My Chemical Romance: The Black Parade album review

Posted: February 21, 2015 in Uncategorized

On December 29th, 2006, a geeky freshman attending Calumet high school was in his bedroom eating a box of goldfish snack crackers. Like, the biggest box available (giant elementary school milk carton). I mention this because ever since I fell in love with music, certain foods became connected to rock albums. My stomach was full of cheese, and my mind and heart were full of the greatest music ever composed. The black parade, like all of my chem’s records, resonates with people of all types; not just the alienated outsiders that the public associated this band with after their second album(Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge). Sure, the lyrical themes are chock full of darkness and nihilism, but there is also a staggering amount of hope, love, and inspiration. One reviewer, whose name escapes me at the moment, wrote that The Black Parade “contains every possible human emotion”. The album achieves this through being a concept record; a record that stands as a cohesive story (in fact, almost an epic, universal one).  Every member of the band is extremely talented, but Gerard Way(singer, lyricist) is freakishly so. His intelligence goes into everything and brings together each song, image, and design into an inseparable connection. It is impossible to listen to any of the record’s thirteen tracks without thinking of the music videos and album artwork that bring the story more into focus. For those unaware, this rock record’s story revolves around a cancer patient who dies at an early age and reflects on every aspect of his regretful life as death takes on the form of his most powerful memory: his father taking him to see a parade as a child. When you think about it, the patient is pretty much the Everyman. He could be you, he could be me…. Any of us. The lyrics really get you to think of how you are living your life and what you will be remembered for, especially on the final track, Famous Last Words. This bombastic and amazingly uplifting song will always be my favorite of all time. The chorus: “I am not afraid to keep on living I am not afraid to walk this world alone” is something that I believe should be a motto for everyone. It is a perfect song to climax this album, even though to me the record almost sounds like one really long track(yeah, it really is that coherent). But even so, each song still retains the ability to stand on its own and be its own story. It’s like a well written novel…no, more like a saga….with each song/chapter being a story in itself. But of course, the record is more than just inspiration for anyone going through rough times. It truly is genuinely beautiful music from start to finish. Ray Toro, whose classic metal guitar shredding is a hybrid of Brian May and Randy Rhoades, plays better than ever, as if he’s conducting an orchestra. That being said, it is fresh to hear music that can combine different styles and genres so efficiently. If Ray is Randy Rhoades, then Frank Iero(rhythm guitarist) is Greg Ginn and every other 80s punk guitar player with a unique melodic twist. Classic rock, stadium rock, punk, and hardcore don’t sound like they should all go together… But with this band, and especially on this album, they do so in every single riff and chord. Mikey Way(bassist) and Bob Bryar(drummer) make for a just as perfect rhythmic combination as well. The beats and baselines always hit hard, and they never fall short. To me, this made the band’s live shows sound like epic arena rock. Hell, it even sounded like arena rock in the band’s early career of basement playing. But still, the watermark is Gerard. In my opinion, he is the world’s greatest singer: unique, energetic, raw, emotional, and true. Like the other members, he put every ounce of his blood and soul into the making of this epic record that skyrocketed the band’s career. It’s a shame that they aren’t a band anymore, but this album is eternal to me. Five stars, greatest album ever made(I know, just my own opinion, except that it’s true). I feel like eating some goldfish.

  1. […] can also read my Review for the full Black Parade album, which was one of the first posts I made on this […]


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