Concert preview: Thirty Seconds to Mars’ latest as bombastic as frontman Jared Leto’s movies

By Columbus Alive
From the October 3, 2013 edition

It’s fitting Thirty Seconds to Mars frontman Jared Leto (“Requiem for a Dream,” “Chapter 27”) is best known for his work as an actor, because the band’s latest Love Lust Faith + Dreams is as bombastic, over-the-top and hollow as a Hollywood summer blockbuster.

Leto tends to over emote throughout, delivering cornball lines about, uh, love, lust, faith and dreams as though they were biblical prophecies. It might have worked, too, if the band played with similar conviction. But an overreliance on limp balladry (just try to make it through a single spin of the softly lit “City of Angels”) and dashed-off synth-rock prevents too many songs from taking hold.

Worst of all, however, might be the endless collection of sing-song “whoa-ohs” and “oh, oh, ohs” scattered like so much hair-metal buckshot throughout the record. Someone needs to gather all of ’em and create a website to compete with the James Hetfield soundboard. New Politics opens the show.