Friday, January 12, 2007

My Chemical Romance - The Black Parade (2006)

They say imitation is the highest form of flattery… if that’s the case The Black Parade is quite the glowing homage to the likes of Pink Floyd, Queen, and at times even the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.

When it comes to copping other bands styles there are right and wrong ways to do it. Done wrong and a band can come across as a bunch of no-talent hacks who have to rip off other artists with far more talent than they. Done correctly and they’re seen as torch-bearers, taking the styles of the bands who influenced them and putting their own stamp on that music to create a sound all their own and generally contributing to the evolution of rock.

With The Black Parade, My Chemical Romance has done the latter. While their opening track The End there’s an obvious Pink Floyd influence as the track is reminiscent of In the Flesh which opened their classic album, The Wall. From there the album shifts to Dead! If The End catches the listener’s attention, Dead! grabs the listener by the collar and forces them to pay attention. The album doesn’t really let up until after its signature anthem, Welcome to the Black Parade which is every bit an anthem for MCR that Bohemian Rhapsody was for Queen or that Another Brick In the Wall Pt. 2 was for Pink Floyd.

While this is a great album from start to finish, there is a slight lull with I Don’t Love You, probably the most emo track on the album in a Coldplay meets Green Day kind of way… With the music bearing an uncanny resemblance to Coldplay and Gerard Way’s vocals conjuring Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong it makes for a rather unusual combination. It’s a musical combination that really shouldn’t work, yet somehow MCR manages to pull it off with flair. Even so, I Don’t Love You, while still a strong song, is probably the weakest material this album has to offer.

With Mama the band once again gives a tip of the hat to Pink Floyd, this time paying their respects to Floyd’s Mother. Lyrically the songs bear some similarities and share some of the sentiment lyrically is where the comparisons end. Where Floyd’s Mother is generally somber and melancholic, MCR’s Mama spits fire and vitriol.

Teenagers is another great track that in just over 2 minutes captures the frustration the rest of us have with teenagers and teenage angst. Add to that it has the most quotable lyric on the whole album:

Teenagers scare the livin’ shit out of me
They could care less as long as
Someone’ll Bleed

In the January/February 07 issue of Blender magazine The Black Parade was rated the number 1 album of 2006. These magazine polls while interesting rarely reflect my personal tastes, but after having my expectations so vastly exceeded I must concede that this time around Blender got it right.


Layla said...

Dang, they need to hire you to do some PR!

Charlie said...

I don't know this band. They sound like a band who would interst me. How many other CDs do they have and where would you suggest I start? Where does their name came from?

jessbuzz said...


Burbank, CA — Reprise Records' My Chemical Romance will launch the second leg of their extensive tour in support of their Number One Rock album, the RIAA gold-certified, The Black Parade. The second round of the U.S. arena tour, produced by Art Show - a national touring division of Goldenvoice - will kick off in Houston, TX at the Reliant Arena. Tickets went on sale Saturday, February 10, 2007 via Ticketmaster.

The Black Parade, an epic theatrical concept album about mortality, has been named “Album Of The Year” by Blender Magazine, stating “My Chemical Romance transcended the cliché…to craft a grandiose epic that just might make them the biggest band in the world." Rolling Stone says "The Black Parade is the best mid-Seventies record of 2006, a rabid, ingenious paraphrasing of echoes and kitsch from rock's golden age of bombast."

The week after its release, The Black Parade claimed the Number One spot on SoundScan's Rock, Alternative, Top Albums Retailers, Indy/Small Chain, Internet, and Digital Album Charts. It also shot to Number 2 on Billboard's Top 200 album chart, selling more than 240,000 copies its first week of release. The first single, "Welcome To The Black Parade," has enjoyed eight weeks at the top of the Alternative / Modern Rock Radio Charts in the U.S. and the singles chart for two consecutive weeks in the UK.

Anonymous said...

I finally got to listen to the whole CD. I believe that MCR has the potential to be this generation's Pink Floyd. I know I am not the first person to make this comparison, but I think I can be the first one not to completely bash MCR for being or trying to be what they are. Pink Floyd should be considered by many to be musical geniuses and the originators of the progressive rock movement. Now I don't think that MCR have reached their full potential with this CD. They do however have it in them to make an album that will leave a mark like the Wall or Dark Side of the Moon. People have bashed these guys for making a "theatrical" album and that is where I start to get pissed. Music today is filled with untalented schmoe's who are just out there to make a quick buck by dropping one stupid single off of one stupid CD.
"A Bay Bay."
I could debate all day with some one about that fact and name countless bands that probably won't be remembered after another 10 years. Think about it for those of you who are really young you probably can't think of too many bands from back in the day but MCR I think stands with bands/singers that will be remembered forever in one way or another. Patsy Cline, Hank Williams Sr/Jr. Charlie Price, Jimmie Hendrix, Led Zeplin, ZZ Top, Van Halen, Janis Joplin, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Tool: the list could go on but music of this day lacks what these aforementioned artist thrived on pure unadulturated TALENT. This is why MCR is a breath of fresh rock. Unfraid to say what needs to be said to convey all of our thoughts and grievances through poetic symbolism and moving music.
MCR has done it right by writing a whole album with songs that complement each other and fit a single story or idea.
If these guys continue to mature their sound and lyrics one day when we are old we can be proud of this band and the mark they leave behind for our generation. And maybe you won't have to answer questions like; "Did you ever do the cupid shuffle?"
And one more thing MCR is one of very few bands (to date) that have guitarists talented enough to actually pull off a lead solo. Which serves to only accentuate the passion and emotion behind the story Gerard Way is trying to tell.