FINALLY. I'd been waiting for this album for some time, and now that it's here I'm pleased to report that I'm not disappointed – and neither will you be!
Plagued by the ‘emo’ stigma that their 2006 effort ‘The Black Parade’ earned them (due to widespread public misinterpretation), MCR were desperate to redefine themselves in the music scene's eyes as a pure rock band. And they have succeeded, with great style.
The album is, as we now expect from MCR, a concept album. But instead of dealing with such nihilistic themes as death, vampires and general morbidity, they have created a fictional world in which the albums ‘heroes’ (the Killjoys) fight against a police state for their liberty and individuality in a post-apocalytpic California. For me, the album reflects such classic literature as George Orwells 1984 and, more recently, the Fallout video games, all of which are favourite works of mine. The albums themes are both inspiring and uplifiting, which is exactly what MCR needed and have so wondefully achieved.
The album echoes The Sex Pistols (punk influences), The Smashing Pumpkins (pure rock), The Killers (on some of the ‘poppier’, dance songs with synths) and of course their older work (mainly in the lyrics, rather than sound).
In summary: this is a fantastic album. Buy it. Hell, buy two and gift to a friend! The clever world MCR has created for us reminds us of the importance of liberty and free speech and is an intellectual work as much as it is artistic one. I'd encourage you to think about the music and its themes as you listen to it for maximum enjoyment. This album deserves a place in everybody's record collection.