Review Summary: Everyone changes.
If you could look past the fact that they make a couple million a year, ride around in a fancy tour bus, or tour with the almighty enemy, Linkin Park (my most hated band), you can almost feel sorry for My Chemical Romance. Besides having all of what I said, they consistently change the style of emo in which they play, going from a Misfits-style post-hardcore to bubbly, poppy TRL pop-punk, to this new Queen-ish concept rock, leaving fans confused or off to listen to the newest Fall Out Boy clone Victory Records is trying to popularize. Old fans hate them, claiming they've sold out (twice) and critics can't stand them, espicially the hipsters that still crank up OK Computer every second they get. So here we are, with The Black Parade, and the ones that stayed with the band are going to be rewarded, and this album may even get MCR even more fans to tack on to their fanbase that helped make their previous album a double-platinum success-- although MCR is going to alienate them with their next release anyway.
But lets talk about the actual music. Critics that said that Three Cheers... was too poppy and less ROCK will be crying with joy (okay, not really crying... just sort of happy) when they hear The Black Parade. From the accoustic guitar intro of "The End" to the punky, fast-paced sugar rush of "Dead!", The Black Parade begins with a bang. It's a big ***ing shame when they decide to slow themselves down with big, murky suites that are "The Sharpest Lives" and "This Is How I Disappear", two songs that sound almost EXACTLY alike. The lyrics on "This Is How I Disappear" are trying too hard to be dark and forboding, just take a look:
And now, you wanna see how far down I can sink?
Let me go, ***!
So, you can, well now so, you can
I'm so far away from you.
Well now so, you can.
To un-explain the unforgivable,
Drain all the blood and give the kids a show.
By streetlight this dark night,
A séance down below.
There're things that I have done,
You never should ever know!
Who the hell are you, MCR, a pop-punk band or the second coming of Marilyn Manson?
But the album improves, as you go into "Welcome To The Black Parade", the single you've probably already heard a million times on the radio, and for good reason. It's a damn good song, moving from its very obviously Queen-inspired soft beginning to the fast punky sound MCR is more known for, to a final, almost epic ending. "I Don't Love You" is the perfect way to follow this heavyweight; just a simple, perfect ballad, moving and touching and rocking all at the same time. This is their first straightforward ballad, and they should make a lot more: there's a difference between a Whitesnake ballad and a MCR ballad, so this song is better than you may think from reading this review.
The album difersifys from here on out, ranging from White Stripes-style garage rockers (House of Wolves) to Italian-tinged epics (Mama) to simple piano-driven ballads (Sleep and Cancer, the darkest song on the album). The album ends in a two-punch bang, sort of how it started out: "Disenchanted" is the best ballad on the album, heavier and more more moving than the other three, partly because it seems more epic, more heavy. And than comes "Famous Last Words", another song you've probably heard a million times on the radio anyway, and, again, for good reason: it's dark and heavy, building from a stripped down punk tune to raging arena rock.
My Chemical Romance may constantly build up or change its style of music with every release, but, really, isn't that better than if they stuck with the same, stale old sound? Every band changes after a while, if they don't they become irrelavant and boring. Would Metallica be worth a *** if they hadn't built both notourity and commerical success with the black album? Would we even hail Master of Puppets as the greatest metal album if it wasn't for the black album to show us how much more we wanted the old Metallica, and how much the public wanted this new ***. MCR's riding down the same path. They change their music to stay relevant, and make fans wish for them to make more albums like their old ones, so their old albums become critic darlings while their new ones sell millions. Everyone changes, and MCR shows that.