Gerard Way – Hesitant Alien


Artist

Album

Hesitant Alien

Label

Warner

Year

2014

Genre

For Fans Of

Blur - David Bowie - Pulp

Summary

Change might be scary for some, but often, it all works out in the end.

Rating

79 / 100

The death of My Chemical Romance seems to be one of the best examples the music world has ever seen of the saying, ‘when one door closes, another opens’. In the aftermath of the band parting ways, we saw not one, but three major projects announced by the remaining members of the group, and the one which has seen the most attention has certainly been ex-frontman Gerard Way’s solo project.

Fans that are hoping or expecting for Way to carry on MCR’s legacy though, are going to be sorely disappointed, because what they will be met with is hardly reminiscent of anything that has been previously produced by the singer.

After the distorted and dissonant intro of ‘The Bureau,’ we are greeted with the intense fuzz distortion and nonsensical lyrics of ‘Action Cat’, painting a very different picture than that which we’re used to hearing. Rather than the dark “emo” rock and emotionally heavy topics of the past, we’re exposed to a much more light-hearted, britpop/rock influenced sound, with lyrics that we can only guess mean virtually nothing at all.

The production of the album takes a somewhat interesting direction. In terms of mixing we see some points where phrases that would generally be at the forefront of the soundscape taking a more subdued position, such as guitar riffs in songs like ‘Millions’ and ‘Get The Gang Back Together’, or just the vocals of the album in general. Consequently, things like the driving bassline in ‘Zero Zero’ find themselves receiving much more attention than usual. It certainly takes some getting used to, but it’s a style that lends itself well to Way’s new style, giving a sort of ‘vintage’ feel to the album.

Towards the back end of the record, we see Way tread deeper into waters that we never thought he would even come close to stepping in. The boppy, danceable feel of ‘How It’s Going To Be’ pairs off with ‘Maya The Psychic’ and it’s oddly grouped chord progression to close out ‘Hesitant Alien.’

Conclusion

‘Hesitant Alien’ is the record that none of us ever expected Gerard Way to make – although that said, we’re pretty glad that he did. While he may lose a significant portion of the MCRmy with his new solo project, it’s difficult to see him struggling to build it back up again.

Tracklisting

  1. The Bureau
  2. Action Cat
  3. No Shows
  4. Brother
  5. Millions
  6. Zero Zero
  7. Juarez
  8. Drugstore Perfume
  9. Get The Gang Back Together
  10. How It’s Going To Be
  11. Maya The Psychic

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