5 MCR return with a nuclear blast of energySpartan20 | 06/12/2010 | See all Spartan20's reviews (24)They're NOT emo. Never were, not then, most certainly not now. People love to slap labels on things, preferring to gloss over the details as they may impair they're linear perspective. MCR, like all great music, stands outside genre, and this album showcases every single one of the band's strengths, developing the lyrical variety of Three Cheers...and the personal signature of Black Parade. There is a story interwoven through the album, one of high-energy adventure, brief interludes of wistful contemplation, and cutting determination. Gerard's voice has never been better, and the soundscape feverishly changes gears with laser-point precision, dancing around the genres, as though challenging certain media groups to dare label them. More importantly, it's the mark of a turning point for this great band, leading its loyal fan-base into a bold new era, and undoubtedly winning it many new fans with it's daring tone. It may be too much of a departure for the hardcore, but this sort of creative development, refusal to sit down in one place yet still bear the hallmarks of its travels, makes MCR a fantastic band. If you're tired of hearing over-wrought, cliche-riddled, would-be pop records abusing one or two chords, and bands thinking a ceaseless, incoherent scream makes them 'cutting edge', then you really need to give this a shot. MCR have never been better, and it raises the benchmark significantly. Where they go from here is a mystery, but that's in keeping with their tone, and all part of the fun.