My Chemical Romance - Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge (Cover Artwork)

My Chemical Romance

Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge (2004)


I'll start by saying I was never a real fan of this band. I've seen them live, opening for random acts, and wasn't a fan of their live show. Their music struck me as generic, their band as nothing outstanding, and their stage presence nothing stellar. However, I was interested in hearing this album after some kids seemed to like it more than the new Bad Religion album.

That being said, you can wonder my astonishment at actually finding myself enjoying some of "Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge," the major label sophomoric effort from My Chemical Romance.

The album starts off with an incredibly hooky "Helena." The lead singer has obviously had major label vocal training since the last album. The production is the most obvious improvement, as the chorus is so full and energetic that it's almost... good? By the end of the song, I almost found myself singing along to the amateurish, high-school-heartbreak lyrics. But I'll say more on those later.

"Give 'Em Hell, Kid" starts off with a quick paced bassline, some fast drums, and all in all a pretty nice track. However, when the chorus picks up, I feel like I'm listening to the last song all over again, with lyrics so obviously written for singalongs at a live show, they lose any meaning they could ever possibly hold. Example: "If you were here / I'd never have a fear / So go on, live your life / But I miss you more than I did yesterday." Ugh.

The album keeps up with this formula, of a very well produced, very hooky (in a dark, Hot-Topic-sellable way), easy-to-sing-with choruses until it becomes painfully obvious that there's no end to shallow water anytime soon. "I'm Not Okay (I Promise)" not only has the worst title for a song ever, the song follows through with being equally bad. The lyrics really show here; show how badly they are written. The song recounts some high-school love interest and then bursts into the chorus of repeating "I'm not okay, you wear me out." Skip. Now, either "The Ghost Of You" is actually a good track, or it's just a good change of pace from "I'm Not Okay..." but I found this on the same moderately enjoyable level of the first track.

And then... the album keeps going. And going. And going. I keep listening, but I have trouble differentiating one song from the next. Songs like "It's Not A Fashion Statement, It's A Deathwish" turn me off from the beginning with such awful titles, but I give them a listen anyways. It's all pretty formulaic.

All in all, the production is the most redeeming quality of the album. It brings a fun little summer flavor to the CD, and the catchyness can even make you like the disc for a few listens until you actually pay attention to what they're singing about. Shallow, unoriginal, overproduced and yet fun in a disposable and commercial way, don't rush out to get this one.