The last time we heard from My Chemical Romance, frontman Gerard Way was leading a black parade of gloom, doom, and general misery. That was four years ago. Things have changed a bit for pop-punk's most theatrical tunesmiths. On their fourth album, they replace the epic-length Queen tributes and it's-showtime! Liza Minnelli cameos with lean guitar riffs, synth squalls, and a spitting spirit. Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys isn't as ambitious as The Black Parade, but it still packs plenty of monster hooks. After a 30-second intro (which lines up the album's narrative, a futuristic story that derails after a couple of songs), MCR launch into the taunting "Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)," setting up Danger Days' central theme: We're back, and screw you if you don't like it. MCR temper the album's harsher moments with songs like "Bulletproof Heart" and "Sing," the sort of anthems about displaced kids that got them noticed in the first place. — Michael Gallucci
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