Customer Reviews: This Is War
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on December 8, 2009
How many times do you hear a "great" song on the radio and buy the whole album only to be disappointed to find that "great" song surrounded by a bunch of mediocre at best productions? Don't answer that, it's a rhetorical question. The first time I heard Kings and Queens I was hoping that the rest of the album would follow the tradition of A Beautiful Lie and I am definitely not disappointed. In my opinion This is War takes A Beautiful Lie and improves on it in every aspect. Superb.
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on December 8, 2009
With the release of their third album, This is War, 30 Seconds to Mars has once and for all shirked their reputation as an "angst" band. It could instead be argued that, while the wounds of their battle with Virgin Records are evident in their latest release, they instead offer themselves as healthy role models for listeners, channeling their frustration and suffering into songs of hope, optimism, and strength.

"I fell apart but I got back up again," Jared Leto croons in "Alibi", first in a soothing tone evocative of a lullaby, later soaring to a cry that is both anguished and exultant. This sentiment of determination and healing echoes throughout the album.

It's rare for me to like an album the first time I hear it. I've always found comfort in familiarity; usually new songs have to "grow" on me. But it was love at first listen for This is War. It's the kind of music you can listen to with your eyes closed and see the sun rise; the kind of music you blast with the car's windows rolled down; the kind you sing along to with the enthusiasm of a fevered tent-revival disciple. This album gives you chills from its first notes.

As if it were even possible to do so, following the release of their platinum-selling second album, A Beautiful Lie, the talented men of 30 Seconds to Mars have continued to improve their musical aptitude, producing a more polished and innovative album than the previous two. (Note that I do NOT mean more "mainstream" - despite their producer Flood's experience with renowned bands such as U2, Depeche Mode, and The Smashing Pumpkins, they continue to admirably deviate from the flow of "pop" music.) One example of their musical pioneering would be the choral accompaniments to many of the songs: the uplifting chants heard in the background of such songs as the title track (also featured in the game Dragon Age: Origins), "Night of the Hunter", and "Hurricane" are actually the voices of 30 Seconds to Mars' fans, recorded earlier this year in a "digital summit" (just one of many ways the band incorporates its "army" into the music). These full-bodied compositions will undoubtedly play well in the acoustics of a large venue.

This Is War also contains more of the smoky, sexy, whispered vocals that particularly send Leto's admirers swooning. Because of this, the album will likely perform well in an intimate, acoustic setting. Regardless of the site, This Is War seems destined for live performance greatness.

Overall, 30 Seconds to Mars has used their strife to demonstrate unparalleled poise and grace, and the result is an album with more depth and intensity than I've experienced in a long time.

Darcie Roy
Provehito In Altum
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on December 8, 2009
I don't understand the negative response to the CD on this site. I understand that taste in music is a matter of preference, but I think it's an absolutely fantastic album. To another review, you asked why the whispering and choral vocals? The album is called This Is War. If that doesn't have an epic connotation, I don't know what does, and the group vocals are one of the most inspiring and moving contributions to a song you can add. The whispering has a similar feel. I looked on iTunes to see if the response to the album was the same, and there are currently 200 ratings, 169 of which are 5 stars, 18 are 4 stars, and only 13 are 3 stars or below. To each his own, but I would emphatically recommend that anyone on the fence about this album go ahead and buy it. It's well worth the money.
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on December 8, 2009
Being a person of 1960's vintage, it takes a bit to get me excited about new music.

But, this album being offered upon it's release for $[...] shows why Amazon does this - to introduce new music to new fans.

When I first saw the description, I almost didn't go to the "special deals" page. When I did, I was very impressed by the 30 second teasers, so I downloaded it at the $[...] special price.

Oh wow, did I get my money's worth. I am somewhat struck by what seems to me to be that it is a "concept" album - somewhat akin to Pink Floyd's several albums - not that some hit-worthy singles might not arise from this album. But it so "new" in its sound and yet pleasing to the ears - I cannot say enough about it.

I highly recommend this album and am planning on it as a stocking stuffer for my 11 year-old grandson as well.

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on March 9, 2011
"This is War" (Deluxe Edition) is an extremely fun and exciting cd to listen to. I just received this cd yesterday, and I first got a chance to listen to it last night (I enjoy this cd so much that I listened to it again this morning). I am extremely glad that I took a chance on getting this deluxe edition of "This is War" by Thirty Seconds to Mars. I say this especially because I took a chance with buying a ticket to their upcoming concert in April near where I live before actually receiving this cd (I bought a ticket on March 7th, and received "This is War" deluxe edition on March 8th). What this has to do with the greatness of this band (and obviously their music) is that I went to purchase tickets online, and noticed that many of the seats to this concert sold out so fast that only the ground seats are left (even after I slyly attempted to see if different seats available). I went ahead and purchased a ticket to the ground floor seating area of their concert because of the strong sense that their music is going to be good (once again, I took a leap of faith before having this cd in my hands). After listening to this cd, I feel lucky (and happy) that I went with the idea to purchase a ticket to their upcoming concert even before listening to "This is War". The following is a summary of the song and dvd summary to help you see why I enjoy listening to these tracks and my obvious excitement about attending their concert (on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest rating). Please understand that the summary is my own personal interpretation and humble opinions on each of the musical gems of "This is War" (Deluxe Edition) by Thirty Seconds to Mars. I am very understanding and open-minded to the fact that there are going to be different views and opinons on these songs in variation with the person hearing all of these songs.

