Love Lust Faith + Dreams
band: 30 Seconds to Mars
company: Virgin Records
Price: Rs 395

Though the name of the album suggests that there might be a deep philosophical purpose to the music, Love Lust Faith + Dreams by 30 Seconds to Mars largely skims the surface. It’s a concept album, but the themes are lost out in the melodramatic vocals and the slightly immature lyrics.

The album begins with Birth, with a female voiceover introducing the themes. Birth begins with trumpets, akin to a war cry. The album picks up pace with Conquistador and Up in the air. With the heavy popularity that EDM and dubstep enjoy, most rock bands have let elements of these genres seep into their sounds as well. City of angels is a perfect example of such a composition. Jared Leto’s sweeping vocals are reminiscent of Bono.

From here on, the album goes through a dull phase -- tracks such as The race, End of all days, and the largely pointless Pyres of Varanasi, with its chants and orchestral sounds. The songwriting is largely okay, with excessive productions and multiple layers of instruments fighting for space with the ideas.

Northern Lights is where the album hits a second high. Largely, the album sounds like a blend of older bands such as U2 and Muse. The execution of the concept leaves much to be desired, but it’s not a bad effort.

Band/artist: Rod Stewart
Company: Capitol Records/Universal Music
PrIce: Rs 395

The first track on the album She makes me happy is sure to make you happy too. The master songwriter, Rod Stewart, is back after a long gap. Time is his first album of original songwriting after a gap of 20 years, but the result is still the same -- a beautiful blend of love-filled, emotional and nostalgic songs.

Good old rock n’ roll never fails to please. Take Can’t stop me now, the upbeat dance-worthy number that will have you tapping your feet to the rhythm (note: Stewart even refers to his own song Maggie May in this song). The song has an instant likeability, even though the arrangements are regular.

Stewart serves out generous helpings of his thoughts (Live the life) and paints pretty little pictures through Brighton beach, Beautiful morning and Picture in a frame. And then there’s the cheeky Sexual religion, with its disco beats and synths on the rhythms.

It seems Stewart had a blast doing the album (he also produced it) and it shows. Although it’s a little heavy on production in places, overall, it’s an enjoyable album. As a comeback album, it does its job and if you’re a Rod Stewart fan, you’ll like this one. In times where artistes over-analyse and hype every aspect of their work, it’s good to see someone who makes music that’s simple and honest. Let your hair down with Time. It’s a fun ride!