My Chemical Romance - Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys

Album cover
Alternative Rock
Reprise Records
My Chemical Romance
Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys
My Chemical Romance - Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys Review rating:
2.5
User rating:
Average: 4.1 (9 votes)

Back in the earlier days of this century, Gerard Way and his boys in My Chemical Romance spearheaded a rising underground sound that they’d ride to the top of the nu-emo genre with the release of Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge. This stardom was fueled by the anthemic “I’m Not Okay” and the (sort-of) angst-filled lyricism of this record much to the tune of the band’s debut album. But with Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys, the band is far removed from their days of vampires and teenage angst considering they’ve moved onto the loosely tied together story of the Killjoys and their apparent need to keep the party going without losing their lives to bandits and whatnot. Musically though, My Chemical Romance seem to be at their songwriting lowest on Danger Days – a sad notion considering the timbre-tapping of punk rock, classic rock and pop on this record. MCR’s fourth record is far from perfection, lacking cohesion and a solid middle for its near perfect beginning and end.

Since “Na Na Na” made its way to the internet and radio not too long ago, there’s been a decent amount of bickering as to whether or not this song is worthwhile. To be honest, it is a face-first dive into this record’s sound and it couldn’t have been done any other way. While the chant-like na’s are a bit on the unfamiliar side for MCR fans, they match the tempo and punch of the choruses well and make for a fun singalong if you don’t mind embarrassing yourself a tiny bit. It is strange that this record is bookended by such foot-stomping numbers, as “Vampire Money” is a raucous of a closer, complete with handclaps and pulsing drums. There’s no denying MCR can personify the punk rock image well, regardless if the music is personifying someone else in the process. Way’s voice is versatile throughout the record, suiting to both the raspy delivery of verse lines and bigger, soaring notes in other tracks. Likewise, the band is able to shift between genres as the record goes on without too much of a hitch, and that is once again a testament to this band’s ability to move on musically from album to album.

Yet, there is something missing in the tracks between these two blazing cuts that leave this album with too little to support itself on. Simply saying it lacks an overall flow isn’t quite enough, as this album tends to feel more slapped together than planned out. “SING” is just completely out of place on this record and even more so in MCR’s discography. What were they thinking? “S/C/A/R/E/C/R/O/W” seems like it is out of left field with its classic rock twang and airy vocals, which is disappointing considering on its own it is quite a good example of great songwriting regardless of who is doing it. On top of all that, the few “story-related” blurbs of dialogue are so sparse and weak that it seems like there might not even be a real story here to follow.

After hearing they were going for a sound beckoning thoughts of a re-re-re-revived punk rock, most of us were excited to find out what the final product would actually represent in My Chemical Romance’s discography. Sadly, we will have to live with the letdown of not knowing what could have been. Danger Days has its few bright spots, but this album is surely a miscue in the MCR library considering what they’ve done in the past.

1. Look Alive, Sunshine
2. Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)
3. Bulletproof Heart
4. SING
5. Planetary (GO!)
6. The Only Hope for Me is You
7. Jet-Star and the Kobra Kid/Traffic Report
8. Party Poison
9. Save Yourself, I'll Hold Them Back
10. S/C/A/R/E/C/R/O/W
11. Summertime
12. DESTROYA
13. The Kids from Yesterday
14. Goodnite, Dr. Death
15. Vampire Money

My Chemical Romance is an American rock band from New Jersey, formed in 2001. The band consists of lead vocalist Gerard Way, guitarists Ray Toro and Frank Iero, and bassist Mikey Way. Shortly after forming, the band signed to Eyeball Records and released their debut album "I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love" in 2002. They signed with Reprise Records the next year and released their major label debut "Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge" in 2004; the album was a commercial success, and was awarded platinum status a little over a year later. ... read more

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