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By now most everyone has heard of and heard music by My Chemical Romance. For the small number of you who have not…
My chemical Romance came on the scene in ’02 with the album “I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love.” The sound was a metal infused version of poppy punk, and was considered by many to be more of an alternative album than a punk one. By ’04 they signed to Reprise records and released “Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge”. This album fit more into the category of Emo but still had its metal moments. The singles “Helena” and “The Ghost of You” brought the band mainstream attention and helped to propel the album to platinum sales. In ’06 the band released “The Black Parade,” an album that would rocket the group to superstardom. “The Black Parade” was a concept album about death that contained a wide range of different musical styles, including nods to Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” and David Bowie’s “Ziggy Stardust” and the music of The Smashing Pumpkins. The album went on to sell over three million copies worldwide.
And that brings us to their new release “Danger Days: The True Lives Of The Fabulous Killjoys”. To say that this album was highly anticipated would be an understatement. With “Danger Days” My Chemical Romance are in a position to possibly have the highest selling rock album in the past couple of years. Is the new release worthy of such an achievement?? I’m not too sure it is.
I was not a fan of My Chemical Romance until I heard the song “The Black Parade”. They played it live on some MTV awards show while standing on top of a skyscraper in NYC, dressed in their black parade uniforms. The song and the performance were unique and the next chance I had I went out and got the album; I loved it and still listen to most of the songs today. So when I heard that they were FINALLY going to release a new record I was stoked, especially after hearing their cover of Bob Dylan’s “Desolation Row” from The Watchmen soundtrack. Now that I have the CD in my hands, I’m a little let down. It’s sometimes difficult to judge an album without taking into account the bands other releases, especially the preceding one and “Danger Days…” doesn’t stack up against “The Black Parade”. But that doesn’t mean that “Danger Days…” is not good, it is in fact very good; It’s just not what I had hoped for. To me “Danger Days…” sounds like it should have been released after “Three Cheers…”, it would have perfectly bridged the gap between the more Emo rock of the first two releases and the genre bending rock opera that was “The Black Parade”.
“Danger Days…” is another concept album, this time about a futuristic band of outlaws (The Killjoys) fighting against an evil corporation (Better Living Industries). The heroes are guided through the adventure by a pirate radio DJ called Dr. Death Defying (Voiced by Steve, Righ? From Mindless Self Indulgence). Most of this can be seen in the post apocalyptic looking video for the song “Na, Na , Na”. It’s a cool idea but, as with most concept albums, the songs don’t always convey the story.
The album plays like a late 80’s hair metal release, most of the songs are at a similar rocking tempo with the exception of a power ballad or two but My Chemical Romance has a lot more depth to their music than those spandex clad rockers did.
Here’s my take on several of the albums key songs.
“Na, Na, Na” is a catchy, rocking track with the only downside being the reference to “jazz hands” in the lyrics.
“Bulletproof Heart” has an 80’s synth intro that leads in a somewhat poppy rock song.
“Sing” is a power ballad that is destined to have people holding up their lighters (or more commonly these days, cell phones).
“Planetary (GO!)” at times sounds like a Black Eyed Peas song.
“S/C/A/R/E/C/R/O/W” , to me, sounds like it fits the post apocalyptic storyline the best. It’s a slower track with distorted vocals.
“Destroya” after a tribal/industrial sounding intro the song turns into a punk song reminiscent of The Refused.
“The Kids From Yesterday” has a driving beat and sound a little bit like The Cure.
“Vampire Money” has a surf punk sound and reminds me of Iggy Pop’s song “Lust For Life”
To some people this may be My Chemical Romance’s best record (so far) to others it may be their worst. Personally, I feel the band has taken a step back in creativity; I was hoping for something as daring and unexpected as “The Black Parade” but what I got sounds more like updated Hair metal. It’s not bad at all, quite good actually but I guess the only problem that I really have with it is that it was not what I was expecting.