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30 Seconds To MArs
A Beautiful Lie
Virgin Records
www.virginrecords.com


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 effort.

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.

-Justin Stover

Track List:

1. Attack
2. A Beautiful Lie
3. The Kill
4. Was it a Dream?
5. The Fantasy
6. Savior
7. From Yesterday
8. The Story
9. R-Evolve
10. A Modern Myth


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