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The Wait is Over....
on 7 December 2009
Being a fan of 30 Seconds to Mars since their debut album and having seen them in concert, I greatly anticipated the release of their latest work 'This is War'. It's been a considerable wait, with the band being involved in a protracted legal battle with their record label. But, now, the wait is over. So, was it worth it?
'Kings and Queens' is probably the track most people have heard as their introduction to the direction the band has taken and, all-in-all, it's a catchy track and a bold anthem. Unfortunately, it doesn't set the level of quality for the entire album. For a large part, it really is a mixed bag. 'Hurricane', 'This is War' and 'Stranger in a Strange Land' are strong tracks with a distinct feel to each. However, many other tracks seem overly long and uninspired, vocals sometimes seem overly strained and the lyrics lacking in maturity. And, probably most irritatingly of all, there is a chronic over-use of the 'children's choir' vocals. Used in 'This is War' and 'Kings and Queens', it's different and interesting, but I actually reached a point where I sighed and wished I could just stop listening when I'd heard the same technique used for the fifth of sixth time.
I'm not saying this is a terrible album, and clearly the people involved are very proud of their work, but it just seems flat and a tad unimaginative. I wanted to like it more, I really did, but when comparing this to their previous works, it just doesn't reach me in the same way.