By Al Kaufman
It’s been four years and numerous personal problems since My Chemical Romance released their last studio CD, The Black Parade. During that time, My Chemical Romance have grown and matured. Guitarist Frank Iero said when the band started out making Danger Days the band intended it to be a love letter to rock and roll. They soon decided “the best way to love rock and roll was to set out to destroy it, and the record then became a missile pointed directly at the genre. . . . Danger Days is the soundtrack to raging against the death of the creative spark.” It’s kind of a pity then that Danger Days feels so contrived.
The CD opens with their first single, the punk infused “Na Na Na (Na, Na, Na, Na, Na, Na, Na, Na, Na).” Full of thumping drums and bass, it promises high energy and angst, but then it gives way to “Bulletproof Heart,” which opens like an ’80s power ballad before it becomes just another generic power pop tune. Many of the songs on here have that same textbook power pop sound, in which the verses slowly build into a bombastic chorus, most clearly on “The Only Hope for Me Is You,” or the anthem “Sing,” in which Gerard Way implores to “sing it for the world.”
Yes, these boys unabashedly believe music can change the world. They stand for good music over cheap dance crap and partying on “Party Poison,” but then why do they so blatantly attempt a dance club hit with “Planetary (Go!),” or write such a radio friendly song as “The Kids From Yesterday”?
Danger Days is full of energy, raw emotion, and some good hooks. It just also happens to feel like something we have all heard before.
My Chemical Romance play the Tabernacle May 11, 2011.