The Black Parade review by My Chemical Romance

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  • Released: Oct 24, 2006
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.2 (1,210 votes)
My Chemical Romance: The Black Parade
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Sound — 8
My Chemical Romance (Vocalist Gerard Way, Lead Guitarist Ray Toro, Rythem Guitarist Frank Iero, Bassist Mikey Way, and Drummer Bob Bryar) got their start with "I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love", which was a fantastic example of screamo at it's absolute best. From Ray's simple but satisfying riffs, to Gerard's moody and melodramatic vocal delivery. It was a fantastic album which got me interested in the band. And you could understand my excitement when I heard of the upcoming "Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge". But alas, when I bought it and listened, it was not the My Chem that I had fallen in love with. It was poppy, uninteresting, and bland. Sans two songs, it was horrible. I of course turned on my once favorite band and vowed never to buy another of their albums again. However, upon it's release I began to hear good things about "The Black Parade". I researched it, and found the symbolism to be pretty interesting. So, I decided, "Hey, it's only $20" And Bought it. From the second the acoustic guitar kicked in I was surprised. I didn't expect an opener like this, and it was a pleasant surprise. The Gerard chimed in with his ever so memorable vocals, singing the average My Chem lyrics. In fact, that's one of the only complaints I have about this album. While some songs have absolutely amazing lyrics, others fall short in that department. What I can promise you, though, is that anyone can find something to like in the album. From it's moments of absolute hard rock in songs like "Dead!", "House of Wolves", and the lightly comedic "Teenagers". To the softer and more ballad-like sound of "I Don't Love You". And the extremely soft "Cancer" to give you a rest from the rocking. All in all, it sounds like nothing you'd expect from My Chemical Romance. And that is the beauty part; It's refreshing.

