My Changed Romance

Hasmik Djoulakian

( March 11, 2011 ) — Fearless lyrics and one-of-a-kind vocals set apart My Chemical Romance from other punk-rock boy bands of the early 2000s. The inspiration for the creation of MCR is about as amazing as their earlier songs were. Front man Gerard Way and former band mate Matt Pelissier witnessed the events of Sept. 11 and went on to start the band a week later and wrote a song called “Skylines and Turnstiles” — to be on their debut album, I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love — in remembrance of the tragedy. With his tiny porcelain teeth, Way would look like a lion as he belted out songs like “Famous Last Words” and “Welcome to the Black Parade” from the band’s second album, The Black Parade. There is no denying that his voice still rings true, but in their latest album Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys, it somehow feels like it’s not all clicking like it once did. With too much attention on props and music videos unrelated to their songs and not enough on the songs themselves, the newer album does not deliver the goods which once defined this sensation of a band. Some say that the band taking a new direction and making their music more broad is a good thing, as sticking with their old feel and style would have been overdone. Granted, but instead of growing and learning more about themselves as a band, the reinvented My Chemical Romance has taken to hiding behind a comic book nonsense album to make up for a lack of real lyrics sung from the heart and a message, two things which had been their trademark assets in their first three defining albums. Pop and R & B artists never find their albums overdone and never see the need to change their sound, no matter if their albums sound exactly the same as the ones before. Why would they, when that type of music works so well for them and their millions of fans and their billions of dollars? What it comes down to is not My Chemical Romance wanting to differentiate themselves for the sake of keeping things fresh, it’s them wanting to do so to gain new fans and more money. Their new song Sing was featured on the February 15 episode of Glee as well as in the season 10 promo of American Idol. It’s no coincidence that the band has never had this much exposure before. Whereas in their previous albums the five would break out from all bounds and sing about bullying, motivation, strength and coping, now it’s as though they’ve taken two steps back in terms of originality and chosen to stick with the ways of the masses rather than who they themselves really are, and will therefore fall through the cracks sooner or later, despite their current popularity. It is better to be a completely unique band that is loved by some and hated by others, rather than an easily-forgotten average one. My Chemical Romance had both the uplifting messages and cathartic effect of indie bands and the satisfying sound of rock bands, which put them on the charts, but more importantly, in the hearts of listeners. Where Way’s voice would sometimes be scratchy, it wasn’t overdone, because it was heartfelt. Now, it seems an act put on by someone who himself does not believe in his music any longer. From the self-proclaimed band that saves people’s lives, to say that this recent album is a letdown would be an understatement. Be it an identity crisis for the band itself or an unreasonable and unhealthy desire to blend in with the mainstream albums, My Chemical Romance has proven that what is great usually does not last forever.