Sound — 8
I remember turning on the radio a couple years ago and hearing the harsh sounds of distorted, non-sensical guitars and high pitched wailing. I am referring, of course, to the music of My Chemical Romance's last outing, Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge. I remember the song "Helena" giving me headaches when I heard it. Now it is time for the supposed departure for MCR in the form of The Black Parade. My Chemical Romance has indeed changed their style dramatically, and the results are good for the most part. The CD opens with a building intro that slowly leads to the best song, musically, on the album, "Dead!". While the solos and guitar work are not rocket science, they pay tribute to older, crunchier, and cooler sounds of a few decades past. In fact, listening to a majority of the CD reminded me of past bands that were extremely popular, namely Queen. The single, "The Black Parade", is an attempt to mimick Bohemian Rhapsody, but with shoddy results. The intro is cool, but the rest of the song sounds like old MCR. The Chorus is kinda catchy I guess. While the guitar bits have received a facelift and some of the beats are cool, Way's voice still gets in my skull. It is very high pitched and whiny, and for a band that claims they are not emo, Way is not making a very good point of that.There is one surprisingly awesome song on the album called "Mama", which reminded me of pirate music meets metal meets emo meets cabaret.
Lyrics — 5
I'll give MCR one thing, they certainly don't stray far from one central idea. Death is the recurring theme in this outing, described as The Black Parade. And it is fitting, because Way's shrieking and demonic vocal stylings are definitely something I'd be listening to when I make the trip downstairs. Unfortuantely, in the overall picture, the writing is probably the weakest part of the album. There is a story involved with some guy dying and going to the Black Parade, but the album only follows that plot for about six or so songs before veering off into borderline cheese-fests like "Teenagers". Granted, most of the music, is decent enough, but the lyrics do not help the overall idea.
Overall Impression — 7
Recently, a bulk of bands have been changing their image due to criticism that they are too pop-punk or emo. MCR has joined the bandwagon partially, but don't expect to be absolutely floored by their new direction. Do expect to be pleasantly surprised on a few tracks. When they are doing their old stuff, the results are pretty rancid, but the new, almost '60s rock-esque stuff is bound to please. Obviously, MCR cannot hold a candle to the bands they so blatantly copy, but it is still something different in a sea of new garbage being released.