Sound — 7
My Chemical Romance's sound has changed somewhat since the last record, at first I thought it was for the best. Their image as a band however still lingers around the emo outfit even though their sound has changed quite dramatically. When I first listened to the album I was quite shocked at the change, the opening track "The End" is quite a strange affair starting with an acoustic guitar and piano. This carries on to the next track called "Dead" which is one of the better songs on the album. it's the first song on the album that shows shows off the new sound start, with rip roaring guitar riffs and an opening killer solo it seems as though MCR are heading in the right direction. What's quite special is the story behind the album. The idea is that the album is about a boy/man known as "The Patient" who is struck down by the cancer, "The Black Parade". If you've seen the video for WTTBP then this becomes more clear. The album works it's way through the album (in terms of the story) in a similar way to which American Idiot does, however as a concept album it isn't quite as strong as Green Day's efforts. Their sound is already set to change, as the "Black Parade", MCR's musical alter ego was said to be only temporary by the band so they might decide to scrap the Dark Sgt.Peppers costume ect. after another album or so. Overall their sound is a refreshing change from their usual stuff but their american punk-rock roots are still clearly present in this emo opera.
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics in "The Black Parade" are generally down beat and depressing however, in songs like WTTBP, Dead! and Famous Last Words they manage to make misery seem enjoyable which is a nice change. We also see a very witty side to Gerrard Way in "Teenagers" as he has a rather amusing rant at as the title suggests, teenagers. Gerrard Way does really push his singing skills to the limit on Famous Last Words and WTTBP, unfortunately this isn't the case for most of the other songs on the album, not a major problem but it could've added more drama to the album. One thing which I really did dislike about his singign though was the very annoying over pronunciation of a lot of words which make him seem like a comedy character at times. The same can be said for Brandon Flowers on his bands new record. Again it's not a major problem but it something that I thought I should point out.
Overall Impression — 7
Essentially, this is a concept album and loathe it or hate it, MCR still manage to create quite a unique sound that's enjoyable and features huge guitar hooks and even bigger solos. When I heard the 1st single off the album WTTBP I didn't think there would be a bigger, better or emotionally chaotic on the album. However after listening to the record I found out that I was wrong, Famous Last Words, the stunning climax is a song of epic proportion and is a great way to finish the album. The bonus track known as "Blood" is a very weird and pointless song to put on the album, a real waste of time. All in all, it's an enjoyable concept album which features a few truly great songs; Dead, Welcome To The Black Parade, Teenagers and Famous Last Words, and unfortunately the rest of the album doesn't really live up to that standard.