Album Review: Mayday Parade’s ‘Monsters in the Closet’

Maggie Mcginity

They say that first impressions are everything. If this is true, Mayday Parade’s new album “Monsters in the Closet” is doubly disadvantaged from the get go.

The first obstacle to “Monsters”’ success is that it requires more than one listen to really absorb and appreciate what Mayday Parade is trying to say and do on this album. At first hearing, it sounds a lot like the band’s last two albums and nothing like most of the music on the radio today. Mayday Fans may experience a strong sense of deja vu during their first listen of “Monsters,” especially when it’s compared to 2011 “Mayday Parade.”

The second obstacle is “A Lesson In Romantics,” Mayday Parade’s debut album.

Born in 2007, “Lesson” appeared into emo pop’s 2005-08 heyday of mainstream success, when even Top 40 disciples deigned to sing along with emo pop hits like “Misery Business” and “I Write Sins Not Tragedies.” For fans who found Mayday Parade through “Lesson,” no newer album can compare, literally.

Surrounded in drama typical of their genre, Mayday Parade lost their co-lead singer and lyricist Jason Lancaster, who left the band for personal reasons, in between the recording and the release of “Lesson.” All newer music has a completely different source of origin.

Once one gets past the obstacles, however, “Monsters in the Closet” is a really solid album. There’s nothing bad or poorly written on it. It stays true to its genre, full of confessionals and upbeat rock paired with lyrics one might find on a tear-stained diary page. The only major complaint is that distinguishing between Mayday Parade’s new songs and their two older albums.

There are only a few distinct and unique features on “Monsters.” A hint of country influence is found towards the end of the album, in “Hold Onto Me” and “Angels,” and it’s integrated seamlessly. Other tracks which stand out purely in terms of quality are “12 through 15” and piano-heavy “Even Robots Need Blankets.”