Album Review: My Chemical Romance – The Black Parade
Whenever you hear the band name My Chemical Romance, first thing that comes to mind is a sudden shriek of girls screaming for lead vocalist Gerard Way or fans dressing in the band’s crazy costumes from themes on their albums. After bursting on the scene in 2002 with I Brought You My Bullets, they hit the big time in 2004 with Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge. There was speculation that there was no way that My Chemical Romance could pull it off and achieve global domination once again. Oh how wrong everyone was. If anything, The Black Parade couldn’t have been a sweeter sequel.
The Black Parade is the first rock opera album that My Chemical Romance have produced. In a way this is a very clever change for the band as before they’ve never really had an album that is very in depth with it’s concepts. The Black Parade revolves around the character “The Patient” who is dying of cancer. The story revolves around his apparent death, experiences in the afterlife and the subsequent reflection on his life. For My Chemical Romance to go in this direction, definitely shows that they are becoming more ambitious with the production of their albums.
The Black Parade starts with The End which is where The Patient is introduced. The heart machine is a clever input into the track because it immediately sets the scene. Way’s clever lyrics “Now come one, come all to this tragic affair/So throw on the black dress, mix in with the lot/You might wake up and notice you’re someone you’re not.” definitely shows that the band completely diverge into the rock opera theme. It also shows that they know how to execute the song correctly right from the start before it leads into the next song Dead. Dead! which is a great track with it’s upbeat tempo and parade-esque feel to the song. The track highlights both guitarists Ray Toro and Frank Iero as sensational musicians because with Iero playing rhythm, Toro flourishes a solo on guitar that is so technical but exquisite. The Sharpest Lives is about The Patient who gets cheated on by his ex. Way’s vocals are very solemn which feels like he has shared the same experience “Give me a shot to remember and you can take all the pain away.”
Welcome To The Black Parade is the lead single from the album. The song is based around the concept of when The Patient dies of cancer and his death comes to him in the form of a parade. When Welcome To The Black Parade was released it kicked up a fuss with fans because it left some in despair and disappointment, maybe it was because of Gerard Way’s blonde hair? Who knows. Cancer is a track that follows the theme of The Patient and the brutality of his situation. You can feel the emotion in Way’s voice when he sings lyrics “Cause I’m just awful to see/Cause all my hair’s abandoned my body.” The Black Parade finishes with Famous Last Words that sets off a firework display. The execution and balance of instruments makes this such an electrifying song to listen to. The track does allow The Black Parade to finish on its famous last words.
Overall The Black Parade is an album that is very unique because every song is perfectly executed. With the band creating their first rock opera album it shows how ambitious My Chemical Romance are to change the ballgame of their previous albums. They pull it off wonderfully with The Black Parade because as well as providing the story of The Patient, the way they deliver the music is excellent because it has attitude and slickness.