Review Summary: Best so far.
A few years ago the live version of The World Is Ugly first appeared on YouTube, and it was hard not to fall in love with it. It was, in many ways, the best song My Chemical Romance had yet released: the captivating vocals, the tragically beautiful lyrics. It was everything you could ever hope for in a ballad, so when Conventional Weapons was originally announced The World Is Ugly was by far the thing I was most excited about. But as its official release came closer, I began to feel sceptical... would the studio version ever live up to the live one? Because let’s be honest, the reason the song was so special was because of the way it was played, not what was being played. It was the raw emotion of it, because at the end of the day, the song was just another generic, depressing love song. So naturally, when the studio version was leaked 2 days ago it was with a mix of excitement and dread that I pressed the play button.
After the first listen, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed. Not only was the beauty of the live version gone, but so was everything else. My Chemical Romance have basically rewritten the entire song, with new verses and a new bridge- the only common factor is that incredible chorus. But after listening a few times I came to the conclusion this was no bad thing, if they’d released the old version of the song I don’t think it could ever be as good as the live version. It would lack the authenticity, it would feel too refined, and in a way that would have been more disappointing. It’s not like the new version is bad anyway, it’s still one of the best songs the band have ever written. It’s just more uplifting than I thought it would be, and that’s, if anything, a good thing. Also, the live version is also still going to be available to listen to, it’s not like they’re going to take it down, so in response to all of the hate My Chemical Romance will undoubtedly get for changing one of the best songs they will ever write I shall simply quote to you the immortal words of Mick Jagger: “Cool it, yeh? Cool it!”
The real gem on this two track release, however, comes in the b-side. As I had spent the days leading up to the leak practically drooling over the future release of The World Is Ugly I had almost entirely forgotten it would come with another song. That song is called The Light Behind Your Eyes, and it’s where we see My Chemical Romance finally return to what they do best - depression.
It took me a few listens to fully appreciate it, but after those few listens I realised that it completely eclipses The World Is Ugly. It features the best lyrics Gerard way has written since... well, since ever and despite the fact that it follows the same format as almost every ballad they’ve ever released (starts quiet and gets louder and louder and louder) it still feels so real, so genuine. And as Gerard croons lines such as “never let them take the light behind your eyes” over a haunting guitar line throughout the chorus, it’s hard not to wish this album was released instead of Danger Days, because so far, it’s looking like a far superior album.
All in all, despite initial disappointment, Number Three is the strongest of the Conventional Weapons series so far. Scratch that, Number Three is one of the strongest My Chemical Romance releases to date. Fingers crossed Number Four is as good.