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8 out of 10
Following up a successful album is always difficult, but attempting to follow up an album as phenomenally successful and seemingly out of the blue as ’A Beautiful Lie’ is the daunting task facing 30 Seconds To Mars. Sensibly they’ve not rushed it; the four years that have passed have seen numerous tours, prestigious festival slots and a lawsuit. But, before the end of the year, ’This Is War’ will be on every emo kids Christmas list. ’Kings and Queens’ is the first single, released on 30th November, before the album follows a week later.
The track itself wouldn’t be out of place on ’A Beautiful Lie’, sharing similarities with the title track. A rousing ’whoa’ kicks the song off before it settles into a lush, shimmering, Angels and Airwaves style verse which builds from the softest of melodies into a stirring chorus that will be shouted back at the band when they next tour. It’s hard to believe Jared Leto used to be an actor such is the strength of his voice and the lack of success attained by others who have made the transition from actor to singer. Leto tells us that ’the age of man is over’ over an ethereal, other worldly backing and as the track draws to a close, what appears to be a kids choir provides backing vocals and lend a real sense of occasion to proceedings.
So, will 30 Seconds To Mars continue their meteoric rise to the top of rock tree? On this evidence it seems likely, the formula that made ’A Beautiful Lie’ such a hit is followed, a move that will keep the legions of devoted fans happy and the sound is sufficiently pleasant to be picked up by mainstream radio ensuring a broader potential audience. In short, this is exactly the sort of track the band needed to release in advance of their new album, a perfect reminder of what the band can do and a hint at what is to come.
1. Kings and Queens