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Album Review: Gerard Way – Hesitant Alien

3 min read

You could say that American singer/songwriter Gerard Way is very well rounded when it comes to the arts; the world has followed his journey since the success of My Chemical Romance, he wrote an award-winning comic book series called The Umbrella Academy and he co-directed/co-wrote the season two finale of The Aquabats! Supershow!, which was nominated for a daytime Emmy. Gerard is a man on a mission, he is set to release his debut solo album Hesitant Alien which draws from Brit-pop influences; he hopes to encourage the genre’s revival in the US. He will be the second member of MCR to have released a solo project, following Frank Iero.

Gerard Way-Hesitant AlienThere is nothing hesitant about the album’s opener, Bureau; the thumping bang of the drums, the screams of the guitar and the roaring vocals really set the atmosphere before it rings out (literally). We are then graced by the lead single Action Cat, it’s pop/rock at its finest with some smooth melody and harmony work, the overall vibe is addictively uplifting; second single No Shows is a charmer, the ‘ooohs’ in the intro really set the tone and the chorus is catchy, the bridge is also something to write home about. We can establish a stronger intimacy with Way’s vocal in Brother, though it has a full instrumentation it comes off as more raw than the previous tracks; Millions is unfortunately a tad forgettable, it is consistently bland and doesn’t give you much of a dynamic and its sound could have been explored a little more. Zero Zero redeems the former, it has a more punchier feel to it that regains your attention, giving off this ‘straight outta the garage’ vibe.

The edginess of Juarez has you following its every move, now this a track that demonstrates dynamic, there are moments where the vocal line changes and you’ll love it; Drugstore Perfume brings the roar of the album’s sound down a tad, it’s a nice little number with its light hearted vocal and its smooth atmosphere. Get The Gang Together is Way’s take on a pop meets grunge scenario, his gnarly vocals compliment his clean vocals and just makes the whole vibe work; he then shows us how it is with How It’s Going To Be, it’s something completely different that you would not have expected to emerge from the album, it has the ability to make you close your eyes and enjoy the environment it creates with synths, a consistent beat and his smooth vocal work. Last, but not least, Maya The Psychic sees the album out on an enthusiastic note.

Gerard Way has been out of his shell for a while, but it seems he’s still shaking off the remains; Hesitant Alien is Way like you’ve never heard him before, he clearly has his own direction in mind for what looks like will be a fruitful solo career. At times the vocals could have been turned up a little as we lost them over the guitars, easily forgiven though. You instantly forget Way fronted a former world class band and fully realise the potential he had to branch out, it’s not something all singers in his position are capable of doing; you would not listen to Hesitant Alien thinking of My Chemical Romance, Gerard currently described himself as being in the mindset he was in before forming the group, which was during some of his darkest times of thinking. It will be interesting to see what Gerard does next, this sound was a little unexpected from his solo project; they normally say the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree, but in this case Gerard Way was thrown from it and has become an artist in his own right.