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Danger Days:The True Lives Of The Fabulous Killjoys is My Chemical Romance's 2nd attempt at a 4th studio album. Drained by touring The Black Parade Is Dead and having grown out of the depressing lyrics and sound of that monochromatic album, MCR wanted to take a new direction with this album. They certainly did, bringing an album full of life, energy and colour but The Black Parade Is Dead was an amazing album so how does Danger Days compare?
Set in a post apocalyptic America in 2019, the four MCR members created characters collectively called the Killjoys, made up of Party Poison, Jet Star, Fun Goul and Kobra Kid who battle Better Living Industries.
--Look Alive, Sunshine -
A radio broadcast like introduction by Steve Righ this sets the tone of the album as a futuristic, energetic album. (Steve Righ is a member of Mindless Self Indulgence where he plays along side Gerard Way's wife)
--Na Na Na--
First single off the album, this is by far the best song on the album. A great guitar riff and sing along chorus made me hopeful of another fantastic album by MCR. Vocally and sonically they have thrown out any sense of negativity and show the band has renewed energy and youthfulness.
Starting slowly, this song builds to return to Na Na Na's jump up and down energy. A short, guitar solos follows the chorus which is disappointing because the Black Parade showed that Ray Toro is a great guitarist but good guitar solos are lacking on this album. Gerard Way's voice seems to have taken on a more American twang to it which becomes clear in this song but works well with it.
A slower song, Gerard shows his vocal talent in a moving song with a hugely positive message about standing up to oppression and having hope in bad situations. It seems like this song is their answer to the depression expressed in the previous album. This song was adapted to be released as a single to raise money for victims of the Japan earthquake.
A huge change to MCR's sound has resulted from their use of synths and this song starts with wailing sirens to set the tone. A bouncing guitar riff then follows before another good chorus.
--The Only Hope For Me Is You--
Written about Gerard Way's son, these song helps explain how he escaped his state of mind in the last album. Futuristic synths lead the supporting melody before exploding into one the best chorus' of the album
--Jet-Star and The Kobra Kid / Traffic Report -
As the interlude on this album is another short radio report.
This is one of the best and most fun songs on the album. It starts with a Japanese lady talking increasingly excitedly before an indie style shout and guitar riff. This song bounces of the walls especially in it's catchy chorus.
--Save Yourself, I'll Hold them Back--
This song starts gently, with the most melodic piece of guitar. It then moves into a very positive song with an upbeat message.
A slightly slower song with a Beatlesesque chorus and lyrics about nuclear fallout. A scarecrow is a government term for a nuclear bomb. This song shows how lyrically and musically experimental MCR have been on this album.
This is another melodic and slower song which I found slightly boring. On The Black Parade, MCR wrote some fantastic ballads but this isn't anywhere near the standard of those.
Another one of the better songs on the album. I saw them play this a Reading and it is a fantastic live song. Probably the heaviest song (although not that heavy), it has a brilliant chorus. The verse is not great because Gerard shouts too much but the chorus more than makes up for it.
--The Kids From Yesterday--
Starting with a 70s style synth this song then moves into vocals that remind me of U2.
--Goodnight, Dr. Death--
The last radio broadcast from Dr Death starts the end of the album. Dr Death signs off and is followed by patriotic American music.
I thought that the Goodnight, Dr. Death made for an effective conclusion to the album and story because this song seems to stick out. It is about being asked to write a song for Twilight and not wanting to so doesn't fit the concept of the album and it sounds a lot like their cover of Desolation Row which they did before this album so I guess they wrote this before the rest of the songs. Doesn't fit so makes a disappointing album ending.
This album is a huge change is direction for MCR and shows a completely new mindset of positivity and a range of new influences. However, it is not as good as their previous album. There are a few really good songs like Destroya and Na Na Na but a lot of average ones in between. Give this album a few listens to make your mind up because it does grow on you slightly. My opinion of it now is definitely better than it was when I first listened to it. Just 4 stars, more like 3.5.