1. Escape (10 out of 10)- "Escape" is about letting your spirit roam free, living your life with as much freedom as you can allow, and turning over a new leaf in life.
2. Night of the Hunter (10 out of 10)- "Night of the Hunter" is a masterpiece musical creation about calmly embracing both light and darkness in one's life, and bringing together both for a powerful spiritual transformation. This song really resonated with me because it serves as a beautiful and healing reminder to transform all unexpected events and challenges into positive opportunities for increased wisdom and personal power. "Night of the Hunter" is a beautiful fusion of melodic drums, high-energy guitars, and a fantastic hybrid of rock and electronic music. "Night of the Hunter" is my third favorite song after the tracks of "Stranger in a Strange Land" and "Closer to the Edge".
3. Kings and Queens (10 out of 10)- "Kings and Queens" sends the message to always expect the best for your life and future.
4. This is War (9 out of 10)- "This is War" is a powerful musical track about always remaining emotionally strong, and standing up for your rights and what you personally believe in.
5. 100 Suns (8 out of 10)- "100 Suns" is about having self-confidence in yourself, and seeing your own personal greatness.
6. Hurricane: (9 out of 10)- "Hurricane" is about having the passion for life, and helping others to the best of your ability.
7. Closer to the Edge (10 out of 10)- "Closer to the Edge" is a very high-energy song, and is one of the musical tracks that helped convince me to get the cd. I admit that I saw the video to this on tv, and I was convinced to hear more from this band when I picked up on the positive message of this video (follow your dreams and goals), and I noticed the passion and intensity coming from within the lead singer (Jared Leto) to deliver a meaningful and soul nourishing song.
8. Vox Populi (10 out of 10)- "Vox Populi" uses the term soldiers as a creative metaphor/concept to stand up for what you believe in, and follow your personal insights one may receive when they are called to action. In addition, "Vox Populi" contains good electronic music blended wonderfully with the lyrics and vocals of this song.
9. Search and Destroy (9 out of 10)- A catchy, uptempo, and energetic song about embracing change in your life, and to take whatever steps are needed to construct your life that is in alignment with your own personal happiness.
10. Alibi (10 out of 10)- "Alibi" is about pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps, and picking yourself back up regardless of how many times you may have to do so. "Alibi" is also a great quiet type of song that has a gorgeous blend of drums,piano, and guitar. In addition, this musical track is about embracing life with the energy of creative fire in your being.
11. Stranger in a Strange Land (10 out of 10)- "Stranger in a Strange Land" is a great musical track about the very daring acts that someone would carry through when influenced by the emotions of whatever they are feeling about the person in question. I admit that "Stranger in a Strange Land" is one of my favorite songs in this compilation.
12. L490 (7 out of 10)- I gave this a rating of at least 7 because the chanting in "L490" was harmoniously synchronized, but was minimal on music and words.
13. Bonus Track of "Hurricane" featuring Kanye West (9 out of 10)- This version also sends a beautiful message about loving life, helping out your fellow man, and making the best of your life. I feel that this musical collaboration between Jared Leto and Kanye West was very creative, and great to listen to.
14. Bonus Track of "Stronger" (a BBC live version that I rate 10 out of 10)- I really enjoyed Jared Leto's take on "Stronger". He really makes it his own by making it natural and believable when he sings about seducing the person he desires.
15. Bonus Track of "Bad Romance" (another BBC live version that I enthusiastically rate 10 out of 10)- Jared takes this musical masterpiece and skillfully makes it how own as well. He does a really excellent job of sounding extremely persuasive when he sings about wanting the person he desires, and doing it very admirably (again he sounds very seductive in this song, and the seduction side of him really shines in his version of "Bad Romance")

The dvd version has really good musical videos to "Closer to the Edge", "Kings and Queens", and the making of the "Kings and Queens" video (very exciting and interesting to watch). I say this because Jared demonstrates an abundance of passion and creativity in having everything turn out harmoniously, and it clearly shows when you watch in him action during the making of the video. The fact that he also showed an appreciation for the many fans that showed up to be a part of this was also very touching.

