Gerard finds his Way

Hannah Reasor, Staff Writer

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“Hesitant Alien”, the new debut solo album from former My Chemical Romance singer Gerard Way, was released on September 30th. Packed with new possibilities, we would have never expected from the singer who fronted one of the world’s biggest rock bands of the 21st century.
The album starts off with a piercing guitar solo that rips through your headphones in track one, “Bureau”. The mood of the album instantly feels energetic and full of life. There is automatically a clear change from My Chemical Romance’s dark-themed music to Way’s solo music which has more life.

The album brings a lot of Britpop elements to the table. Way stated that he grew up with the Britpop wave and believed that he wasn’t able to write that style of music in My Chemical Romance. The solo album is a new route that he’s never taken before.

“When I was in art school, I worshipped Britpop. And when I got out, I found myself very depressed and struggling. I kind of desired this new kind of sound, and it was the sound I made with my friends in My Chemical Romance. So, it’s almost like this solo record is a re-education of what I was into before My Chem. And I’m proud of My Chem because I went with my gut, and what I thought the world needed at the time, and it didn’t sound like Britpop. So, I trusted my inner artist, and I went with that and it worked out really well. And when the time for that was done, it was almost like being under a spell for 13 years, and then the spell broke, and I’m that person from art school again,” Way said in an interview with Rolling Stone this past August.

The “My Chem sound” that Way mentions can still be found on “Hesitant Alien” in songs like “Bureau”, “Action Cat”, and “Juarez”. Although, this time Way brings in fuzz, synthesizers, and distortion; blending them all together to get almost a Joy Division sound.
On track six, “Zero Zero”, Way states that the song was meant to have more of a fuzzy, blur sound but when it ended up having more of a Joy Division sound. Way was even more elated.

“…’Zero Zero’ kind of started as this blur “Song 2” thing, kind of fuzzed out, but we always heard Joy Division in it, so it ended up in going in that direction,” Way explains in the August Rolling Stone.

Way has his reasons for flipping genres of music, going from punk-rock to Britpop.

“The style of it, the energy; it was a real exciting time. It was like the alternative to grunge, and it was so refreshing,” Way says.
The energy of the music is definitely portrayed in the solo album. Conveyed over 11 tracks and full of raw, yet fuzzy emotion, the feel of the album is starting to show Way’s identity; like he finally found where he’s meant to be in the world of music.

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