Gerard Way releases best work with first solo album “Hesitant Alien”


Photo credit/ Katlynn Whitaker

Patrick Kernan, Opinion Editor

Before we get into this review, I need to give you a word of warning. If you were expecting “Hesitant Alien” to be another My Chemical Romance album, you’re going to be disappointed.

That being said, with “Hesitant Alien,” former MCR front man Gerard Way releases what is easily his best work, and perhaps the best rock album so far this year.

Gerard Way appears to be fascinated with the sounds of past decades of rock, particularly with the 1990s. The influence of Britpop acts like Oasis laden the first half of the album, while the grungier sound of Nirvana takes over for the second half.

There were songs on this record that I was honestly waiting for one of the Gallagher brothers or Kurt Cobain to pickup the microphone—the latter is especially true for the hard-rocking “Juarez”on the album’s second half.

“Hesitant Alien” might not really be doing anything new, but I think that the nostalgic quality of this album is one of its best qualities. Way has a knack for taking sounds that existed long before his own musical career, but plays them in such a way that they are uniquely his.

He does this by layering almost all of the songs in ways that make them far more complex than they would otherwise seem at first. This can be heard in the vocal layering on the track “Brothers” and the sleepy new wave synthesizers in “Drugstore Perfume,” a track that feels especially written for a late night drive up Sunset Boulevard.

This album is truly a joy to listen to. There isn’t a single down-tempo song on it, and every song is either a foot-tapper or a genuine get-up-and-dance type. I recommend that you pick this up today, get your encyclopedia of all things 1990s, and spin it with the volume tuned high. I’m giving “Hesitant Alien” a 4 out of 5.