A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that My Chemical Romance continues to produce lyrics that are death-obsessed, but also at times, very well written. "F--k" and "s--t" appear just frequently enough to warrant a "Parental Advisory" sticker. There are also several references to drinking and drugs.
What's the story?
THE BLACK PARADE is, according to lead singer Gerard Way, "way more dramatic, way more theatrical, completely over the top; borderline psychotic" compared to My Chemical Romance's 2004 major-label debut, Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge. There's nothing subtle about this CD, as the band careens from one majestically arranged, death-obsessed anthem to another ("Wouldn't it be grand to take the pistol by the hand/and wouldn't it be great if we were dead?" muses Way on "Dead!") -- with occasional side trips to the local bar. The only subtlety comes in the lyrics of "Cancer" ("Call my Aunt Marie/tell her to gather my things"), a poignant exploration of terminal illness that may mean a lot to anyone who has had personal experience with life-threatening disease.
Is it any good?
The group's exceptional rhythm section, impressive guitar work, and intense lead vocals, along with ever-more dramatic and (some might say) overblown production techniques, create a dark and apocalyptic mood throughout The Black Parade, and some of the songwriting is evocative and poetic. Though not a great choice for overly sensitive teens dealing with severe depression, My Chemical Romance has a lot to offer those who can put the band's bleak worldview in perspective.