Review Summary: Casual fans are in danger if they listen to this
I find it hard to put My Chemical Romance under any one genre of music. Their first album fell under post-hardcore, their second had a much more structured sound, and had a more gothic/punk sound. The Black Parade was a solid heavy rock album. Their latest, and sadly final, effort comes more under the category of electronic rock/pop-rock. That's what I enjoy about MCR, they don't decide to stick to the same formula, they mix things up, and Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys mixes things up more than I expected them too. I have read a great deal of reviews on MCR's fourth and final album, about 35% praised it, about 60% hated it with a passion and 5% had conflicting feelings. I am part of the 35%.
Danger Days, like The Black Parade and Three Cheers, follows a story, this time of a group of rebels called "killjoys" who live in 2019 California, which is a world ruled by a company called Better Living Industries (BL/ind, haha funny). All in all their little kid gets captured by a wannabe Bond villain, and the Killjoys are killed trying to save her. Spoiler alert, she is saved and taken away by Dr Death Defying, who is some sort of radio DJ. I'll admit, the story is no way near as interesting as the story of Cancer (The Black Parade) but it doesn't ruin the album at all.
The Black Parade contained elements of Orchestral music, specifically trumpets, you know, marching band instruments and all that. Danger Days incorporates electronic elements, such as synths, distorted drums and some other malarchy. This works brilliantly for the most part, but sometimes it comes on a bit too much, and it's hard to believe you're listening to an MCR album. I'm talking specifically about "Planetary (GO!)", which by no means is a bad song, it's just, well, quite messy. It's listenable, but fans of The Black Parade are going to find themselves skipping this one (and most of the others for that matter).
The singles, "Na Na Na", "SING", "The Only Hope for Me is You", "Planetary (GO!)" and "The Kids from Yesterday" are both some of the best, and some of the worst the album has to offer. "Na Na Na" I would argue is possibly the best single from the album. It's catchy, it's anthemic, and you'll find yourself singing it. The lyrics are "alright". There are some that are quite cringe worthy, for example "Shut up and let me see your jazz hands/remember when you were a madman/though you were batman/you hit the party with a gas can/kiss me you animal". I mean, does that make any sense at all? MCR incorporating Batman into their lyrics, something I didn't expect, nor did I want to hear.
The best songs by far on the album aren't the singles. "Save Yourself, I'll Hold Them Back" and "DESTROYA" are both gems. Save Yourself has a very creative guitar riff, both minor and major in sound, and is again quite anthemic. DESTROYA, I have no idea what makes it a good song, you should judge it for yourself, but for me specifically, it's very enjoyable, a fun song if you will.
All in all, Danger Days is a solid album, it has a great collection of catchy enjoyable songs. Hardcore MCR fans such as myself will no doubt enjoy the album, or at least the majority of it. Casual fans (in other words, people who enjoy The Black Parade and that album only) should probably skip this one, and listen to Conventional Weapons, there's very little here that you'll enjoy