Shard Awards 2010: Biggest Disappointment

Ugh. There’s always something in music that you look forward to and it ends up being way below your expectations. Sometimes your expectations were just too high. Other times, it just wasn’t what you were expecting or hoped for. I think it the case of my biggest musical disappointment of the year, it’s the latter. This album was not was I expected or hoped for. The band went in a different direction for their previous album and I just didn’t connect with it.

The album I’m talking about and winner of the Biggest Disappointment of 2010 is My Chemical Romance’s Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys. MCR’s previous album “Welcome to the Black Parade” was great. It was a brilliantly made concept album. It looked like they would do more of the same with Danger Days. There was definitely a concept there- the story of a gang called the Killjoys. All the band members had given themselves new names as part of the band. The album would be released with special Killjoys guns and masks. They released their first video for the song “Na Na Na” and it had crazy desert shootouts with Grant Morrison. Then the album came out…

What seemed like a concept album was more of just a style choice. Sure, there were two tracks with “DJ Death” talking about the exploits of the Killjoys but there was nothing really tying it together. My biggest problem was the musical choices. One thing about MCR is that they are at their best when their songs have some bite to them. Songs like “I’m Not Okay (I Promise)”, “Teenagers” and “Helena” all had some jagged edges and that made them resonate better. This album is the one where the band is just having fun. I’m all for enjoying what you do but it all made for a forgettable listen as one song blended into the next. Only on the catchy lead off single “Na Na Na” and the incredible “Vampire Money” (where they skewer the idea of having a song on the Twilight soundtrack) does the band find that fire that made me enjoy them in the first place. It’s not a horrible album by any stretch but it’s a disappointing one because it had potential to be great.

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