My Chemical Romance The Black Parade

My Chemical Romance have always been the most interesting bunch on the screamo circuit, from the fashion statements and the wildly choreographed promo videos to the dark lyrical fantasies and infectious hooks. But The Black Parade is a bold statement that says they don’t belong. In a nutshell, the third album from these Jersey kids is nothing short of a modern day punk masterpiece. Yeah, big words, but they’ve earned them. Realising that the most important element in music making is taking chances, the five-piece don’t back down whatsoever. As with their first two albums, this is another "high-drama with a black sense of humour” concept album based around a character known as "the Patient,” who experiences a young death from a bout with cancer. Produced by Rob Cavallo, the man behind Green Day’s American Idiot, naysayers will be quick to jump all over this as a copycat of that 2004 concept album, but The Black Parade feels more like one-upmanship than anything. There’s a vitality and a real sense of adventure — both lyrically, musically and stylistically — to MCR that Green Day can’t match. Whether it’s mushy balladry, classic rock, Maiden-esque riffage, Tin Pan Alley spoofing or getting Liza Minnelli to drop a key vocal, nothing ever feels out of place. Those that felt they had MCR pegged as whimpering, eyeliner-sporting goth wannabes, the time for repentance is now. They are vivid storytellers, technically proficient musicians and simply fantastic at setting a tone. The Black Parade is not just the album to beat now for all of the melodic punk bands out there, it’s also one of the year’s best — in any genre. So give in to your urges and come on and join the Parade. You won’t regret it. (Reprise)