Thirty Seconds to Mars
This Is War


3.0
good

Review

by Nick Mongiardo CONTRIBUTOR (74 Reviews)
May 8th, 2013 | 52 replies | 1,707 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Very overproduced and pretentious, but still enjoyable nonetheless.

After listening to this album for the first time, I came to the conclusion that one word that could describe it would be pretentious. For most of the record, there are times where it is just too overblown, overproduced, and of course pretentious. Does that mean the album is bad for that reason? Absolutely not because some songs are quite exceptional and really shows how far 30stm has come since their overlooked self-titled masterpiece. That said, this album is far from a masterpiece and probably the biggest reason this album fails at many points is the poor placement and overuse of The Summit.

For those of you that do not know anything about 30stm, they have an incredibly passionate and devoted fanbase that is respectfully called the Echelon. Many of these fans gathered together to sing choruses for many of the songs on the record in an event called The Summit. I know this sounds like each song would make for an incredibly annoying listen, but it really isn't when you actually sit down and listen. Songs like Kings and Queens and Closer to the Edge show how effective The Summit can be on the record. However, The Summit is clearly does not belong in a standout track like Hurricane(I'm talking about the original version without Kanye West). It is also overused AND poorly placed in Vox Populi which happens to be the most pretentious song I have ever heard. I know it sounds like I'm being harsh on this issue, but the truth is The Summit really does not make the record terrible. It's just worth being mentioned.

I have always been impressed with Jared Leto's singing ability and range and This Is War is no exception. Songs like Night of the Hunter, Kings and Queens, and Hurricane really showcases has fantastic singing ability. However, there are times when he over sings and you can hear the strain in his voice. The only track where he strains to hit the right note is Search and Destroy and this track is not a standout on the album. For the most part, he is very good, but the same cannot be said for his lyrics this time around which are very inconsistent. They range from great(Hurricane, Kings and Queens, Alibi) to downright corny(Search and Destroy, Vox Populi, This is War). It's a shame because he is usually a great songwriter.

Musically, the album very good. Shannon Leto is very consistent and Closer to the Edge is a great example of how great of a drummer he is. Tomo Milicevic is also very good at various points on the album. Kings and Queens is the musical highlight because everything works well and it is the best example of how well The Summit was placed. Alibi is all buildup through soft piano, ambient noise, and whispered vocals. Then it crescendos into the most inspiring song I've ever heard. Stranger in a Strange Land is a little electronic and eerie, but it pays off in the end with good vocals. The same can't be said for 100 Suns and L490 because they are so boring despite some soothing instruments in the middle of L490.

This may not 30stm's best entry into their discography, but for the most part, it's solid. Most of the songs could have done without The Summit and could have had better lyrics. If you are going into This Is War expecting a rehash of their self-titled you just are not going to find that. What you will find is an extremely pretentious but solid alternative rock album. At the same time, it is still enjoyable when they get it right.

Tracks I recommend:
-Kings and Queens
-Hurricane
-Alibi



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user ratings (862)
Chart.
3.1
good
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • DrGonzo1937 (2.5)
    This is.... not worth your time....

    DixieNormous (2)
    Jared Leto's retaliation for being sued by his label....

    pizzamachine (4)
    "Ultimately, This Is War is a near perfect blend of old and new, even though the album is ...

    Nicholas (1.5)
    This is War seems to be a trumpeting call to arms to a war that comes so often we get sick...

  • DarcieRoy (5)
    This Is War has triumphed....

    J. Ponton EMERITUS (3)
    While the album is overblown and pretentious, the final product does turn out to be pretty...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Green Baron
May 8th 2013



18135 Comments


kings and queens, this is war, closer to the edge and hurricane are the only good tracks.

Digging: Anberlin - Lowborn

Havey
May 8th 2013



9617 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

PRETENTIOUS

Digging: Cecil Taylor - Dark to Themselves

Irving
Staff Reviewer
May 8th 2013



7144 Comments


PRETENTIOUS [2]

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
May 8th 2013



9123 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Glad we agree on that part haha

FiveLeavesLeft
Staff Reviewer
May 8th 2013



9687 Comments


PRETENTIOUS [3]

ZackSh33
May 8th 2013



271 Comments


Kings and Queens is amazing. But yeah they go a little crazy with the chorus of people in like every single song on this thing.

NapalmCrusader
May 8th 2013



1737 Comments


Is ok

scissorlocked
May 8th 2013



3508 Comments


pretentious indeed

Digging: John Roberts - Ausio

bloc
May 8th 2013



34679 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I really like Stranger In A Strange Land

Digging: Anberlin - Lowborn

amanwithahammer
May 8th 2013



400 Comments


pretentious is usually the worst and most meaningless word (perhaps even more so than 'hipster' in many cases) but with 30stm i understand what you mean
i liked the albums they did before this one but now jared leto just needs to get back to acting and stop making such a big deal about his band's average music
at least that's what i think

DotEight
May 8th 2013



5476 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Grammar skills don't come naturally to you do they?

And Jared Leto is pretentious, everyone knows that.

Toondude10
May 8th 2013



3400 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

You used the term pretentious a little too much. You also have a few grammar mistakes as well. But you are very detailed and it does read well for the most part.

Have a pos

Digging: Hey Rosetta! - Seeds

joshieboy12345
May 8th 2013



5370 Comments


Your summary is perfect.

Digging: Rise Against - The Black Market

LPFTW
May 8th 2013



183 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

TBH I think this is their best album
Fuk u all

Digging: Moonface - Julia with Blue Jeans On

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
May 8th 2013



9123 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I know he's a moviestar too but I was trying to review it as if he wasn't.

I know I used pretentious a little too much but can you help me out and point out some grammar mistakes?

DotEight
May 8th 2013



5476 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Only movie he did well in was Lord of War and that's because he made a coke outline of Ukraine.

LPFTW
May 8th 2013



183 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

BTW great review hae a 'Pos

toxin.
May 8th 2013



12021 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

pretentious, worst word ever
there are more descriptive words like overambitious, contrived, etc. that actually mean something
title track > kings & queens

Cormano
May 8th 2013



924 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

he was great in Chapter 27

joshieboy12345
May 9th 2013



5370 Comments


Kings and Queens rules.



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