Review Summary: It's not often a band has a perfect debut. While "30 seconds to mars" has its short comings the album is overall solid and nicely polished.
Debuts are often where bands find their signature sound, and base their future albums off of that. However if you've heard "This Is War" and "A Beautiful Lie", "30 seconds to mars" might come across as a moment of shock because of how different is is from the band's current work and latest releases. It's not a bad album by any means, but has a lot to live up too. Songs among the album are all very similar sounding, and Jared doesn't experiment enough with his voice. Messages and themes within the album might be hard to understand for some people, but still seems very mature in it's own manner.
First I'm going to get the bad things out of the way. The main problem with the album is how similar all the songs sound, all relying off of a trippy beat, and four-chord guitar riffs. The lyrics suffer in some cases, but on other songs are very clever and deep. For example "Buddha For Mary" while my favorite song on the album conveys a dark theme about rape and abuse, is poorly executed lyrically. " Mary was a different girl. had a thing for astronauts. Mary was the type of girl, she always liked to play a lot". Another bitter-sweet thing about the album is that Jared doesn't experiment with his voice. While in one way this is a good thing because we don't hear the obnoxious screams we heard on a beautiful lie, but at the same time Jared's voice seems as if it's in the same dark, quiet tone the whole album. The second half of the album is also where the album goes on a spiral at the start of "Echelon" the song dedicated to their fanbase.
Now the good things....The first half of the album. From Capricorn (A Brand New Name) to Buddha For Mary this album is thrilling. "Fallen", the gem of the album, has a lyrical style that would be fitting for a poem, and builds an exciting tension. The album is also very well produced thanks to Bob Ezrin. While songs are simple, they're meshed together nicely. Like how "Edge Of The Earth" goes from a verse that builds up..only to be anti-climactic for the first part of the chorus, then bursting into a hard-hitting instrumental. If you enjoy and are use to the sound of the band's new work, this may be a tough pill to swallow. If you're a new to the band, give this one a listen first.
Capricorn (A Brand New Name)- 4/5
Edge Of The Earth- 3.8/5
Buddha For Mary- 4.5/5
Welcome To The Universe- 3/5
The Mission- 3.5/5
End of the Beginning- 2.5/5
93 Million Miles- 3/5
Year Zero- 2/5