Sound — 9
Ok so I will be the first to admit, I absolutely hate emo. Whining in music can only get you so far. So needless to say, I was fairly hesitant to pick this album up. I finally decided to grab it last month, and man, I'm glad I did. The guitar harmonies, subtle-yet-fantastic bass work, incredibly timed drum work, and Gerard Way finally singing to his true ability combine to make this album truly a sum of it's parts. Not to mention a fantastic record.
Lyrics — 9
Now THIS is where the album shines to me. Honestly, many good bands have fallen into the dangerous trap of politics in the last few years, with few coming out unscathed. Green Day's "American Idiot" is one example of how it can be done right, while countless others stand as examples of how not to do it. What grabs me in regards to "The Black Parade" is how effortlessly Gerard Way weaves his view on war (not necessarily the current war, just war in general) into the narrative of "The Patient." Combine that with tracks like the you-have-to-hear-it "Blood," the ridiculously catchy "Teenagers," and the "Corpse Bride"-esqe "House of Wolves" show the lyrical and vocal ranges of Way. Fantastic.
Overall Impression — 9
To understand why I love this album, it must be known that the first album I ever owned was Pink Floyd's "The Wall." It almost seems like My Chemical Romance took that basic blueprint (alienation, father gone, overbearing mother, etc.) and updated it for the new millenium. Ever since "Tommy," many bands have tried to throw together a concept album by throwing ideas against a wall and trying to make them stick. "The Black Parade" doesn't fall into that trap, making a nice over-arching narrative that ties into so many of todays issues. Hey, if this album can finally overthrow Tool's "Aenima" in my CD player, it must be pretty good.