New(ish) Music Tuesday: Monsters in the Closet

Tuesday, October 14, 2014
I say newish because the Deluxe version of this album I am reviewing and that I bought was released back in May, so five months ago. But hey, whatever, it's new to the blog right?

So, why am I choosing to do a New Music Tuesday on a five month old album? Because I only got it a month ago, for one, and for two because I literally can't stop listening to it. Seriously. I haven't wholly devoured an album like this since Wasting Light by the Foo Fighters some years ago! It hasn't left my car CD player in weeks. It's no small feat for an album to grab my attention so thoroughly, which is what brings us here, now, to a New Music Tuesday on an actually fairly old album.

I've been following Mayday Parade as a band for years. They debuted very much in the time of what you may call "Emo Music", and their particular sound was right at home with bands like Fallout Boy, All Time Low, The Academy Is and the like. You know the kind of music, that pop-punk kind of genre that deals a lot with self-deprecation, delinquency and girls? Yeah, you could say it was kind of the definitive genre of the 00's, like hair metal with the 80's and grunge with the early 90's. And I'm not too proud to say that I was into that kind of music in my college years, cause I was. I still am, too. That brings us to Monsters in the Closet.

It actually took me a while to warm up to this album, and even longer to realize why I liked it so much. The first time I listened to it, I was driving across the state to visit my little brother 300 miles away. I didn't really get it at first, it sounded just like every other album they've ever done: catchy and clever pop-punk ballads about bad relationships and personal shortcomings. I shrugged it off in favor of Rise Against's newest protest rock album. On my next major drive (I had to travel a lot last month), I came back to it, but this time it started to click more. I became more invested in the album, and the narrative it wove with each song.

Sure, part of why I like this album can be brought back to the fact that it carries that same sound from bands I liked last decade. Not a lot of bands are still making what you would call "Emo", but here Mayday Parade is, a decade later, still sticking to what they know best. I can appreciate that, but that doesn't explain why I'm still listening to this album religiously a month later.

No, I'm still listening to this album because, as I realized, Monsters in the Closet is secretly brilliant. Why? Look at everything I've talked about this article. "Emo" was very much a genre built on similar subject matter, making catchy, introspective songs about insecurities, love, and loss: quite literally attempting to capture those emotions and convey them through music. Sure, it wasn't for everyone but now that I'm older I openly admit that I loved that kind of music, it impacted me pretty heavily during my most musical years. Mayday Parade was a band that was forged in that genre, and even now that it's faded they're still making that kind of music. But it's more than that.

You see, Monsters in the Closet is a sort of concept album about those unifying themes from the "Emo" era. They didn't just stick to their guns with this album, they did so while covering pretty much everything that I used to like about this genre of music. And that's why I'm so into it. Monsters in the Closet is the 00's sound and subject matter condensed into a single album, and I can't stress how much I like that about it. Will you like it? I dunno, probably not if you were never in to that kind of music, and certainly not as much as I do. That being said, below is the music video for the album's first song, and I do suggest you at least give it a listen.

Personally, Monsters in the Closet is a solid 5/5, claiming its rightful place as my all time favorite Mayday Parade album. However, more objectively I'm giving it a 3.5/5, because, well, as much as I love it I know not everyone will share that enthusiasm, and it is very much more of the same from them.
Mayday Parade
Monsters in the Closet
3.5 Stars

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