30 Seconds To MarsWhatever your stance on 30 Seconds To Mars’ particularly angst-ridden brand of emo-rock, it’s impossible to question frontman Jared Leto’s dedication to the cause. After all, this is the man who put on 67 pounds to play John Lennon’s killer Mark Chapman in 2007 biopic Chapter 27, only for literally no-one to go and see it. But while this tendency to take himself so seriously has been lapped up by a certain section of today’s disaffected youth, it’s also left his band completely open to ridicule. A typically humourless mix of apocalyptic visions and bombastic prog, their fourth album, Love, Lust, Faith and Dreams, suggests Leto either doesn’t care or is suffering from one almighty lack of self-awareness. Here’s a look at its five most overwrought lyrics.

Birth

30 Seconds To MarsPositioning himself as some kind of saviour figure, Leto only appears on this bizarre opening fusion of synth-brass, cinematic strings, industrial electro and rabble-rousing chants for a mere 30 seconds. But it’s still more than enough time for his pained overblown tones to forewarn listeners of the histrionics to come as he promises to come to the rescue of a damsel in distress who has somehow got lost in-between the cliché of north of heaven and west of hell: [LISTEN]

I will save you from yourself
Time will change everything about this hell
Are you lost, can’t find yourself?
You’re north of heaven
Maybe somewhere west of hell

Up In The Air

30 Seconds To MarsNo doubt Leto believed he was being rather clever by giving this heady rush of electro at least a hint of ambiguity. Is it a reflection on the power and control that comes with a life-changing decision or merely a slightly disturbing series of references to auto-erotic asphyxiation? Either way, it’s about as subtle as the publicity stunt which saw a track named “Up In The Air” receive its premiere on board the International Space Station: [LISTEN]

I’ll wrap my hands around your neck so tight with love, love, love
A thousand times I tempted fate
A thousand times I played this game
A thousand times that I have said
Today, today, today

City Of Angels

30 Seconds To MarsPerhaps the biggest indication of how 41-year-old Leto can’t let go of his tortured teenager past, this Goo Goo Dolls-esque soft-rock ballad alludes to the temptations and the pitfalls that await a 17-year-old moving to Hollywood in pursuit of becoming a star. The talk of making a pact with the devil suggests Lucifer must have been offering success for an insufferably earnest emo-rock version of Spinal Tap in return for a soul: [LISTEN]

There was truth, there was consequence, against you

A weak defense, then there’s me

I’m 17, and looking for a fight

All my life, I was never there just a ghost, running scared

End Of All Days

30 Seconds To MarsLeto’s critically-acclaimed performance in the harrowing Requiem For A Dream proved that on his day, he’s a fine actor. It remains a mystery, therefore, why he chooses to completely overplay his part when it comes to his alternative career. Indeed, less is more is definitely an alien concept here as he hams it up like a villain from an amateur dramatics musical on a vague declaration of faith which sounds like a reject from Depeche Mode’s recent Delta Machine: [LISTEN]

I’m tired of the waiting
For the end off all days
The prophets are preaching
That the Gods are needing praise
The headlights are coming
Showing me the way

Northern Lights

30 Seconds To MarsA far cry from the natural beauty of its aurora-inspired title, the ominous synth-rock of “Northern Lights” is Leto at his most vindictive as he dreams of dancing on the graves of those who have done him wrong. But it’s hard to take his murderous intentions too seriously when they resemble a melodramatic teenage diary entry, while there’s little shock factor in his subsequent claims that the world is about to end for the fact he’s already made such bold statements on nearly every single previous track: [LISTEN]

Don’t ever take a single second to breathe

They’re gonna send me on a murdering spree

I cannot wait to dance upon your grave

They don’t even have a soul left to be saved