Soundtrack 11-02-2006 “The Black Parade” (My Chemical Romance)

I picked up this CD on an impulse purchase the other day and I’ve listened to it a few times now. It’s really growing on me. I have always been a fan of somewhat self indulgent and probably over produced rock opera type of CD’s, and this one fits in pretty well. The one thing that kind of bugs me, though, is that all through it I keep thinking that I’m listening to American Idiot’s younger more arrogant but less cool brother. Not because of the subject matter or the sound; this doesn’t particularly sound like American Idiot. But it feels like it. About 4 songs in my the thought crossed my mind that “these guys consciously set out to record their own American Idiot”. If it wasn’t for that little bit of contrived-edness (is that a word?) this album would wind up in my “stuck on the cd player” list.

As it sits, I do dig it anyways. The whole psuedo pop punk thing pissed me off at first (I mean the whole genre, starting with dookie right through to billy talent) because I find it hard to call any of it punk. But I’ve come to enjoy pop punk in it’s own right as good catchy, hooky songs that tend to be happy and fun. Anyways, I say go buy this album if you’re a fan of the band or the genre. It is very good. A bit slick, but good slick not cheesy slick.

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3 comments so far

  1. The Kid on

    Ah Clay, so in the first paragraph you accuse this album of being pretentious and then you immediately define an elitist, exclusionary meaning of “punk” music. Truly you are a Green Day – Walking Contradiction (ha!).

    Just kidding. But you, more than most, seem like the type to reject rigid classification and labels, instead of being one of those weiners who complain that the newest pop act is debasing their favourite genre. Pop music has been guilty of incest and superficiality for as long as it has existed.

    Keep on rockin in the free world,

    Chris

  2. Rosie on

    I like the single that’s been getting a lot of airplay!

  3. twitchy67 on

    Ooo Chris…fightin words! My problem with “pop punk” was (and I say was because I’ve since come to terms with it) not the music, but the nomenclature. When I first heard Dookie, I thought it was a fabulous album… but I always said (and I still say) that Green Day and similar bands are doing nothing different than Poison did…just without the hair and makeup, and slightly (but not always completely) different lyrical content. It is good pop rock, but the guitar sounds, the mix, the instrumentation even; everything but the vocals is not much different between “Look What the Cat Dragged In” and the aforementioned “Dookie”.

    Remember I’m 20 years older than you, and Punk back then was always (to me) about rejecting the system and an anarchistic and usually angry vibe. It was also a recording style and playing style that involved hitting everything loud and fast and not necessarily accurately. DOA, Black Flag, Da-Glo Abortions, Pointed Sticks, the Clash even…all had wildly different sounds, but a very similar energy, frustration and disdain to it. THAT’s punk. Yes there were derivative bands in that scene too… and the fake ones didn’t succeed. (Newer) Green Day, Blink, MCR, and countless other bands are more like 80’s hair metal; they all have the same sound, production style, similar vibe and similar content. This is not a bad thing; its a different thing. Again, the fakes will disappear and the dudes who live their scene and attain a level of reality will be the classics of tomorrow. Even in derivitave formats there are bright spots: I’m a big fan of billy talent, green day, now MCR. And there’s junk too.

    Don’t take my comments as a rejection of the style or as a dismissal of all the bands that play. It’s just that at the end of the day, to an old bastard like me, it’s just not very punk. Doesn’t mean I don’t like it…heck I was never a huge punk fan anyways…but it means I can argue the name, at least in my head. If that makes me elitist, then elitist I am. Perhaps that rejection of rigid classification and labels is precisely why I don’t like the pop punk term for these bands…it’s just too far away from what I view as punk. If it was a line graph and punk was the far left of the line and bubblegum tripe was the far right, I’d put these bands somewhere right of center.

    On a similar note, I also had trouble calling a band that sold 50 gazillion albums (nirvana) “alternative music”. Alternative to what? Less popular stuff? 😀  (nirvana, by the way DOES meet my requirements for a punk ethic…go figure)


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