I strongly endorse purchasing "This is War" (deluxe edition) if you enjoy rock, pop, and/or electronic music. This deluxe version of "This is War" is well worth purchasing, and I very much look forward to going to their concert in April.
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on February 4, 2011
Firstly, let me say that I wasn't a fan of 30 Seconds to Mars until I heard this CD. Ordinarily, I like Progressive Metal (typically European), and only rarely do I make forays into other genres. I've always found 30 Seconds to Mars to be a bit mundane and overly reliant on "screamo-style" vocals, and their song writing has never especially appealed to me.

However, I always saw a certain spark of potential in the band and whenever This is War came out I downloaded it without any high expectations; what a monumental and rewarding surprise it was when I found out how much the band had refined its sound and matured its songwriting. I'm sure that in part it has something to do with their new, high-profile producer, but practically every band has a producer to help them out so I don't really think it takes credit away from them.

I think the biggest change is that Jared's singing has not only improved in skill but also in method. His voice is dynamic and emotional, and he has ceased to rely on throaty screams to fill in spaces between the music. Anytime there is a screamo element of that sort it is surgically placed and serves the song instead of being there for no apparent reason.

The songs on the album are of an extremely high and consistent quality. Every song is enjoyable and integral to the album--there are no "fillers" that beg to be skipped. The songs have a vast, epic quality to them that makes them unusually powerful compared to a lot of other "modern" rock bands. Coheed and Cambria is the only other popular American band who delivers this kind of sweeping, larger-than-life sound. Also, as a fan of Progressive and Symphonic metal, I really appreciate the huge choruses found on This is War.

I've read of people complaining about the children singing in the choruses, or that the music is too light or catchy, but this seems to bother only the people who require their music to be stagnantly heavy and unmelodic. Most rock or metal bands tend to concentrate on a heavier sound in their infancy, but inevitably they discover that sonic riffing isn't necessarily required to produce powerful music.

The album has quickly risen to my list of favorites. I would encourage anyone to give it a try since it has a timeless, genre-spanning quality that should appeal to all sorts of music lovers.

I just hope their next album is as good, or better.

(I hope they release a version of the album that still has Kanye West appearing on the song "Hurricane." I'm not a fan of West's, really, but he adds an interesting vibe to that song and I'm aware of it every time I listen to the version without him.)
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on January 26, 2011
The first song I heard off this record was "Closer to the Edge". I was sort of aware 30 Seconds to Mars existed, but I had never listened to them. Then there was this weird period of time, last summer, where I kept hearing about 30 Seconds to Mars in conversations with people. I didn't want to listen because I knew Jared Leto was in the band, and I didn't like bands with actors in them. Also I'd seen pictures of them with eyeliner, and I "didn't like eyeliner bands".

A weird series of events had me checking out "Closer to the Edge" on youtube one day early last September, and I was seriously offended by the pink mohawk (frontman Leto is wearing his hair in a pink mohawk for most of the video). I thought it was "trying too hard" (If you're a die hard 30STM fan, bear with me, this is a positive review.)

I'd never watched a video I hated so many times, however. And at some point I started to appreciate the editing of the video for "Closer to the Edge". I think I liked the way the video was edited before I liked the song. And then I liked the song. And then I LOVED the song. (I said this was a conversion, right?) And then I went looking for more 30 Seconds to Mars material, because, well, "Closer to the Edge" had to be a fluke, right?

But I loved every song I heard. So I bought "This is War", and holy jesus crickets, what a great record. I'm just going to stop here because I hate to describe music in writing. Let's just say "This is War" is: Awesome. Awesome songs. Awesome arrangements. Awesome performances. Awesome lyrics.

And then I had to see 30STM live, to find out if "This Is War" was just a great recording, or if 30 Seconds to Mars were really a great band.

They're REALLY a great band. I've now seen them live three times in as many months, and I could probably see them play every month and not get tired of seeing them live. They give 200% during their live shows. And the fans are - wonderful. Fun people to share a show with, for sure.

Music is subjective; not everyone is going to like everything. But this band is the real deal, so if you've been abstaining (as I was) because of "image": screw that. Take another listen, and take another look. 30STM is now one of my all time favorite bands.
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on February 21, 2011
I think out of all the bands and artists I listen to, there's been very few bands that one can say really "touch" it's audience in more ways than one. I have been a long time 30 STM fan and as much faith as I've always had in them, I never thought they'd be able to deliver an album that packed as much of a punch as their predecessors but their deliverance of this album "This Is War" most definitely proves me wrong. I can understand why there might not be as many people on board with my opinion or the other positive congratulatory opinions of this record, but truth be told and let it be known, this album is one for the books. Every track on this album takes it's listener through a story of a man's emotions, there are admittedly tracks that will make you sad, happy, have mixed emotions and anything in between. This is the beauty of this CD. Put that in conjunction with the vast array of auditory and (imaginative) visual stimulatory beauty it produces, you've got yourself a fine piece of art to add to your collection. Another great thing I like about this CD is how Leto brings in sounds strikingly similar to that of the American composer/production group known as Tomandandy, particularly in the track, "Stranger in a Strange Land". If any of you are fans of the latest Resident Evil: Afterlife OST, then you'll known exactly what I'm talking about. In the end though, this album is without question a masterpiece.
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on December 8, 2009
After an almost four and half year wait and a lengthy legal battle, 30 Seconds to Mars have finally released their third full-length album, "This Is War".

