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REVIEW: Thirty Seconds to Mars traverses electronic territory in ‘America’

There is a method to the madness.

Thirty Second Mars continues to explore new musical avenues in their latest outing America

When making a career out of making and playing music it is understandable when after a while the same old thing gets a bit dull and the prospect of treading unknown waters becomes all the more enticing. Such is the case for Thirty Seconds to Mars on their new LP America.

Thirty Seconds to Mars started trying out new ideas with electronic music in their previous record 2013’s Love, Lust, Faith and Dreams but this time they have gone full in.

There is not a speck of rock n’ roll to be found on America, as everything has pretty much turned to electronic alt-pop tunes. Not a single electric guitar to be heard (except in parts of “Rescue Me”), not at the forefront anyway.

There are acoustic guitars featured in tunes like “Live Like a Dream”, “Remedy”, and “Rider”, but these are still very much electronic based pop songs.

America features the lent talents of rapper A$AP Rocky on “One Track Mind” as well as pop sensation Halsey on “Love is Madness”.

“Love is Madness” features some fantastic male/female vocal harmonies between Halsey and Jared Leto. There is an immense amount of gritty tired soul packed into the vocal performances and it makes a deep impact. It’s intense, to say the least.

Songs like “Great Wide Open”, “Dawn Will Rise”, and “Rider” have more of a somewhat laidback and melodic feel to them. These are songs that seem to focus on emotional dynamic interplay by resonating on someone’s personal level and blasting what they are feeling into the stratosphere.

It is understandable that the band would after all this time want to do something different to keep things fresh. That said, with the kind of sharp turn in creative direction Thirty Seconds to Mars has taken with America they will probably be alienating many of their old fans.

Objectively speaking, on its own America is not a bad album. It is still some solid song writing, and for those who like electronic then this should be right up their alley. Making sure this album finds those people could be the tricky part, though.

Rating: 3/5

Keep up with music at Salute.

Listen: Thirty Seconds to Mars America

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