MCRX: Ten Years of the Black Parade

Dominic Jae Savana, Cactus Editor

The internet exploded when the MCRX teaser was posted to My Chemical Romance’s website on July 19th of this year. Speculation of a new tour was on the tips of everyone’s tongues when Gerard Way (vocals) posted to Twitter that My Chemical Romance would not be getting back together nor having a reunion tour. Instead, the Black Parade would be getting a remastered, anniversary edition ten years after the original release of the album. Despite the collective disappointment around the world, MCR fans rejoiced over the impending new material that would be coming via B-sides, rarities, and demos from the Black Parade’s recording sessions. The Black Parade/Living with Ghosts was released on September 23rd and is a great way to revisit a masterpiece album in the dreary fall season.

’m unabashedly biased. The Black Parade is my absolute favorite album of all time, which is saying something since My Chemical Romance isn’t even in contention for my favorite band ever. Each track tells the sorrowful story of a young, nameless man dying of cancer surrounded by family members whom love him, hate him, or have forgotten him altogether. At its core, the album speaks to wasted potential. The man dying isn’t a great person. In fact, he’s probably the opposite.

This album touches the part of all of us that wonders whether or not anyone would really care if we died tomorrow, our black, loathsome anxieties. It’s dark. Try listening to This is How I Disappear while you’re at odds with your mom. Songs rarely capture the complexities of love/hate relationships in dysfunctional families; furthermore, The Black Parade spatters pain, contempt, regret, and sadness onto a blank canvas with a crude brush. The words are everything you or I would say to all of our messed up relationships on our deathbeds if we could, and the last lines conclude with reconciliation a minute, an hour, a day, or maybe a lifetime too late.

The bonus tracks are reason enough to go out and get this one. The rough mixes and live demos sound great and add a lot of value to springing for a $50.00 collector’s edition 3LP Vinyl (like I did). Of course, the two CD bundle is available as well for $35.00, or the digital versions of the album is available on iTunes for $13.99 or Amazon for $13.49. If you’re looking to revisit hits like Welcome to the Black Parade or Teenagers, you’ll be happy with the beautiful sound fidelity on this update. For the initiated, I recommend Cancer and Disenchanted or new tracks Emily and All the Angels.