Review Summary: A eulogy
Say what you will about the band, but the one thing that can be agreed on is that My Chemical Romance took one of the most unorthodox paths to stardom in the history of rock music. As the band took many different musical directions ranging from goth rock to glam rock. To be put simply, the band seemingly had the knack of keeping things interesting.
Listening to their "Greatest Hits" compilation May Death Never Stop You
is no different than listening to any Greatest Hits collection that proceeded it. The band needs to give you an incentive to listen to the same songs you already know all over again. So contained within this collection is 19 tracks with one unreleased song titled "Fake Your Death" (hint:this is the incentive), 15 of the bands most popular songs, and three demos known as the "Attic Demos."
"Fake Your Death" is exactly what a My Chemical Romance song would sound like in 2014. The song contains soft vocals with strong accompanying stomps and claps over, over an Elfman style keyboard. The song is about escaping something you no longer want to be a part of. This is portrayed with some strong, yet somewhat cheesey lyrics. However the musical structure is compelling enough to showcase what My Chemical Romance has always excelled at, a catchy song, however this time with a somewhat subdued chorus. This showed this reviewer some maturation over the wildly eccentric Danger Days
and prior work The Black Parade
. However it is hard to judge the sincerity of the song, and if this direction would have been taken on a future release from the group.
The remaining 18 tracks consist of almost all of their singles released since their inception and three demos that have been released in some capacity. As a whole, it is just a looking back experience for the fan, or an introductory listen for those who came to the party too late. The track selection is more aimed to be looked at later as a summary of their popular work, than a collection of fan friendly works that would completely summarize what the band was all about. It should be noted that fan favorites "Dead", "To The End", "Thank You For The Venom", and "Boy Division" are missing. Live favorite "The World is Ugly" is missing as well. This is meant to be looked at similarly to an artists work after they pass, but something about the chosen tracks simply fall short of being looked at fondly by die-hard fans. However, for a trip down memory lane for the nostalgia seeker, this is perfect.
May Death Never Stop You
is a fitting "finale" to a band that always pushed boundaries and were not afraid to let their eccentricities show in recordings or on stage. They always were able to keep things interesting for the fan and critic alike. As a collection it is just another greatest hits album. However it is a strong eulogy for a band that could never decide between Looking Alive, or being Dead.
"Some people watch, some people pray, but even lights can fade away.