Ready to turn up the nostalgia? Gerard Way, former front man of My Chemical Romance, has returned to the spotlight with his first solo album, Hesitant Alien. Goodbye are the days of skinny jeans and black eyeliner — Way dons a fresh, midnight blue suit, red tie, and crimson-dyed hair. It’s no coincidence, either, that the album cover closely resembles Bowie’s Heroes and Iggy Pop’s The Idiot. Hesitant Alien is an unironic throwback to what used to be, and Way does it brilliantly. Here’s a guide to few of my favorite tracks:
No Shows: It would be no mistake to deem “No Shows” the star of the first half of the record. It is, anyway, Way’s favorite. The song starts off crisp and present, with bright guitars juxtaposing the distorted vocals. It later breaks off into a visceral, epic bridge swimming in saxophones, tambourine, and fuzz-pedal guitars. Be sure to check out the very-pink music video below.
Brother: One of the more MCR-esque tracks, “Brother,” reinvents Way’s theatrical side through its peppy yet simple piano line. But this anthem is perhaps more provocative in lyrics such as “The things we take to make us feel,” a sore nod to previous battles of drug and alcohol abuse.
Juarez: Flip the record and the first track you’ll feast your ears upon is “Juarez.” This song’s moderate speed makes it no less raucous, noisy, messy, or caffeinated. And with jagged guitar touches that are reminiscent of Pixies’ “Tame,” this kickass track is worthy of some grungy loving.
How It’s Going To Be: With a bass drum backdrop that might sound more fitting in Tarzan, “How It’s Going To Be” seems out of place upon the first listen. However, this ugly duckling track will grow on you. The driving and irresolute melodic line transforms into a climactic keyboard solo two-thirds through – Wendy Carlos, anyone?
Hesitant Alien oozes with the influences of Shoegaze and Brit pop, while emanating Gerard Way’s signature style. Whatever may be in the stars for him next, Hesitant Alien has set a bar that will be difficult to surpass.
Photo source: www.rollingstone.com