Sound — 7
Slight disappointment. I liked the punk brutality of Bullets, and the epic-ness of Black Parade which I can only describe as arena emo-goth. Instead, they've gone for the mainstream route. Don't get me wrong, I think the panache the fans love and he essence the haters hate is still there, but IMHO, they've joined the Paramore (indie/alternative kids --> pop) bandwagon just when you thought they couldn't be more pop. They still have their flair, as is very evident, but for me, it's a slight musical disappointment after Black Parade.
Lyrics — 8
Lyrics are still great. Gerard's still got it. Even though this sounds so distant from what you know of MCR, one can still get comfort in how Gerard Way's lyrics are still so poetic and memorable. Even though many haters may argue, his sense of lyricsmithery is unique and his talent for it is cannot simply be dismissed. It's still brutal early-punk honesty mixed with a dash of sheer openness of emo feeling, but without the gothic morbidness that they had in their previous records.
Overall Impression — 7
I was excited when I found out they were to release a new one this year, but from what I heard, the essence of darkness which got me hooked onto them to start off with is gone, and it is just too pop for me. The lyrics were impressive, and the chorus is an absolute earworm, but IMHO, they have not really improved since Black Parade, hence me giving it this score.