Sound — 8
Prior to the release of this album, I had shown no apparent in this band whatsoever. Sure, I had heard "Helena," "The Ghost of You," and the biggie, "I'm Not Okay (I Promise)" on the radio over a thousand times, but, to me My Chemical Romance seemed to be your typical fad band: have a couple of mainstream "hits" and then fade away out of existence. Then, I heard the single, "Welcome To The Black Parade" and I was intrigued, and I immeadiately bought the album that it coincides with. Through telling the story of a dying man, My Chemical Romance delievers the Black Parade with such exuberance, that it at times seems over the top. However, I also adore musicals, and concept albums, so something completely theatrical is completely within my interests, along with things that are seemingly inspired by Pink Floyd. Introductory track, "The End." and the annoying scream-a-long song "Mama" both share this same characteristic, that it is almost scary, as well as obvious. The music itself is trying to be as epic as it possibly can, as it fuses together Queen like guitar riffs, marching bands and your typical pop-punk three chord adrenaline. Although, to many, it may sound like an odd, perhaps terrible combination, My Chemical Romance manages to make it work, and delievers it with superb, catchy style.
Lyrics — 7
Lyrically, it is over-the-top, just as the music itself is. And, that's what they are supposed to do, accentuate, and enhance the music. The two of them fit together reasonably well, and even have choice, quotable lines on occasion; such as "If life ain't just a joke, then why are we laughing?" or in regards to hell, "It's really quite pleasant, except for the smell." The latter of the two just strikes me as funny, but, that's most likely due to a sardonic, and morbid sense of humor. In regards to Gerard Way's singing skills, they are also overly theatrical and melodramatic, just as the music prescribed. Vocally, it is grating, which is perfect for most of the songs on the album. But, not all of them. Softer songs such as "Cancer," it doesn't necessarily coincide with the music as well as it could have. Yet, regardless, for the most part, the vocals are well done.
Overall Impression — 9
Now, as I look back to how I first perceived this band, I'm glad they didn't simply evanesce into the realm of the forgotten "one-hit-wonders." Who knows what would have become of this album? Of all the songs, my personal favorite would have to be "Teenagers," with it's classic rock stylings, and even social commentary. As far as concept albums go, this one has one flaw: the story itself is kind of hard to follow. It is jumbled, and goes from one place to another almost instantaneously. Yet, one must remember that this is about a dying kid, and it's stream-of-conciousness style might be intensify that fact as the memories of the "Patient" come swarming back to him at once. Yet, there's the music to consider. Even if you don't "get" the concepts, the music will leave you pogo dancing at times, while at others, it will leave you in simple silence just listening to it. If it were stolen, I would definitely buy it again.