NOTE: I altered the date of this post because I completely forgot to publish it back in June when I originally put it together. I’m not trying to deceive anyone or trick anyone – I mean, I don’t even expect that anyone is reading that closely. Just set the date back to when it makes more sense.

A hearty welcome back to Aaron (yes, that was a pun as only he would appreciate). It’s been a little while since the last episode, so there were a lot of albums to choose from. Fortunately, most of them were terrible, so the choice was easier than you might think. Okay, I’m kidding, but we do have three solid contenders for this week’s showdown. We’re starting off with a “tribute” to America from an “out of this world” actor-fronted band. Next we’ll switch gears a bit and look into the future with an old friend. And finally, we’ll consider a long-term listening relationship with a quirky little folk rock outfit. Then, while the votes are tabulated, the tune du jour is provided by a cute little redhead who has, in my experience, always leaves you hungry for more. Okay? Let’s check it out.

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Album 1: AMERICA, by Thirty Seconds to Mars (4/6/2018)
Jared Leto plays the Joker in the latest batch of DC universe movies. He’s also the lead singer of Thirty Seconds to Mars, an established and celebrated modern rock outfit. This album is not a part of the DCU, so there’s a chance it won’t be a complete waste of our time. Let’s see how it unfolds.

I’m not sure how much influence Leto has on the writing process, but I have to guess that his acting experience has informed the soundtrack aspects of their music. There’s a great sense of atmosphere established from the opening notes of WALK ON WATER and that carries through the album. I think this was used for some sporting event commercials. Playoffs or finals or something, but I can’t remember which. (Note: ESPN College Football). DANGEROUS NIGHT is another great soundtrack, with a touch of a drumline feel underscoring the dramatic mood shifts that bring and release tension during the album. As we dive into the third song, RESCUE ME, with a bit of a retro riff (I’m blanking on the song it reminds me of), it’s time to point out that Leto’s vocals are fantastic. The hook spans the gap of 80s pop to contemporary dance/pop. I like this album quite a bit.
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