30 Seconds to Mars – A Beautiful Lie
Virgin Records (2005)
By Julia Eaton, The Cranky Ex-Punk Housewife
Confession: I did not go into this CD review with a completely open mind.
You may recall (because of course you read ALL my music reviews very carefully) that I am of the opinion there is no such a thing as a good band fronted by a famous actor. So it did not help my prejudice when I held up the promo photo to (Nada Editor) Matt’s girlfriend Sybil and said, “Wow, look at this slick promo,” and she squealed, “Oh my god! That’s Jared Leto! He is Mr. Hottie McHotpants!”
OK, so he is sort of hot, but…
As for his band, they come across as the perfect “grunge boy-band”. Their music isn’t bad, it’s actually kind of pleasant. It’s just not that compelling. Not because it sounds bad or the musicians can’t play their instruments, but because it is overproduced and soulless.
30 Seconds to Mars‘ grinding, heavy instruments are presented just quietly enough to not upset your mother (unless of course I am your mother), but heavy enough to make kids think they are listening to something “alternative”. Their angst is just enough to speak to the average teenager, but still light enough that said teenager can easily brush it off and cheer up with a quick trip to Hot Topic.
In short, there is no originality. A Beautiful Lie is as about as processed as Chicken McNuggets, and is becoming nearly as popular – since the album was released August 16, 2005 it has sold 1,004,652 copies.
After writing this review I gave the CD and press packet photo to the thirteen year old girl next door and she loved it. So if you’re a big fan of the typical OC and Smallville soundtrack fodder, check these guys out. Otherwise, don’t waste your time. – (3/10)