CD Review: Unevolved, over-the-top third album unimpressive at best

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    If you have never heard of My Chemical Romance, it is probably because you are not a regular watcher of MTV’s TRL.Following its huge 2004 smash album, “Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge,” MCR is back with its new record “The Black Parade.”

    As the title suggests, the record is full of heavy guitar-driven tunes complete with morose, dark lyrics.

    The song titles speak for the album’s overall lyrical meaning. With songs such as “Dead!,” “I Don’t Love You,” “Cancer” and “Disenchanted,” it’s easy at first glance to understand what this album is all about.

    The songs are fast, heavy and epic, although overproduced. The album’s first single, “Welcome to the Black Parade,” is a prime example of the album’s over-the-top production. This is probably due to the fact that the band members, singer Gerard Way, bassist Michael Way, drummer Bob Bryar and guitarists Ray Toro and Frank Iero co-produced the album with Rob Cavallo, who also worked on Green Day’s huge “American Idiot” album.

    Gerard Way’s lyrics have not evolved much since “Revenge,” with lyrics still about death and despair. Take for example “Dead!,” where Way sings, “Oh take me from the hospital bed/Wouldn’t it be grand?/It ain’t exactly what you planned/And wouldn’t it be great if we were dead?”

    “Parade” makes a short turn for the better with the track called “Mama.” The song starts out with a single guitar and bluesy verses where Way sings, “Mama, we all go to hell/I’m writing this letter and wishing you well/Mama, we all go to hell.” While this song starts out as what could have been the album’s saving grace, MCR throws it all away when Liza Minelli creeps in to sing a verse before Way screams back at her. The songs are pretentious, predictable and, to be honest, quite boring after a single listen – which obviously means teenage girls, MTV and rock radio will eat it up.