One thing is certain; 30STM have seemingly used every moment of those four and a half years to create this album. It's epic. It's full of anthems. It's just...BIG. It's clear that the band intended "This Is War" to be their magnum opus, their statement.

But does the album actually, you know, work?

Well, yes and no.

30 Seconds To Mars certainly accomplished their goal of making an epic. Song after song leaps out of the speakers and into the skies. There are soaring melodies, booming drums, pulsing synths, walls of guitars and armies of voices.

But that's also the album's main problem.

The same elements are used on essentially every song. The sound is exciting at first but quickly grows repetitive. A few epic tracks sprinkled throughout an album add fire and greatness, but if an album is made up of epic track after epic track after epic track it grows monotonous. That's exactly what happens here.

And, to be honest, it's extremely frustrating because MANY of the songs here are excellent. It's the presentation that is the problem, not the songs themselves. 'Night of the Hunter' is sexy and driving. 'Stranger In A Strange Land' is extremely musically interesting. 'Kings and Queens', 'Vox Populi', 'Hurricane', 'Alibi'...there's just a lot of strong material here. Sure there are a few duds, but for the most part the songs easily hold up. There's no denying Leto can effortlessly pump out songs that are just flat-out catchy. A lot of tracks here will have listeners reaching for the repeat button. Also, Leto's still got a great voice. He can croon, he can scream, he can belt it out with crystal clarity. Whether or not YOU believe what he's singing, you can tell HE sure believes it.

But in the end the production and presention keep the album from being truly great. It's all just too overblown and calculated. There's no spontaneity here. The songs never get a chance to breathe. The songs didn't need choirs, they didn't need six minute run times, they didn't need to follow essentially the same forumla throughout the length of the album. All they needed was to be allowed to exist on their own instead of processed within an inch of their life. The band was so busy consciously trying to create an "EPIC" that they forgot to make a living, breathing album. All the parts are there, but "This Is War" has no soul. At its center there is only a pumping piston, not a beating heart.
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on November 2, 2010
This new album by 30STM recognizes the bands abilities to change genres and still sound amazing. Every Song on this album are very unique and compliments to Jared Leto for a great vocal performance (definitley worth a Grammy).
1. Escape: 9/10- This is a great opener which at the end is extremely powerful.
2. Night of the Hunter: 9/10- At the beginning of the albums release this was my favorite song on the album but one other song caught my ear. Very intesne drums and has a very progressive rock edge to it. Creepy lyrics but always a great listen.
3. Kings & Queens: 9/10- This is the lead off single from this album and it deserves it because its powerful and his vocals soar throughout the song. The music video is also pretty good for this song, you may want to check it out.
4. This is War: 9/10- For a little while this was my favorite song on the album because I loved the powerful chorus. Everything about this song is great.
5. 100 Suns: 3/10- After awhile I get annoyed by this song because it possesses no real enthusiasim and no real emotion which makes the song kind of boring. I guess you could say the lyrics work well with the rest of the album.
6. Hurricane: 8/10- At first I thought I was going to hate it because it had Kanye West on it but I take it all back because the version with Kanye West is so much better than the one that is placed ont he album. I love the vocals and synths and thats the reason why I keep listening.
7. Closer to the Edge: 10/10- Best song on the album hands down. I love the alternative feel and then the pop and progressive feel kicking in. The vocals are just amazing and inspirational. The music video for this song it really good too. Make this one a number one hit.
8. Vox Populi: 9/10- I love the kid chorus in the background of the song. The song is very powerful and I love how great the drummer is in this song.
9. Search and Destroy: 5/10- I would have to say that this is the weakest full length song on the album. It just dosen't catach my attention as much. I'm not saying its a bad song but its one of those I skip over when I'm listening to the entire album.
10. Alibi: 10/10- Great song, one of the best ballads I've ever listened to. This is one to download off of Itunes If your not going to buy the entire album.
11. Stranger in a Strange Land: 9/10- A very electronic song but one of the best songs on the album. I just love the opening, I get overjoyed by that cool electro Rock beat.
12. L490: 7/10- A good song, not sure of its purpose on the album but a very good insturmental. Their is some monks in the background I'm guessing that symbolizes something.
Well, Their you have it a complete overview of the album. I saw that their wasn't one so I made one. This is one for your CD collection
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