Black Parade

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aec.rprw44427.2
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    Black Parade Reprise
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Review

Review Text At the heart of My Chemical Romance lore is the story of lead singer/songwriter/mouthpiece Gerard Way, an animator who decided to abandon illustrations and do "something with his life" in the wake of 9/11. Needless to say, that "important" thing was My Chemical Romance, which quickly rose to prominence among the emo and neo-punk bands that cluttered the rock landscape of the 2000s thanks in large part to "I'm Not OK (I Promise)," a surging piece of emo pop with a hook as ridiculously catchy as its title was ridiculous. It deservedly became a hit on both sides of the Atlantic in 2005, dragging its accompanying album -- 2004's Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge, the group's second -- along for the ride, turning MCR into stars, at least in modern rock circles. But, anybody who didn't follow the fashions of emo and punk closely might have ignored the group's tragic, romantic neo-goth image and merely assumed that MCR was another good poppy punk one-hit wonder, not far removed from, say, Fall Out Boy. My Chemical Romance intended to dispel all such misconceptions with their third album, The Black Parade, an unabashed, old-fashioned concept album, complete with characters wandering through a vague narrative that concerns very big themes like death.Actually, death is the only big theme on The Black Parade, which shouldn't come as a big surprise for a band that named their stopgap live album Life on the Murder Scene, nor should the record's theatricality come as much as a shock, either -- tragedy and melodrama are hardwired in the group's DNA, as illustrated by the often-told tale of Way's inspiration to form the band. Also, it's not as if The Black Parade is MCR's first concept album, either. Their 2002 debut, I Brought You My Bullets, and its follow-up, Three Cheers, told the interlocking story of doomed lovers on the run from vengeful vampires or some such nonsense, but only the hardcore who were willing to analyze endlessly on the Internet were aware of this; based on pure sound, MCR was an emo-punk band through and through, screaming out their feelings as if they were revelations, so it was easy to assume that their music was merely autobiographical. My Chemical Romance took great pains to have The Black Parade seem like its own theatrical work, launching a whole Web-based campaign, filled with videos and interviews explaining how the album tells the tale of "the Patient," a young man dying of cancer in a hospital bed who flashes back on his undistinguished life upon the moment of his death, and how the band got so into this project they considered themselves not My Chemical Romance, but a band called the Black Parade -- shades of the Beatles and Sgt. Pepper! Naturally, those allusions are quite deliberate, and one that MCR played up in that pre-release campaign, dropping liberal reference to Queen (particularly A Night at the Opera) and Pink Floyd's The Wall as well. It was all quite reminiscent of how the Killers set up Sam's Town with endless name-dropping of Bruce Springsteen and U2, but where the Las Vegas quartet wound up with an unholy fusion of these two extremes, MCR never synthesizes; they openly steal from their holy trinity, then graft it upon the sound they've patented. Often, it seems as if they copied The Wall onto tracing paper and placed it upon Three Cheers. The story of The Black Parade is nearly identical to The Wall -- Pink and the Patient run through a litany of childhood and adulthood traumas; absent fathers loom large; many of the main character's flaws are cruelly deemed the fault of the mother -- and there are plenty of flourishes lifted from Roger Waters' magnum opus: the opening fanfare "The End" is a re-creation of "In the Flesh," right down to the churning heavy guitars that come crashing in halfway through, while "Mama" -- shades of "Mother"! -- sounds like Green Day performing "The Trial," as Way affects Billie Joe's affected mock-English accent as he comes tantalizingly close to following "You should

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. End. - 2:52
  2. 2. Dead! - 3:15
  3. 3. This Is How I Disappear - 4:59
  4. 4. Sharpest Lives - 3:20
  5. 5. Welcome to the Black Parade - 5:11
  6. 6. I Don't Love You - 4:58
  7. 7. House of Wolves - 3:04
  8. 8. Cancer - 2:22
  9. 9. Mama - 5:39
  10. 10. Sleep - 5:43
  11. 11. Teenagers - 3:41
  12. 12. Disenchanted - 5:55
  13. 13. Famous Last Words - 5:59
  14. 14. [Untitled Track] - 3:53

Product Details

Release Date
10/24/06 

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