Well I had meant to post this much sooner, but real life gets in the way of online obligations. Please be warned that some of these reviews are long-winded while others are short and to the point.
01. The End
When I first heard this track it was the live version from the Hammersmith Palais show in London on August 22, 2006. I felt the dark beats run through me and lift my heart and soul up to join The Black Parade. I felt such power and force behind the lyrics and sounds, that made me want to get up and run out into the world and tell them to look out because I was born anew.
With the opening lyrics, “Now come one, Come all, To this tragic affair, Wipe off that make up, What’s in is despair,” you already prep yourself for a ride through The Patient’s bout with death, ‘Fear’, ‘Regret’ and ‘Mother War’.
Such a poppy-punk rock track that even with sad and depressing lines of “Found a complication, In your heart, so long, Cause now you’ve got, Maybe just two weeks to live“, you can help but dance and sing along to the chorus of “La la la la la”. You can see fans around the world claiming they are ‘Dead!’ and thinking about this song and not about the atypical idea of death in emo and feelings of angst that are thought to go hand in hand with one another. (Don’t even get me started on emo)
03. This Is How I Disappear
“I’m just a ghost, So I can’t hurt you anymore,” I always hate saying that a certain part of a song dragged me in, for this track it was during these lines “So you can, Well now so you can” when you hear The Patient’s voice ‘spiraling down’ with the guitars. In my mind I can just imagine his voice falling down a cyclone of guitar chords, or singing in front of an amp and the music exploding from within as a mass of colour and ribbons and strings and confetti, etc.
04. The Sharpest Lives
“Juliet loves the beat and the lust it commands, Drop the dagger and lather the blood on your hands Romeo.” The creepy whispering and harmonies are beautifully placed. It gives the illusion of multiple Patients or multiple versions/aspects of himself, all trying to get out but nearly coming together to form a cohesive statement. “Give me a shot to remember”
05. Welcome to The Black Parade
When I first heard this track it was the official release from their myspace profile and it had the marching band drums leading up to the song. The album release lacked this, but still did very well for me. While being the first single from the album and the introduction to their new persona, the radio stations still have not overplayed this track to make me hate it yet and to them I am very thankful because the day I become sick of hearing any song from this album it will indeed be a very sad day. “Because the world will never take my (heart), Go and try; you’ll never break me”
06. I Don’t Love You
This song is all about being in a relationship and one day just not loving them the same as you used to. I’ve been through this on both sides actually. It is a hard situation to get through, but you sit there for a little while and then move on and be true to yourself. It is such a sad song really though and gets really touching when at the end Gerard softly sings the words, “When you go, Would you have the guts to say, “I don’t love you, Like I loved you, Yesterday”“. You can feel some sorrow and bitterness all wrapped into one little marching band uniform.
07. House of Wolves
During pre-release performances this song was labelled as “Inferno” and it is fitting considering the flurry of guitars and drums you hear during the track, so it is expected that Ray, Frank, Mikey and Bob all have serious guitar/drum burn after playing. I personally love the line, “Tell me I’m a bad man, Kick me like a stray.” it just sounds quite odd
I heard this song live before (thanks to the internet), but the one time that sealed it for me was the October 21st Saturday Night Live performance. This is such a lovely and sad song that makes you honestly think about the hardships of those who are plagued by terminal diseases. They really just want to set their lives in order before they go and they hope that everything will be okay, but they will still miss those that they care about and love and it will be the hardest thing for them to let go finally and say good-bye. To put it simply how touching this song is that both my father and I cried when we heard it for the first time, since we had lost some close family members over the years to various illnesses. It is especially important to me for shortly after the release of this album my father was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer, and I will one day sing it or atleast have someone perform it at his funeral for him and his memory. My favourite part and also the hardest part to keep a straight face on for is the soft and heavenly harmonies during the following lines, “That if you say goodbye today, I’d ask you to be true. ‘Cause the hardest part of this, Is leaving you.“.
‘Mama’ starts out with a gypsy-esque sound with the short guitar strumming, I can just imagine the soldiers in the trenches sitting around the fire and in a moment of insanity they all break out and begin writing letters to their loved ones out loud describing the horrors they have seen and have yet to see, all the while still being ostracized (by some) and criticized by their loved ones for their past actions. I love the addition of Liza Minnelli even if just for a few short lines, I can imagine her perfectly fitting into the concept and theme of ‘The Black Parade’. In the background of the bridge you can hear the planes falling and crashing as the guitars play and then after Minnelli’s lines the entire brigade comes together to sing together as though some choir doomed to die and haunt the ground they lay upon. “We all carry on, When our brothers in arms are gone. So raise your glass high for tomorrow we die, and return from the ashes you call.”
The beginning of this track is actual recording of Gerard from his stay in the Paramour Mansion and the nightmares and terrors he would have while trying to sleep. Mikey is quoted as saying that during the night he would go from his room, through the adjoining bathroom that he and Gerard shared and into Gerard’s room to sleep on his floor. Mikey was in the infamous ‘blue room’, “Take a manic-depressive kid and throw him in a haunted house with no cell-phone service, no TV, no heat and put him in a room with one glowing blue light. I got there immediately and was like, I know I’m not going to make it through this, I just wonder how it’s going to end.”So shut your eyes, kiss me goodbye, And sleep.”
“But if you’re troubled and hurt, What you got under your shirt, Will make them pay for the things that they did.” Gerard has stated that this song really does not fit in the concept of The Black Parade, but he felt that it was necessary to be there to share this message with the public. He mentions one day on the subway with a large crowd of teenagers near him and being honestly scared of them, of what they might do to him. It really says that it is not the teenagers’ fault but rather the society they have had to grow up in for their bad and rude behaviour. Drugs are easier to access than when I was a teenager and I am seriously not that old! Guns and other weapons are more accessible as well, there is a real problem with the youth of today and society as a whole is to blame. Society needs to make teens and youth understand that this is not how the world should be, we should all be able to be ourselves and not have to worry about persecution, either by a dirty look, action or by a knife or gun. (Now I am done my ranting and you can all run off) But underneath it all the track still says ‘Hey! your heart will lead you right, so always believe in yourself.’
A story about friends who used to have fun and live their lives, but one day one friend finds out he is going to die and stops living, so he becomes “a sad song, with nothing to say, About a life long wait for a hospital stay“.
13. Famous Last Words
I hate to say this but it is one line that caused my love for this song. It is not the words in the line, but rather the way that Gerard sings them, I honestly feel whatever is inside of me trying to break free, pushing against my body, against my bones, my skin. “Can you see? My eyes are shining bright” This is such a beautiful ending track to this album, a lovely anthem of the dead, which makes you wonder if The Patient really dies or if he carries on.
14. Blood [Hidden Track]
“So give them blood, blood, blood. Grab a glass because there’s going to be a flood!” A cute (I use this term to describe even the most horrific and possibly gaudy things I see in my life, so be forewarned) and very funny hidden track. After the first listen I was able to learn the words and now at any time I can be heard singing this track to my family and watching their reactions to see whether I am still crazy or just acting it for the day.