Jacqueline’s Album Recommendations VIII


Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys, My Chemical Romance (2010)

Everything produced by My Chemical Romance has a manner of healing the hearts of emotionally unstable teens in one way or another. With that being said, it’s no secret that these “emotionally unstable” teens have phenomenal music tastes. 

Danger Days centers around the Killjoys, a group of people living in post-apocalyptic California in 2019, who are trying to overthrow an evil corporation: Better Life Industries. It’s difficult to pinpoint a precise storyline, especially with this record, because they created slightly varying stories through different sectors: their album, music videos, and comics. Which makes it harder to keep track of the plots compared to their previous musical projects. 

Either way, this album gives a much stronger punch of the concept album flair. Throughout the album, listeners are guided through the story by the narrator, Dr. Death Defying. Having this radio host throughout the entire album moves it an extra level up, in terms of it feeling like a cohesive piece. When Dr. Death Defying gives news updates and traffic reports, it adds to the radio station feel and helps listeners remove themselves from reality and into this world. In the opening track, Look Alive, Sunshine, Dr. Death Defying performs these traits masterfully. 

Transitioning from the undeniable beauty of The Black Parade to this alternative-leaning album was a difficult pill to swallow, but DESTROYA cuts through those different elements and creates an experience MCR fans were waiting for. Though this record is all over the place, sonically speaking, there are soft, wholesome songs on one end, and then there’s songs like DESTROYA on the other. The lyrics in DESTROYA aren’t as shocking as some of their past songs, but this is arguably their most—MCR song they’ve got. Way’s powerful vocals combined with the simplicity of the lyrics make for a great ending track (though they decided Vampire Money was a better conclusion to their story). 

Another amazing song, that I feel doesn’t get as much attention, is SING. It kind of falls into the same category as the more “boring” songs of the album, but it breaks that mold when Way ups his vocal power when he sings:


Nothing but a dead scene, product of a white dream

I am not the singer that you wanted, but a dancer

I refuse to answer

Talk about the past sir

Wrote it for the ones who want to get away

Keep running

There isn’t anything wildly unique about the lyrics or song; since the song shifts to a completely different tone when Way puts more power into the singing (particularly in the bold line). It creates a much needed contrast that helps balance the elements of the song smoothly. 

As previously mentioned, they even created comics, The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys, that align with this album as well. These comics were written by Gerard Way and Shaun Simon. The comics were published between 2013-14 and the series includes six issues. Additionally, each MCR member has an alter-ego in the story: Party Poison (Gerard Way), Jet-Star (Ray Toro), Fun Ghoul (Frank Iero), and The Kobra Kid (Mikey Way). 

Nothing beats hearing the songs flowing together like this album, but these are good starting places: Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na), Planetary (GO!), and Party Poison. Happy listening!