Review Summary: With "Number Two" of "Conventional Weapons" finally out, will it live up to expectation or is it just a sophomore slump? Well, they did better than Green Day and iDos!, if that means anything.
Well, it's that time of the month again. While most of America gets ready to fatten up on Turkey Day, the MCRmy rejoices as those that ordered the Conventional Weapons boxset received their vinyl copy of Number Two, which has the songs AMBULANCE and Gun.
While it hasn't even been a full month since we last got to hear "new" material from My Chemical Romance, I was extremely excited when I arrived home from work and saw a package sitting on my doorstep; the time had come to penetrate my earholes to the smooth listenings of Gerard and the Boys (y'know, that one band with Gerard and dem boys). The experience was still a great one, but I do have to say that it wasn't as exhilarating as the first time I heard Number One. I'm a fanboy of the band, though, so I obviously loved it. Check out my track-by-track rundown of the vinyl below.
How about the intro with the harmonized vocals? I really really really liked it. I get that this technique has been used way too many times in music now (Queen and Marianas Trench come to mind) but it's really refreshing to hear Ray and Frank use dem singing chops again, since they were practically absent when it came to vocals in Number One.
The official lyrics haven't been released yet, but from what I can make out of the song, the lyrics aren't all that creative or reflective of MCR. The song tends to feel forced, but then again this is the "rock" album that My Chemical Romance was aiming to make so it makes sense. This wasn't the best choice, I'd say, since My Chemical Romance albums always came best when the band just put out music that reflected them and their growing up experiences.
In case you missed it, "You don't know a thing about this life." My girlfriend made a comparison to the god-awful Green Day song, "Kill the DJ," meaning that the repeated phrases are just...too much at points. I do enjoy the rhythm and feel of the song, but My Chemical Romance hasn't been the band that just repeats stuff over and over to come off as catchy.
This is a happy song. I can put it on and just enjoy life, because the mood is great. It's the "Summertime Experiment," if you get that. The song "Summertime," from Danger Days is a poppy track that sounds like a Cure B-side, to an extent. I love the song, don't get me wrong. "AMBULANCE" sounds like a variation of "Summertime." Still a good track, but doesn't leave the impact that "Boy Division" did.
Hmmm. Again with the repeating of specific phrases, MCR. If we were to base a drinking game off of this and drink everytime you say "gun," the last one with a beating heart and functioning liver would be the winner. Oh, wait. That wouldn't be possible. We get that the song is called "Gun." and that's great. Saying the phrase repeatedly like a machine gun (unless this is what you intended to do to be clever?) isn't going to work in your favor, though.
The lyrics are bizarre and almost meaningless, again. It sounds good, but why say you're never going to have a son? It rhymes with "gun," sure. I dunno. The lyrics aren't spectacular, but this was expected from the "MCR rock album" that we heard about back in '09 or 2010. The lyrics tend to be all over the place with this one.
I can close my eyes and see myself driving in a car with the top down, playing this song. This is the summer single that MCR would release. Meaningless words that sound fun and poppy. I envision G and the boys playing volleyball and surfing while jamming to this. A funny thought, sure.
It's difficult to critique two songs in-depth, but I'm giving it my best shot (heh, best shot and "Gun.").
I love this band more than anything. If anyone should be lenient, it'll be me. What? I'm a biased fanboy? You caught me. But for you I am being 100% straightforward. I have listened to Number One approximately 26 times and have listened to Number Two about 6 times if we count YouTube plays. I've tried to listen to the new tracks enough to really get a feel for them and get over the initial giddiness of what is new MCR material gracing my eardrums.
So, like I said, I should be the most merciful reviewer when it comes to the band that isn't a 15-year old fangirl that just loves the band because "OMG Jared Way is sooooo hawt," or whatever. I do come close to being that 15-year old fangirl, but I am nothing if not a critic. Therefore, as much as it pains me to do so, I must give Number Two a...3/5, making it basically just Average or Good. The lyrics aren't meaningful, the instruments don't sound like they're trying. I know MCR has the passion in them to make great music. As a matter of fact, I think My Chemical Romance has it in them to make the best music I'll ever hear. Number Two wasn't that attempt.
Thankfully, though, this is just two tracks off of a 10-track album. Every album has its average tracks, right? I figure that when I listen to Conventional Weapons as a full album, the tracks will blend together really well and I'll love all the songs since the album will be whole. I guess we'll just have to wait and see!
Until next time, I'm still Patrick.
The Inglorious Fiction Crew