ALBUM: Gerard Way – Hesitant Alien

Release Date: September 30th, 2014
Label: Warner Bros. Records


Far from the high days of My Chemical Romance, Gerard Way has decided to go it solo with different results. Low-fi production and with a different outlook, the former My Chemical Romance lead vocalist has gone all out to prove otherwise that he is more than capable going solo. However, debut album ‘Hesitant Alien’ produces mixed results.

Following on from My Chemical Romance‘s last studio record ‘Danger Days: The True Lives Of The Fabulous Killjoys’, which saw the band take a more popular route, Way has decided to take a more independent route with ‘Hesitant Alien’. Although the record is more low-fi in production, it does still try to catch the listener with a hook here and there.

Tracks as ‘Brother’ try to hook the listener in, and rightfully so. The track offers one of the more catchy choruses on the record, and captures Way at his better song writing abilities. However, largely, it is unremarkable. Infact, the vast majority of ‘Hesitant Alien’ is unremarkable, which is a shame. Considering Way has had so much success in his previous endeavours, it’s regrettable that this record has come up so short.

It’s not as though Way hasn’t tried. Tracks such as the aforementioned ‘Brother’ and ‘Get The Gang Together’ attempt to initiate some kind of rallying song, but that’s as far as the record goes in terms of trying to achieve some sense of urgency and call-to-arms.

Perhaps the main issue with this record is the initial urgency and charm. We’re aware of Way‘s ability to initiate a rallying charm throughout a record and sustain that tenacity for as long as it takes. It’s evident in albums such as ‘Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge’ and ‘The Black Parade’. Yet, for one reason or another, Way struggles to engage these attributes into this record. Even with the LP’s more successful tracks, he finds it incredibly difficult to make any other track as engaging as the last.

With that being said, ‘Hesitant Alien’ is not a poor record. However, it’s unremarkable and highly unengaging by Gerard Way‘s standards. After such a successful and distinguished career in his previous band, it’s difficult to take such an unsatisfactory record. Some will argue that Way wasn’t such a distinctive artist to begin with, and that going solo was not his best decision, but that’s up for debate. Some will take this as a project, others will see it as desperate, those in the middle will shrug their shoulders.

Written by Calvin Robinson