May Death Never Stop You: Greatest Hits 2001-2013 has been released just over a year since My Chemical Romance announced their indefinite hiatus. Although this may appear to be a convenient marketing ploy, the inclusion of new material such as Fake Your Own Death, alongside other unreleased demos, seems to be for the benefit of the fans. So before the sceptics descend and it’s dismissed as another premature compilation album, I suggest you give it a listen.
When listening to Fake Your Own Death you can almost picture the emotional photo slideshow of the band and their fans, spanning their twelve year career. The track’s melancholic feel is immediately contrasted with the band’s early music from I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love (2002). I appreciated the album’s chronological approach; it’s logical and it means you can really hear their development, though maybe that’s just the History student talking. Yet by ending on the band’s self-professed “infamous Attic Demos”, MCR fittingly finish where they started.
As the track listing has been available since late January, it is unsurprising and maybe disappointing for some to note The Black Parade (2006) contributes the most songs to the album. Whilst some fans dismiss those who associate MCR simply with The Black Parade, even music snobbery cannot overlook the impact of that album on the band’s career. May Death Never Stop You brilliantly demonstrates that becoming mainstream and making good music does not have to be mutually exclusive.
May Death Never Stop You reintroduced me to the angry, but sincere lyrics of Gerard Way that I’d replaced with the tamer sounds of anti-folk. Whilst some lyrics are more cryptic than others (“I’m not okay” as a clear example), the album is charged with the unrest that really resonates with teenagers: “We are the kids from yesterday”. The album offers lyrics that are perfect for whispering, perfect for screaming, and perfect for remembering.
It may seem too soon for a greatest hits album, but you need only look at Tumblr to realise the impact the band and their break-up have had on many fans. Whether you feel you grew up with MCR or grew out of them, most of us will have something to say about the band. May Death Never Stop You bites back at the press’ labelling of My Chemical Romance as “emo propaganda”. Plus, I’m always a fan of any band who take on the Daily Mail.