Pleas for help on a handful of tracks look to the sky or mourn the loss of a friend.
Death is at the hub of this disc. Lead singer Gerard Way told Rolling Stone that it’s a concept album about “two lovers who die in the desert in a gunfight. The guy goes to hell and meets the devil, who tells the guy he can only be reunited with his lover if he brings the devil the souls of 1,000 men.” O-kay. Within that context, cryptic lines refer to murder, a hearse, forms of capital punishment, the grim reaper, a cold-blooded preacher and vengeance from the grave. Songs such as “Thank You for the Venom” and “To the End” merge death and marriage with twisted imagery akin to Tim Burton’s film The Corpse Bride. People drink and discuss suicide on “Cemetery Drive.” The macabre “I Never Told You What I Do for a Living” is about a serial killer proud of “the bodies I claim and lose.” With the dramatic flair of Freddie Mercury and David Bowie, Way dons the persona of a cross-dresser (“Give ‘Em H—, Kid”) and an inmate struggling with another man’s homosexual advances (“You Know What They Do to Guys Like Us in Prison”). That cut and the appropriately titled “I’m Not Okay (I Promise)” use the f-word.
Raised on comic books, horror flicks and the role-playing fantasies of Dungeons & Dragons, this band’s frontman is officially at the “garbage out” stage. If adults don’t step in, Way’s dark, desperate musings (such as “Life is but a dream for the dead”) will become some other teen’s “garbage in.”
After serving as an associate editor at NavPress’ Discipleship Journal and consulting editor for Current Thoughts and Trends, Adam now oversees the editing and publishing of Plugged In’s reviews as the site’s director. He and his wife, Jennifer, have three children. In their free time, the Holzes enjoy playing games, a variety of musical instruments, swimming and … watching movies.