The Black Parade review by My Chemical Romance

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  • Released: Oct 24, 2006
  • Sound: 7
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 7.3 Good
  • Users' score: 8.2 (1,210 votes)
My Chemical Romance: The Black Parade

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.

3 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Unlike a lot of people commenting here i came to this album with a totally open mind. I'm not 'emo' (if labels are your thing) and i never really liked MCR. I thought the 2 previous albums were badly produced and Gerards voice sounded like nails down a blackboard, not to mention the scatty song writing. Composition was everywhere. So anyway a friend of mine left his copy at my place. I noticed the producer was Rob Cavallo (every green day album etc) so i figured i'd give it a listen....and i'm so glad i did. The first thing that hits you is the production, close to perfection for a guitar pop rock album. The guitars sound awesome and the whole thing never seems over-produced (although black parade comes close!). The musical progression of the band in every respect since sweet romance is incredible. The song writing and composition is pretty much perfect for this genre. Its inevitable that people will compare this album to American Idiot, it does afterall have the same producer, record label, A&R company and even video director...not to mention the album has a story throughout as does american idiot. My point is that MCR have achieved in 3 albums what it has taken green day 15+ years to achive. They obviously pushed themselves to the limit on this album but never do they take themselves too seriously. The album is very tongue in cheek and sarcastic which a lot of people don't seem to understand. There isn't a bad song on this album, every track could be released as a single. Which some people will criticise them for...maybe they have sold out a bit but thats not the point of an album review. I also thought that MCR were crappy live but seeing as i loved this album so much i went to see them back in November and they're so much tighter as a band than they were, not to mention gerards singing has massively improved. Many people seem to disagree but i'd suggest you see them live before commenting. Basically to sum up, this is the best pop rock album of the last year with some potentially all time classics. Sure its not original, every guitar line sounds like a mixture of queen and green day but since when did that matter in modern music?
    I don't like it as much as Three Cheers or Bullets, but it's really hard to compare with them as well, so I'm at a loose end of what to think of it actually. I think they tried to do too much too fast...but that's personal opinion.
    im not a fan but its pretty good. i didnt like the first two albums but this one is def better.