Every story starts with a hook that attracts you, but then you need something else to stick around. The Kill music video was my hook. It’s inspired by Shining (by Stanley Kubrick), it’s full of meanings, interpretations and imagination. I played it so many times to try to figure out Bartholomew Cubbis’ mind (AKA Jared Leto), although I don’t think it’s possible, that I ended up falling in love with the song too. The more I listened to it and the more I understood, but the more was still there to be discovered. I got obsessed with 30 Seconds To Mars and A Beautiful Lie (2005) became on of my favourite albums ever.
Attack, the best opener for this album, presents a new and different 30 Seconds To Mars’ style, while maintaining some influences form the the first record. It’s rock, it’s energetic, it’s exciting, it’s powerful. The sound matches its meaning, breaking free from someone or something that is controlling you.
Following, there is A Beautiful Lie. It softly starts with a piano melody, which is also used as gentle fadeaway to close the song. A Beautiful Lie is a reflection about life, which is defined as a game, lie and denial.
These’s a lot of thinking in The Kill too. This track is a tormented self-realisation about someone’s self, which can be seen both in terms of a relationship with another person or within the same person. Both lyrics and melody build up emotions and tension until the focal point, when Jared Leto unleashes all his energy and desperately screams “This is who I really am” with pain and relief at the same time. Probably this is one of my favourite songs by 30 Seconds To Mars because of its meaning and sound. This is the song that captured my attention and gave me what I needed to stick around a little bit longer.
The album then continues with From Yesterday. This song is majestically written and arranged. There are a lot of assumptions about the stories behind the lyrics, but all of them focus on the past, how it defines you, the impossibility to deny it and the willingness to go over it.
In the album there are some melodic and softer songs too, as Was It A Dream?, The Story and A Modern Myth. In these tracks Jared Leto delivers gentle and nearly whispered vocals, which contrast with the rest of the album.
R-Evolve is a song that sums up the style of the entire record, having both melodic and rock elements. R-Evolve is also a surprising song: if you are a Blink 182 fan and you listen to R-Evolve, after the first few seconds you will ask to yourself “Am I listening to Adam’s Song?”. The opening guitar melody is exactly the same.
A Beautiful Lie officially concludes with A Modern Myth, an acoustic song enriched by some violin passages. I wrote officially, because after A Modern Myth there is a short hidden track called Praying for a Riot. Additionally, there are two bonus songs in some deluxe editions: Battle of One and Hunter. The first, rock, energetic, raw, with great drum, bass and guitar executions; the second, a cover of a Bjork’s song. Hunter differs from the rest of the record, it has some techno sounds and it’s up to whether you like Bjork style or not if you enjoy or not this track.
30 Seconds To Mars always evolve every time they release new music, whether positively or not, and A Beautiful Lie is a great transformation from the first album. In A Beautiful Lie the maturity and complexity of 30 Seconds To Mars’ sound shine throughout the entire record. I believe this is a journey into self-reflection, all the songs have multiple interpretation and according to your story you will be able to find your own meaning.