I’ll never forget walking into Target with my aunts, anxiously waiting to get four new CDs for my birthday. I didn’t know all that much about the bands whose albums I was getting, but I didn’t really care. CDs weren’t something I got often at the time.
That day, I had gotten four CDs: Infinity On High by Fall Out Boy; Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace by Foo Fighters; DECEMERUNDERGROUD by AFI; and, probably my most memorable one of them all, The Black Parade by My Chemical Romance.
I remember listening to the CD, thinking about how cool it was. The next day, I had gone completely berserk over the whole thing and proudly announced that I had discovered the greatest song of all time, “Welcome To The Black Parade.” Of course, I had over-exaggerated a bit, but to this day, it’s still my favorite song.
When you hear the first song and listen to unique vocals of Gerard Way, it will most likely remind you of some kind of formal gathering back in the 1800’s. Or, at least, that’s what I pictured. “The End.” is a slow-moving, awkward song with a tiny bit of Broadway influence in it. Right afterward, it kicks directly into the very fast-paced, very heavy, very punk-ish song, “Dead!” It’s a very fun song, and it immediately shows off lead guitarist Ray Toro’s shredding skills . After “Dead!,” the CD plummets you right into the darker stuff, consisting of the metal-tinged “This Is How I Disappear” and the extremely catchy and spooky “The Sharpest Lives.” “Welcome To The Black Parade” starts off as an old-school sounding, piano-based song, then kicks into something totally different as it starts playing the fast, “hooky” verses and chorus. If there was one song to best describe the album as a whole, it would be that one. Not only are there plenty of guitars, but they also have chimes, xylophones, trumpets, and many other instruments not normally included.
Things slow down a bit when “I Don’t Love You” comes on. You can almost feel the pain in his voice as he sings, and it shows off Frank Iero’s ability to come up with cool guitar melodies during the verses. Then things speed back up and Bob Bryar pounds on the drums, indicating the beginning of the mischievous-sounding “House Of Wolves.” And for all you Beatles fans out there, the slow rhythm, piano parts, and moving lyrics of “Cancer” most likely won’t disappoint you.
My Chemical Romance spiced things up with the more Broadway-ish, yet still rock-like “Mama.” They even got Liza Minelli to sing on the bridge and at the end! And if you think a song called “Sleep” will actually make you fall asleep, you’re sorely mistaken; and you’ll realize that once you hear the song. And, of course, it wouldn’t be My Chemical Romance if they didn’t include something goofy. “Teenagers,” a funny, playful song Gerard Way wrote about… well, teenagers, has an anthem-like tune and gives the album back it’s fun edge. “Disenchanted” is often forgotten by fans, but has a great guitar melody and is, again, slower, but still contains heavy guitars.
The album certainly ends with a splash, as “Famous Last Words” rings in your head the rest of the day. Again, showing off amazing guitar skills, they also have an unforgettable chorus that makes you want to never give up hope. In fact, I can always go back to the song when I need cheering up or determination. “Blood,” another silly track, is only a hidden song about a minute long and was obviously purely made just to cause laughter.
The Black Parade is mostly pop/rock/punk based, but you can hear other influences from heavy metal, Broadway, classic rock, etc. All the melodies are very catchy, and, even though mostly rock/punk fans will like this, I think most anyone can listen to this and enjoy it. There are a few profanities thrown around here and there, but if you look beyond that and listen to what they’re really saying, you might find much meaning behind it. The band members consist of the Jersey boys Gerard (vocals) and Mikey Way (bass), Frank Iero (rhythm guitar), and Ray Toro (lead guitar), and Bob Bryar (drums) from Chicago. They all put their own influences to the album to make it truly a joy to listen to. Hopefully, you’ll listen to the album and, like the band, it’ll make you want to make a difference in something or someone.
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