30 Seconds to Mars recently dropped its long-awaited album, “America.”
Months prior, the band released the first song from the album titled “Walk on Water” and it was an instant hit. Not even a week after its release, the song was played during Celtics games and on a plethora of commercials, so one would assume the rest of the album would be rocking, right?
I sat down to listen to the entire album and was more disappointed than I can begin to explain. I’ll be honest – I didn’t finish listening to most of the songs. Jared Leto has always been one of those people who doesn’t seem to age and has the ability to be good at everything from acting to creating music, but this entire album screams one thing: old.
I’ve been a fan of 30 Seconds to Mars for as long as I can remember, and this resembles your once-cool dad attempting to create EDM vomit compared to their typical punk-styled screams followed by memorable and emotional lyrics.
Every group has to switch it up once in a while, and no one expected Jared Leto to continue writing songs such as “The Kill” and “Hurricane” from previous albums, but this is just, well, bad.
The album features popular artists such as A$AP Rocky and Halsey on a few tracks to perhaps heighten the record itself. It seems as if Leto needed them in order to create a song that would be played over and over on 107.9, but honestly, they seemed to make the songs worse.
Halsey sings along with Leto on the third song, “Love Is Madness,” and is barely audible when Leto lets out his famous screams that sound more like he is trying not to drown under water and let out a screech for help. The lyrics were written for someone like Katy Perry – no offense to the Katy Kats out there – rather than famed rocker Leto, who’s been pretty successful over the years.
“One Track Mind” features A$AP Rocky rapping in between Leto’s sadly mediocre lyrics. Just as the song almost starts to sound good, the chorus comes and becomes a heap of auto-tuned humming from Leto that makes me want to press pause and never listen again. Rocky’s verse sounds sloppy and forced instead of intense.
The only two decent songs are “Walk on Water” and “Dangerous Mind,” both of them still sounding like a somewhat resemblance of what 30 Seconds to Mars became famous for. You’re still able to hear the familiar sound of Shannon Leto’s drums pounding in the background, while Jared’s voice sweeps you into an entirely different musical universe. Either way, they are reaching for the monkey bars, and falling flat on the pavement.
If this was Leto’s attempt at becoming more modern in terms of what’s on the radio nowadays, I wish I could have just told him one word, “No,” and to stick with what he’s good at.
For the effort and because 30 seconds is classic, but it’s time to Jared Let-go.