The Black Parade
Let's get right to the point here: My Chemical Romance's third studio album is much more than a major creative leap for the black, red and mascara-tinged heroes of the beaten, the broken and the New Jersey-bred. It's also one of the most immediately accessible, jugular-draining concept albums in years. That's because it overshadows any hint of pretension with pop pleasantries of a glam, classic rock and operatic nature, even as singer Gerard Way funnels his finest storytelling skills into a gleefully morbid tale of cancer and chemo, final words and flatlines. In simple terms, The Black Parade is the Sgt. Peppers' of the Tim Burton/Warped Tour generation, from its carefully plotted story arc to sleeve art with skeletons posing as a militaristic marching band. In more debatable words, it's easily the best Top 40 rock record you'll hear this year––self-conscious to a shameless degree and a tasteful tribute to the Queen's and the Bowie's it "borrows" from in scope and sound.