Added on 23-Nov-2006
I came across this article -- it has a few Mr. Mercury & Queen mentions in it!I came across this article -- it has a few Mr. Mercury & Queen mentions in it...! :)
My Chemical Romance really know how to suck the fun out of a parade. Seriously, learn to smile.
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As a genre, "emo," or emotional punk, is known for hyperspecific songs about love, loss, alienation or just about anything that teenage lives revolve around. Grand messages and searing social critiques are left by the wayside because, frankly, the average teenager could care less. My Chemical Romance's multi-platinum, breakout album, Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge, fit this mold perfectly. Their angsty lyrics, machinegun guitars, catchy choruses and dark, almost gothic, image made them the darlings of the MTV emo blitz. So for their follow-up, instead of going the same route, they have thrown out the whole playbook and played the Green Day gambit. The have created, for all intents and purposes, the first ever "emopera." Like Green Day did with American Idiot, My Chemical Romance's latest release, The Black Parade, tells a cohesive story from beginning to end.
Taken individually, most of these songs could easily have appeared on Three Cheers. They fit the MCR template. Gerard Way over-emotes his way through the staple "teenager as an outsider" lyrics like he always has. Ray Toro and Frank Iero have never been considered amazing guitarists, but here they show why they are perfect for a band like MCR. They are loud and deft without ever being over the top. Songs like "Mama" and "Teenagers" can easily become rallying cries for disaffected youth everywhere. This is where The Black Parade surpasses Three Cheers and almost all other albums the emo genre has put forth. Lyrically, this album shines like few others
Taken individually, almost all of these songs are great works. Taken together, these songs achieve a level unheard of by the MTV generation. The first single of the album, "Welcome to the Black Parade," shows exactly why this album is so good. (Let me preface my next statement by saying that in no way am I comparing Gerard Way and MCR to Freddie Mercury and Queen. Not only are MCR not on the same playing field as Queen, they are not even on the same planet. The comparison is made from a purely technical standpoint.) Instead of taking their cues from their punk and emo forefathers, MCR seems to be invoking the ghosts of Queen. The song begins with what can best be described as a dying man remembering his youth set to the music of a funeral dirge. The lyrics have the singer's father asking him if he is going to be "the savior of the broken, the beaten and the damned." Such lyrical and musical sophistication is usually frowned upon by today's teenagers with their short attention spans. The instrumentation from then on is massively baroque. They even have two key changes (that's right, key changes) in the song.
Even with all the praise that has been heaped upon it, The Black Parade is a far-from-perfect album. It is fairly obvious to see what MCR is trying to do here. They are trying to elevate emo to a viable genre status and not just as a trendy label attached to sell records. It is also obvious to see that they fail at it. Way may be trying to sound like Freddie Mercury but just doesn't have the vocal chops for it. When Freddie Mercury pulled out all the stops and really let his voice rip, his words acquired gravity and pierced through any barriers you could set up. Way just sounds like a child complaining and whining to the adults around him. Instead of saving the genre and taking it someplace new, this album just shows us that emo has a great potential embedded in it. This just isn't the album to take it there.