A Beautiful Lie
Following their 2002 debut, L.A.’s 30 Seconds To Mars hone their sound a bit on A Beautiful Lie, polishing up their emo-gloomrock style while injecting a bit more rawk into the mix. The band’s frontman and founder Jared Leto directs 30STM’s sound with his dramatic lyrics and vocals, and he’s also earned the band various nominations and awards for several mini-epic videos he directed under different nom de plumes. (In 2008, the band released a stunning video for the title track, which was shot in Greenland and praised for its artistry and its environmental outreach efforts.) Big songs (and singles) like “Attack” and “The Kill” put Leto’s metal-melting vocals on center stage, but bringing them down a notch on tracks like “Beautiful Lie” and “From Yesterday” gives a bit more room for expressive guitar parts (from the metallic to the skillfully picked) and the solid drumming to shine through. Dreamy guitar stylings reminiscent of The Cure color the ghostly “Was it a Dream” and “The Story,” and the track “A Modern Myth” even features strings and acoustic guitars. The real surprise here may be the band covering Bjork’s “The Hunter;” you gotta give ‘em kudos for the stretch!