Lyrics — 9
This album features some of the strongest musicianship, with Ray Toro embracing his inner guitar god with amazing solos that leave you saying "Dude, is this still My Chemical Romance?" But Gerard must get credit for his intense and emotional vocal delivery, and his melodramatic lyrics which pull you into the story to start, and will quickly suck you back in when you start to get bored of it. Below is a breakdown of all the songs, music and lyrics. 01. The End - begins with the sound of a heart monitor, echoing the character of the patient. It serves more as an introduction than a real part of the story, and it does do a good job of getting you into the story. The Music is surprising for My Chem, sporting an acoustic intro along with Gerard's flawless vocals, which then explodes in a flurry of sound featuring a riff that reminds me of Pink Floyd's "In the Flesh?". Then quieting down again only to blow you away again. 02. Dead! - starts off with a decent riff, which leads into a blistering solo from Ray which absolutely left me amazed. It then breaks down into a fairly average verse, and then into a chorus that just downright makes you want to sing along. Then Ray goes into another solo that yet again amazed me. This song is a prime example of how he has grown as a guitarist. It then ends with a series "Laa's" which yet again makes you want to sing along. The lyrics give the hint of someone who is already dead and seems to dislike the patient ("If you get to heaven, I'll be here waiting"). All in all, it's a great song. 03. This Is How I Disappear - this song just doesn't impress me. The music was mediocre, as were the lyrics. In my opinion, it's the worst song on the album. As I said, the music was mediocre at best, and I only really liked the bridge riff. The lyrics seem to have something to do with a conversation between the patient and his significant other. But I can't tell much more. 04. The Sharpest Lives - this song isn't that good, but it's not bad either. I hate the intro, and don't really know what the lyrics have to do with the story. The verse is just like the intro, which I dislike. But the chorus is great, which brings up the song's stock for me. There's a nice bridge, which also makes it better. 05. Welcome To The Black Parade - this song has a simple piano intro with Gerard's yet again amazing vocals. The lyrics are very good in this song, detailing the reason why death comes to the patient as a "Black Parade". This video to the song shows him seeing the Black Parade, which doesn't make much sense since you can clearly see that he lives for several more songs. However, this could possibly be a hallucination. The song also features an opening guitar solo that reminds me a lot of Queen. And being a fan of Brain May, I won't argue with that. It than goes into a rocking verse, featuring more great lyrics. And then an anthem of a chorus. It features another heavily Queen influenced solo. But Gerard sings over it, which is annoying and ruins it for me. But overall, it's a good song. 06. I Don't Love You - it opens with a nice riff, and from the start you can tell it's a ballad. But It's a very strong ballad, featuring some of Gerard's best vocals. The chorus is great, and it features a pretty good solo. The lyrics seem to be telling of the patient's significant other leaving him ("When you go, would you have the guts to say 'I don't love you like I did yesterday'?"). It's a grade-A ballad. 07. House Of Wolves - it opens in a flurry of guitar, which can easily get you headbanging. The verse features some pretty good vocals by Gerard, and finally you feel Bob's presence. The drumming on this song is it's highest point. The chorus is yet another great part to the song, which makes you wish there was a mosh pit to jump into. And then the bridge features some great vocal delivery and a good heavy riff, yet again getting you pumped before the chorus starts. But Gerard yet again feels the need to sing over one of Ray's best solos. I really wish he's shut up sometimes. 08. Cancer - one word: depressing. This song makes you want to throw on some eyeliner and sulk in Hot Topic. Not cool. But all in all, it's a beautiful song with amazing lyrics and vocal delivery. The lyrics obviously focus of on the patient, his health obviously declining. Some how, this is being said to his significant other. Which makes no sense, since she left him two songs back. But hey, oh well. 09. Mama - I don't like the song much, since it features what I see as Gerard's worst vocals since "I'm Not Okay". He sounds like a creepy baby doll from hell during the verses. The chorus is decent, and just about everything other than the verse is good. It features a small part sung by Liza Minnelli, which is interesting. The lyrics tell of a conversation between the patient and his mother. And it's safe to say they don't have the best mother-son relationship. 10. Sleep - the opening is interesting. Then some fantastic guitar work suddenly kicks in. But I found it too short, as it was quickly interrupted by Gerard. But his vocals are good on this track, so it's forgivable. All the musicians are clearly giving it all on this song, which makes it all the better. Judging by the lyrics, I'd say the patient has done some regrettable things in his past. But he doesn't seem to regret them. 11. Teenagers - this is my favorite song on the album. The guitar work is on par with Toro's new godliness. And Gerard is at his best. The chorus gives me a laugh every time I hear it. The song has nothing to do with the story, however. It was written when Gerard had to ride the subway to the studio every day. And well, they scared the living shit out of him. And thus we get "Teenagers scare the living shit out of me". I give this song a perfect 10/10, as it is easily the best on the album. 12. Disenchanted - it starts with acoustic guitar and Gerard's amazing vocals. Then busts into a decent rock song. The lyrics are what shine on this song. Absolutely impeccable. I'm amazed at Gerard's ability to write heartfelt and touching lyrics, while still keeping to his concept. This song is an amazing example of Gerard growing as a songwriter. 13. Famous Last Words - this is my second favorite on the album, mostly because of Ray's great riffs. From the intro, to the verse, to the chorus. It's all amazing. Gerard gives another great performance vocally and lyrically. It ends the album on a happier tone than you'd expect for My Chem. I'm not exactly sure if the patient dies, but I don't think so. The line "I am not afraid to keep on living" tells me that. 14. Blood - there's not really that much I can say about this song, other than it's entertaining. I don't know, maybe it's just me but I find the lyrics to be funny. All in all, not too special though.

Overall Impression — 8
This album a big departure from their original style. But that is a good thing. This album is much better than Three Cheers, but still falls a little short of Bullets. I must say though, they have redeemed themselves. And that's all that matters. With songs like "Dead!", "Teenagers", and "Famous Last Words", it's pretty hard to go wrong. Those three songs alone are worth the $20 I spent. Nearly all the songs are strong in their own way, so I expect this album to be considered a classic 20 years from now. And when it is, I'll proudly whip out my CD and brag about having one of the originals. My only complaints would be that while on some songs the lyrics are amazing, on others they are sub par. Which really brings some of the songs down. And second, Gerard has a tendency to sing over a couple of the solos. He should have just kept quiet and let the solo speak for itself. But in the end, this album will hook you in from the first notes of "The End" to the last note of "Famous Last Words". No matter who you are, you'll find something to like. This is a great album, and if it were stolen I'd buy it again. And then I'd hunt down and kill the guy who stole it. I would definitely recommend this album to fans and haters alike. Because I know several people who used to hate them, but are now fans because of this album. All I can say is, at least give it a chance.

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