Following the success of their third album "The Black Parade" which spawned several hit singles including their first UK number one single "Welcome To The Black Parade", My Chemical Romance return in 2010 with their fourth studio album titled "Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys". Most people assume that My Chemical Romance are a typical EMO Band writing songs about depression and self harm and haunting lyrics and that could be true of their first two albums and they had the image for this (the dyed black hair, black clothes and heavy eyeliner) but this album represent's the band in a completely different way. An instant description of the album would describe it as "Pop-Loud-Rock".
The album revolves around a story which tells the story of the "Fabulous Killjoys" which are some kind of group fighting agains an evil corproation known as "Better Living Industries". Each member of the band represents a character, lead singer Gerard Way is known as Party Poison, other band members are "Kobra Kid", "Jet Star" and "Fun Ghoul". The setting for the album is a post-acolyptic Calafornia in 2019.
On to the album has 15 tracks (although not all these are full songs). For example the opener "Look Alive Sunshine" is a 29 intro which leads nicely onto the official first single from the album "Na Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na). Now this song is represents the album nicely. It's the kind of song that you SHOULD listen to with the volume up, windows down in the car. It's loud and fast paced and leaves you exhausted after listening.
That leads nicely onto "Bulletproof Heart" which is an instant highlight, it's about heartbreak and typical teen movie song. "Sing" was the official second single from the album it took a few listens for it to click with me, however listening to the song after a hard day at work on the Radio instantly made me like it, The lyrics suggest it to be a 'love yourself/love each other' kind of song: "Sing it for the boys, Sing it for girls".
Planetary (Go!) follows on from "Na Na Na" and is loud and proud. I think a lot of people regard this as the best song on the album, for me however, it lacks something but I can't pin point what it is.
Next up is "The Only Hope For Me Is You" and instead of writing about this song, just re-read what i've read about "Bulletproof Heart" as it's similar. "Jet Star and the Kobra Kid/ Traffic Report" is another pointless 30 second interlude which isn't needed. Next up is the albums first downfall "Party Poison", i'd describe this as messy, the song doesn't seem to go anywhere and is instatly forgetable when youv'e just had the pleasure of the preivious 6 songs. Shame as it was turning into a 10/10 album.
Now "Save Yourself I'll Hold Them Back". I like this one, I like it alot. Wouldn't work as a single but it's a nice album track. "S/C/A/R/E/C/R/O/W" is up next and when I was reading about the album before it came out it seemed that this song would be the best thing since sliced bread so I was extremely looking forward to hearing it. I have to admit though it did leave me slightly dissapointed. It's not a bad track by any means, it's a slower paced song which the album definatly needs after the previous two songs, but I was expecting more based on the pre-album reviews.
"Summertime", I really like this, it's slower in the same pace as "S/C/A/R/E/C/R/O/W" (how annoying is that typing it out!), and it is a lot better than that track too. The song definatly picks up towards the end but that's about it really. A nice pleasant track all the same though.
"DESTROYA", this is loud, angry and utterly amazing. Another track to turn the volum up to and annoy the neighbours. I would have loved this to be a single as the video would be immense. "The Kids From Yesterday" probably one of the weaker songs on the album, there's nothing I dislike about the song, it's okay, but that's all it is, okay. Feels like a filler track on the album. "Goodnight Dr. Death" 2 minutes of talking and then onto the national anthem, be warned this song makes you jump after playing that!". The closing track is "Vampire Money" which ends the album nicely, there's nothing else to say though.
In summery, My Chemical Romance have gone a long way since their previous two albums of depressing lyrics and EMO style. If you like pop/rock and cool melodies then you are in for a treat with this album!
"Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 ""Look Alive, Sunshine""
2 Na Na Na [Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na]
3 Bulletproof Heart
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""
13 The Kids From Yesterday
14 ""Goodnite, Dr. Death""
15 Vampire Money"