Green Day raised the bar for eyeliner-wearing punks everywhere with 2004's Grammy-winning rock opera American Idiot. You can hear that CD's influence all over My Chemical Romance's new concept album, an ambitious effort that finds the New Jersey emo quintet building on the success of 2004's platinum Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge. On The Black Parade—which, like American Idiot, was produced by Rob Cavallo—MCR marches forward with a goth grandeur that will have you breaking out your Doc Martens. The disc sets its dark tone with the opener, ironically titled "The End": "If you look in the mirror and don't like what you see/You can find out firsthand what it's like to be me," sings frontman Gerard Way, connecting with the alienated adolescent in all of us. Later, on the bratty stomper "Teenagers," he sings about "the boys and girls in the clique/The awful names that they stick." With its sweep and snare drums, though, the Queen-like "Welcome to the Black Parade" is the crowning moment.
DOWNLOAD THIS: "Welcome to the Black Parade"