first things first: As much as I love this album, I would NOT recommend it to someone unfamiliar with MCR. If you're just getting into MCR, i suggest The Black Parade as an introduction. Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge is dark, gritty, violent, and at times, disturbing. But the reason I enjoy this is because I where its coming from. To all you folks saying MCR glamorizes death and violence, well, that is WRONG. I think in order to make a fair judgement you must know the context of these songs.
So first a little history lesson on Gerard Way. Way wanted to be a comic book writer, and in 2001 was an intern at Cartoon Network. CN's headquarters were located in NY City, and so one day on his way to work he happened to be passing by the World Trade Center as they were being attacked during 9/11. Witnessing this event traumatized Way and drove him into a HORRIBLE depression. At that point he gave up on art an turned to music as a coping mechanism. so he formed a band with his friends called My Chemical Romance. Now, as MCR is touring, Way is still struggling with his depression. when MCR comes back from touring, Way finds out that his grandmother, Elena Lee Rush, who he was very close to died while he was gone. Again, Way turned to music as a coping mechanism, and ended up writing the song "Helena", as his final goodbye to his grandmother, while "I'm Not Okay" he details a failed relationship from his high school days.
Also, seeing as how Way is a fan of concept albums, or albums that have an over-arching story or theme. Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge tells the story of a doomed couple, and the main theme is you guessed it, revenge. The album tells the story of a young couple madly in love who die tragically in a car accident. While the girlfriend goes off to Heaven, the boyfriend is sent to Hell. The boyfriend is so desperate to be with the girlfriend that he makes a deal with the Satan to become the devils servant, and he must claim the souls of 1000 evil men in order to earn a spot in Heaven with his girlfriend. Years pass as the BF is off killing people for Satan. Eventually he come across the Girlfriend, who it turns out survived the car crash and went on to meet a new man and probably got married. Satan lied to the boyfriend and manipulated him. So the couple rekindle their love, all the while the BF never telling the GF about his deal with Satan. Finally, the BF comes clean, and the GF is horrified and runs away, only to be killed by the cops who have found the BF for his murders and thing the GF is an accomplice. the last rack ends with the lines "They gave us two shots two the back of the head, and we're all dead now" implying the couple died, the morale of the story being that sometimes you need to be able to move on and accept what happens in life, and that revenge against anyone ultimately hurts yourself in the long run.
Yes, its gritty and violent. No, I wouldn't recommend it to the young-uns. But is it a bad piece of music? NO. This album helped me cope IMMENSELY during a very dark time in my life. something happened to me that is similar (yet not as exciting) as the story of Sweet Cheers, and as a result can relate to the boyfriend being cheated and lied to and ultimately losing someone who means a lot to you. this relatibility is what saved me during a HORRIBLE depression, notably the songs "Helena", "Give Em Hell Kid", and "Thank You For the Venom"