Sound — 8
My Chemical Romance seemed to have taken a strange and unexpected but occasionally rewarding turn to '70s style classic rock! A unique-but-then-again-not blend of their traditional punk rock sound (it is most certainly NOT emo; see Braid, Mineral, Sunny Day Real Estate or better yet Rites of Spring for emo) and a new burst of Queen style ringing guitars. At first I thought this was absolutely awful; the title track "(Welcome to) The Black Parade" was utterly pretentious and annoying, especially the first minute or so. I also thought "Cancer" was an nessecary but utterly ridiculous reminder of the horrors of that disease (in fact the only redeeming feature of that song is that if they were to release it as a single, they would get a cancer charity involved.) However, I think that the good most definately outweighs that bad on this CD; I thought that "Teenagers" was incredibly catchy if not terribly original; the roaring "Famous Last Words" is a tune that will most definately get stuck in your head (it got stuck in mine). Overall, a good set of track unfortunately diluted by a few bad.
Lyrics — 5
Lyrics aren't terribly good, the second album by MCR to do this (see "I'm Not Okay (I Promise)" off of "Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge") but they do the job relatively well. I think maybe Gerrard Way could have put just a little more effort into writing them, they are very haphazard; on some tracks they shine and on some they more or less ruin them.
Overall Impression — 9
My overall impression is one of a band growing up, like so many do, and finding its own direction at last, instead of this being the difficult second album (their breakthrough "Three Cheers" holds that title) this is their difficult third, in a startlingly new direction that I think would work if they maybe did another album in this style, but we will just have to wait and see I suppose! Overall, a good effort, and I think it is a definate improvement over their last, and that's what matters in the end.