On His Solo Debut, Gerard Way Trades In My Chemical Romance For Britpop and Shoegaze

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When My Chemical Romance broke up last year, it was the end of an era for the once beloved and always ambitious New Jersey band, whose 2004’s Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge became one of the most popular albums of the MTV2/emo era and 2006’s The Black Parade being one of the best (and only) epic mainstream rock albums of the last decade.

But now, after a year of silence, former MCR frontman Gerard Way has traded in the black eyeliner and emo Sgt. Pepper’s outfit for some red hair and a new mission – to make the Britpop/Shoegazing album he’s always wanted to make.

“I have all these amazing Britpop records, and I have shoegaze records, but I don’t have anything on the radio anymore. So the main objective was to change the landscape of music a bit. To kind of re-boot Britpop in America.” he tells Rolling Stone about his solo debut, Hesitant Alien, which is due September 30th.

The album’s first single “No Shows” is a dramatic shift from the darkness of MCR to a more colorful direction that name-checks Blur and My Bloody Valentine as inspiration. Yet Hesitant Alien is not a tribute album to Britpop. It is an exciting album full of visual and sonic exploration from one of modern rock’s most enduring frontmen who sounds like he has rediscovered his love of Pulp’s Different Class. From listening to “No Shows” you can still hear Way’s trademark voice and his uncanny ability to write melodies that will remind fans that there is indeed life after the black parade.

Check out the music video for “No Shows” below and click here to read the Rolling Stone interview in which Way talks about the end of MCR, his love for the movie Trainspotting, and the new recording process he used for Hesitant Alien.

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In Case You Missed It: My Chemical Romance Broke Up (And I Feel Really Old)

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If you were born in the early 90s and remembered what MTV2 was, then I’m sure you’ve already heard the news that My Chemical Romance, after 12 (!) years together, have called it quits this weekend.

These New Jersey boys have been through many dramatic changes throughout the years, but most of us remember their early to mid 2000s incarnation when Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge was one of the biggest albums of the emo era and “Helena” was dominating MTV.

The band had consistency made good albums (though some noticeably better than others) and they gained a lot of popularity and a devoted following, even though they were a part of a much hated genre that was put down in its short existence for being too whinny (which is somewhat true).

On a personal note, the band’s 2006 concept album The Black Parade was one of my favorite albums growing up, and the great ballad “Disenchanted” became one of the most meaningful songs from my teenage years. But putting my bias aside, the album was one of the few great rock and roll records that was both critically acclaimed and sold millions of records in the 2000s, and the music has aged surprisingly well. I will always love The Black Parade and I will always love this band, and I know that I am not alone.

So ladies and gents, I give you the band’s “Famous Last Words”.

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Top Lists: The Greatest 3rd Albums

Third time’s the charm, especially in music.  If your band’s first album is successful there will be a lot of buzz about you – and a lot of pressure to make a followup album that’s just as good, if not better, than your debut.  If your second album is a success then your career looks long and promising.  Now you’ve made two solid albums and now you have the creative freedom to make the album you want to make.  Some of the best albums of rock n roll are third albums, and many artist became household names because of their third album.  Here are the list of the best of the third albums.

The Clash – London Calling

Radiohead – OK Computer

The Smiths – The Queen Is Dead

Bruce Springsteen – Born To Run

Green Day – Dookie

The Replacements – Let It Be

The White Stripes – White Blood Cells

Pearl Jam – Vitalogy

My Chemical Romance – The Black Parade

Jimi Hendrix – Electric Ladyland

Neil Young – After The Gold Rush

Were there any that I missed?  Let me know via Twitter @BradyWGerber on your favorite 3rd albums!

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