30 Seconds To Mars makes energetic arena rock songs. They
probably put on a hell of a live show, and will inevitably get some
major radio play. All in all, A Beautiful Lie is a decent sounding
CD - but, that's really all that can be said about it. Truth be told,
it's really quite boring. The kind of album you'd listen to on your
way to the local movie rental store to pick up Days of Thunder,
possibly even on the way back home.
A Beautiful Lie begins with "Attack." Apparently
the band was attacked by members of Hoobastank and Chevelle
before recording this song. Seriously, it sounds almost identical
to these two bands. Here, the lead singer beckons some damsel to "Run
away, runaway." Often good advice, but honestly who hasn't heard
it before? The wall of distorted guitar riffs and sneaks of electronica
do little but make the song sound even more predictable; or in other
words, sound more like Hoobastank and Chevelle. The title track changes
things up a little bit. Its score is reminiscent of 80s metal ballads
and those tiny Casio keyboards we all got for Christmas at some point.
"Try to give up on truth/the battles of your youth/cause this
is just a game, it's a beautiful lie." You know, sometimes hopeless
songs about self-deception are entertaining. This one is just depressing.
Luckily the lyrics are vague enough for our memories to jettison without
Then there's the utterly foolish filler-track "The Kill."
Lyrically, the song says absolutely nothing. Nothing at all. It's
just another self-indulgent, bitter break-up tune where the erroneous
"I" character is all but divinized, and the demonized "you'
is a heartless bitch. The lines range from threats ("What if
I wanted to break/laugh it all off in your face/What would you do?"
to echoed clichés ("Look in my eyes/you're killing me,
killing me. All I wanted was you.") The only valuable moments
shining through this smorgasbord of whine and dullard melodies is
the drum rolls during the bridge. They're pretty damned cool. Song
still sucks, though.
Also featured on this album are "The Fantasy" and "The
Story," completing 30 Seconds to Mars' "Songs That Begin
With 'The' Trilogy." "The Fantasy" asks, "Do you
live/do you die/do you bleed for the fantasy?" And while fantasies
generally bring us to new worlds more magical than our own, this track
instead whisks us away to a place we'd rather leave than visit. "The
Story" apparently takes us into a fish tank, as suggested by
the bubbles playing effervescently throughout. "This is the story
of my life," he sings. It's one built of deception and the "lies
[he] has created." Luckily, he "swears to God [he'll] find
[himself] in the end." But considering this "story"
is just a bunch of clichés with absolutely no reference point,
we have virtually no idea who he is or what he's talking about. Yet, this track has A Beautiful Lie's best lyric. It's a line
that accurately sums up the album's overarching motto:
"I'm in the middle of nothing, and it's where I want to be."
Frankly, I'd rather be somewhere a little bit more interesting.
I guess we'll just have to wait for a better band to take us there.
2. A Beautiful Lie
3. The Kill
4. Was it a Dream?
5. The Fantasy
7. From Yesterday
8. The Story
10. A Modern Myth
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