My Chemical Romance - 'Sing'
Sometimes, when settling down to listen to a hot new waxing by a world-beating band or singer, it helps to forget that you already know and love songs they've done before, or that you have some idea of who they are and what they do. It's especially helpful to let go of what kind of genre field you assume that they operate within.
In the case of My Chemical Romance, it's a good idea to put amazing bratty brilliance like 'Teenagers' and 'Na Na Na' to one side, so you don't wind up letting the momentum of your approval steamroller all over their new ideas. Nobody wants that, and your taste will always win out in the end anyway.
A useful trick is to imagine listening to the song as if you're a visitor from an alien planet, attempting to make sense of the bangs and huffs and scrapes, and trying to work out what this human thing called 'pop' may or may not be.
Incidentally, I said 'pop' and not 'rock' for a very good reason. As we are about to find out...
(Here's the video. It's the same as the last video, but in cars.)
See, while the band operate within the rock arena, using the outsider myth as a launchpad for who they are, 'Sing' is absolutely a pop song. It's not a pop song in the unhinged, cartoony way that 'Na Na Na' was a pop song, either. That's always been part of the MCR sonic arsenal.
Take away the Mad Max video and everything you know about MCR as a band and it's not really that big a stretch to imagine this mid-tempo, stately anthem coming out of the gobs of grown-up insider pop acts like Maroon 5 or the Script, is it? OK, not a perfect comparison, but not that far off either.
And hell, if Matt Cardle can cover Biffy Clyro and, without dramatically changing the structure of the song, still make it sound like The X Factor Winner's First Single, it's becoming clear that the boundaries between that which is pop and that which is rock are becoming riddled with more holes than a teabag's string vest.
In fact, it's only Gerard Way's customary finger-pointing list of people he would like to pay attention to his song - "the deaf", "the blind", "the ones that'll hate your guts" etc - that mark this out as a particularly My Chemical Romance sort of a song. The rest of it, from the moody piano/funky drummer introduction to the swirling dark synth at the end, is pure Radio 2. I guess it's only a startling revelation because the chuntery guitars have been toned down for once, but still...
That's why it's sometimes best to come at these things with a fresh mind, cos I'd be tempted to love it more, if the sonic evidence that this isn't really my sort of a thing wasn't quite so overwhelming.
The Quietus says: "What follows is the mother of all sing-along choruses and a bass line so cavernous you could hollow it around and take shelter in it."
Filthypop says: "The chorus really is an empowering sound and is a sort of a sound that makes you want to rekindle your love with that special someone because the apocalypse is coming."