welcome folks! we return to our discography this week for what is unfortunately our last entry in My Chemical Romance’s discography – Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys. this record, like the two before it, has a narrative to it (though Wikipedia claims this is a proper Rock Opera, as opposed to a concept album, so). Danger Days tells the story of the Killjoys, who fight against an evil corporation in Battery City.

kicking things off is Look Alive, Sunshine, a short radio intro that bleeds into the real opener here, Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na), which i absolutely recognize the hook to, and yeah this track is a hell of a way to start. but yknow what they say about putting your best foot forward, and damn they really did. Bulletproof Heart is very much the “call to action” component of this record – lyrically and musically, it’s very much an optimistic upswing. p good track. god the dramatic swell on SING sounds fantastic, haha. Planetary (GO!) has such a killer intro, and the shift into the “get up and GO!” part is very fun. the track leans a little heavier on a dancier vibe but like, cmon, it’s a blast. The Only Hope for Me Is You is as close to a ballad as this record’s gonna get, i think, and it’s a very heartfelt plea. p good. Jet-Star and the Kobra Kid / Traffic Report provides a little more direct narrative development here at the midpoint. i dig these “radio” skits as a way to advance a bit of the plot – i’m reminded of Janelle Monae’s Electric Lady record, which does a similar thing of using broadcasts to check in on the broader scope of the narrative. Party Poison’s probably my personal favorite. i marked this track as a fave on the first listen and almost every follow up went “oh yeah i already favorited this one huh” when i got to it. Save Yourself, I’ll Hold Them Back is a very good track. i gotta say i’m enamored with the line “we can live forever if you’ve got the time”, for real. S/C/A/R/E/C/R/O/W is a bit more somber in structure, but dang the chorus here just worms its way into your brain. Summertime’s a good track but i swear this one has the weakest impact on me. i keep drifting during this track. DESTROYA is an incredibly fun track – got a few weaker bits but i’m a fan of this one. The Kids From Yesterday’s a bit of a look back from the band – not completely outta place in the narrative but not the strongest element there. Goodnite, Dr. Death is the final radio bit, and a nice closing of the narrative. i really appreciate them playing that before Vampire Money, which is a definitely a track outside the narrative and functions like a bonus track after Goodnite, even if it isn’t literally. also i love Vampire Money, haha.

faves – Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na), Planetary (GO!), Party Poison, Save Yourself, I’ll Hold Them Back, DESTROYA, Vampire Money
dislikes –

i did check out the music videos for this record, and i gotta say, great time too. the band looks like they’re having a ton of fun on these. lotta fun little worldbuilding things, and i def think it does a good job of selling some of the narrative points that the record itself is a little weaker on. i said last record that i’m kinda critical on these narrative records – i’m coming to these reviews expecting these records to be fairly cohesive and thematically consistent to begin with, so when an album goes out of it’s way to be like “okay no really this shit is CONNECTED” i’m gonna hold it to a higher standard. does Danger Days do that? mostly! i’m not expecting a radio play here, and i think between the radio skits, a few of the lyrical bits, and some of the stuff like the track names, it does a good enough job of at the very least creating the world that the Killjoys live in, if not musically conveying the narrative the music videos deliver on. i think i woulda loved to see some of what i’ve read the comics having a bit more clearly lyrically, but i’m not feeling cheated on the “rock opera” label here.

SPEAKING OF the world the Killjoys live in, this absolutely feels like driving a dirt bike through a post-apocalyptic desert, tuning into a barely functioning radio and fighting for the future. cumulatively, the record has a fantastically pop-punky optimism to it that is infectious. i def had a good time here, and i think between the slightly genre swap and the change in tone this record appealed to my personal tastes the most out of MCR’s records, haha.

Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys – 8/10

and that wraps it up for MCR! they took a break between 2013 and 2019, releasing only an EP of some of the tracks from the original studio sessions of what would become Danger Days shortly before that hiatus. since their return, they haven’t put out a full record, but if they do, catch me here diggin in.

next up for discography review, it’s a reader suggestion: Squirrel Nut Zippers. join me next week as i check that out.

first: I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love | previous: The Black Parade | next: who knows?

all my reviews for My Chemical Romance

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