When My Chemical Romance said they were channeling seventies rock, such as Queen, for their new album many were skeptical as to whether the band could pull it off. After all, the band is well known for their punk rock sound and themes that fall along the lines of vampires, blood and death.
With the release of their new album, The Black Parade, it is clear that My Chemical Romance have matured in such a way that they have managed to pull off a whole new sound and look, extinguishing any doubt in the band’s ability to create an ingenious masterpiece.
Co-produced by Rob Cavallo (who also worked on Green Day’s punk-rock opera, American Idiot), The Black Parade blends ’70s glam-rock with modern day punk-rock to create a sound unique to the band.
The opening track, “The End,” is just the beginning. What starts out as a simple melody on the acoustic guitar accompanied by Gerard Way’s vocals explodes into a bombastic, glam-rock euphony.
Symbolically, it ends abruptly and launches immediately into “Dead,” a fast-paced yet smooth track, complete with hyper guitar riffs and catchy melodies. Heavy guitars and dark lyrics carry the third and fourth tracks, “This Is How I Disappear” and “The Sharpest Live.,”
In “Welcome to the Black Parade,” the first single and fifth track on the album, listeners are reunited with typical MCR: energetic, melodious and anthemic, sounds that have won the band many fans.
After the emotional “I Don’t Love You,” MCR pumps it back up with “House of Wolves,” a punk-rock meets ’40s swing tune that will have listeners tapping their toes.
“Cancer” offers a bittersweet outlook at a man dying in his hospital bed, with Way singing in the hauntingly beautiful chorus, “The hardest part of this is leaving you.”
“Mama” is a jaunting melody that sounds as if the band has been placed in the middle of a circus and asked to play a tune of their own. In this track, Way takes on the role of a man raging against his mother, whose two lines are ironically sang by Broadway star Liza Minelli.
“Sleep” is the low point of the album, a track where nothing really stands out. The album is then revived by the impressive and fun “Teenagers,” a song that’s chorus is sure to get many fists pumping in the air.
The band remarkably pulls off the rock ballad “Disenchanted,” a song that is very unlike the music listeners are used to the band putting forth. The chorus repeatedly chants its blunt and depressing message: “You’re just a sad song with nothing to say.”
“Famous Last Words” ends the album on an excellent note, blending different musical styles to create a harmonic and entertaining mix. Finally, the band channels the Beatles in a one-minute hidden track titled “Blood.”
Although much different from the bands previous album, Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge, many of the concepts remain the same, such as that of death. Dead bodies lay strewn throughout the album: dead in the streets in “Welcome to the Black Parade,” on the edge of death, such as in “Dead” and “Cancer,” and dead on the inside in “House of Wolves” and “I Don’t Love You.”
The Black Parade is the perfect blend of rock influences, such as Green Day and Queen, but still holds true to the sound that is signature to My Chemical Romance. It is by far the band’s greatest accomplishment, making it apparent that the boys from Jersey are all grown up.