A My Chemical Romance album is never just an album, it’s an all-encompassing odyssey. Over the course of four records, the New Jersey heroes defined a generation.
With that in mind, we’ve taken on the arduous task of ranking the different My Chemical Romance eras from great to greatest.
4. I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love
Let it be known that this ranking has nothing to do with how I feel about the record. There is a special place in my heart for Bullets. A post-hardcore masterpiece that speaks to the very unique feeling of being an outcast yearning to be understood. It established My Chemical Romance as prophets for the disenfranchised, for the misfits. Naturally, as Bullets is the band’s debut, they likely didn’t have the resources to deliver a fully-fledged vision.
3. Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys
Danger Days showcased the breadth of MCR’s imagination. Set in 2019, the record plunged us into a post-apocalyptic California. The band invited us into the world of the Fabulous Killjoys, the rogue underdogs we all wish we were.
With Danger Days, My Chemical Romance turned their rage outwards, offering searing indictments on consumer culture, Hollywood and the celebrity. It is gloriously, staunchly anti-capitalist. In an era where true power lies within Big Tech, it feels more relevant now than ever.
2. Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge
Goths, glorious goths. A high-concept record about star-crossed lovers desperate to reunite in the afterlife. From the Tim Burton-influenced video for ‘Helena’ to the sumptuous high school revenge dream of ‘I’m Not Okay’; My Chemical Romance completely leaned into campy, theatrical glory.
The record is a sincerely moving study of loss, life, masculinity, and queerness. It’s a record that transcended the trappings of emo. It was completely ahead of its time.
It couldn’t have been anything else. The Black Parade is the most ambitious rock album of the 21st century. It is so complex, so rich in its storytelling. An emo-rock opera to rival the likes of Pink Floyd. It’s been fifteen years since The Black Parade was released and the stronghold it has on us shows no signs of waning. There will never be an album like it again.