an exhausting daily cycle of ‘one thing after another’, one thing it has offered is ample material for musicians of all genres to put their pen to. American society has always been ripe subject matter for artists but it seems to be under a lens unlike anytime I can personally remember in my lifetime. Thirty Seconds to Mars try to throw their own hat into this ring with AMERICA, but they ultimately come up well short of saying or adding anything worthwhile to the conversation. It’s essentially an album that’s full of vapid buzz words/phrases set to painfully generic electro-infused pop rock – the likes of which has been done about a million times better by the Imagine Dragons. It’s not a “terrible” album but it’s not a particularly compelling one either. Which is a shame because Jared Leto, as a person, seems infinitely more interesting than what they’ve put forward here.
In the Manic Street Preachers' latest, resistance may be futile but they're one of the last warriors still fighting to their last breath. It's solid raucous rock with a touch of punk spirit that gets the blood flowing and has you ready to stand up and fight.
David Byrne has always been pleasantly weird and experimental and he once again tries to push the musical envelope. What results from that sincere push is at best, a mess however. It's a mash up of different sounds and influences that, when it works, can be refreshing and exhilarating, but those moments are far too often undercut by clunky breakdowns and unnecessary introductions of new elements.
U2 have clearly had their ears to the 'streets' and have found inspiration from a number of different sources. The fact that they were able to lean on all of these influences without it sounding contrived is maybe their greatest accomplishment. And as someone who's not a die hard U2 fan, I thoroughly enjoyed their modern sound - it felt relevant yet still very much true to who U2 are. Songs of Experience feels like a true return to form for the legendary band and a worthy (and voluntary) addition to my music library.
“Can you even see what you’re fighting for? Blood lust in a holy war Listen up, hear the patriot shout: “Times are changing””
Have you heard AMERICA? What’d you think of it? Do you think Thirty Seconds to Mars said anything really of note on it? Let me know in the comments below and be sure to leave your own ratings and reactions for the album.
Thirty Seconds to Mars – AMERICA Reaction
Thirty Seconds to Mars try their hand at a politically charged record but they ultimately come up well short of saying or adding anything worthwhile to the conversation. It's essentially an album that's full of vapid buzz words/phrases set to painfully generic electro-infused pop rock. It's not a "terrible" album but it's not a particularly compelling one either.