Album review: “Hesitant Alien”

Lily Aksan, Reporter

It’s been a little over a year-and-a-half since the band “My Chemical Romance” parted ways on March 22, 2013. After 12 years with the band, former front man Gerard Way has returned to the music industry with a bang. Now a solo artist, Way has been given more room to convey his own concepts. This becomes clear by listening to his debut album “Hesitant Alien.”

Released on Sept. 30, “Hesitant Alien” gives Way’s audience an insight into the new direction he is going in with his music. Way’s goal to reach an older audience and to produce something more personal to him results in an album with less theatrical flavor than his previous work and is instead  tied closer to alternative rock. His new direction, in combination with his desire to get his ideas across, makes the album extraordinary.

Way says the album is heavily influenced by the “Pixies” and David Bowie, which is evident through his heavy use of fuzz and electric guitar. The entire album seems to have a retro-esque film spread over it. To make the album more unique to him, Way uses a lot of poppy, catchy noises that coincide with the rest of the sound and add a different twist to the sound of the album.

Way decided that he wanted to treat the vocals in “Hesitant Alien” as more of  an instrument than as something that directed the songs as a whole. As a result, the vocals are quieter and blend in more with the other instruments he uses which gives the album a such a distinctive sound. The song “No Shows” is at the heart of the album, with heavy use of all said techniques. It’s also reported to be Way’s favorite song on the album.

Way has produced a musically engaging album that satisfies not only old fans but intrigues new ones as well.