Mayday Parade’s “Monsters in the Closet”

Mayday Parade dropped their sixth album, “Monsters in the Closet”, on Tuesday, Oct. 8 — and comparatively, it flopped.


Katelyn Keeling

Photo by Katelyn Keeling

By Katelyn Keeling

I have been in love with Mayday Parade since I was 14 years old.

I’d never even heard of Mayday Parade before eighth grade  – but when one of my best friends made me listen to “Miserable at Best” from their first album, I was instantly hooked.

Their first album, “A Lesson in Romantics, will always be on my list of top albums. I saw them in concert for the first time freshman year. It was a conventional concert at the House of Blues downtown, but I was out for a night on the town with my girls.

That particular year, Mayday Parade was touring with Go Radio and several other bands. What I didn’t know at the time was that following the release of “A Lesson in Romantics”, lead singer Jason Lancaster left the band and formed Go Radio. I didn’t understand completely why everyone around me in the crowd went berserk when current-lead singer Derek Sanders invited Jason Lancaster to the stage to play “Miserable at Best”.

I later realized that Jason Lancaster was responsible for the lyricism, tone and overall vibe of “A Lesson in Romantics”which is why it’s the best album out of the six they’re released.

So when my fellow Mayday-loving friend played their latest album “Monsters in the Closet” (which was released on Tuesday, Oct. 8) for me, I was a little disappointed.

Mayday Parade has lost their individual zeal. Titles follow Fall Out Boy’s notoriously lengthy pattern; the opening track, “Ghosts”, sounds eerily familiar to Queen and just a little like “Welcome to the Black Parade” by My Chemical Romance. And while there’s nothing wrong with any of the three, it’s just not at all what Mayday Parade used to be.

Overall, Derek Sanders hasn’t done much lyrically for “Monsters in the Closet”. They’re straightforward and address the same overall issues as their self-titled album released just last year – heartbreak .

Actually, Mayday Parade has been addressing heartbreak since their first EP,” Tales Told by Dead Friends”.

“A Lesson in Romantics” followed their EP in 2007 and set the Mayday tradition of one piano ballad with “Miserable at Best” – which they’ve usually followed religiously. “Monsters in the Closet’s” ballad is weak, however, and taken on an even weaker name — “Even Robots Need Blankets”, which actually has very little to do with the song.

But after a few listens to the album, I’m beginning to warm up to the changes Mayday Parade is introducing. It’s easy to compare them to their former-Jason-Lancaster-glory and be completely disappointed, but their sixth album is really the first one that’s fallen short of my expectations.

And that’s okay.

It’s okay that perhaps while it was not what I was expecting of them and not quite up to their full potential; it’s not a terrible album — especially following their self-titled album released last year. The lyricism was well constructed and the matching tone diversity was fresh and original.

Unfortunately, compared to the preceding chart-topping album, it magnifies “Monsters in the Closet’s” weaker points. But even without the magnification, it’s very clear to recognize the synonymy of some tracks and the strange new sounds that are odd to hear at first, but it can be argued that no band can last successfully and profitably with today’s fickle social culture without adapting to fit the status quo expectations  of the overall body of listeners.

I am not a “listener”—I’m a shameless fan.

I’m still going to Target to buy “Monsters in the Closet” for $7.99.


Because I love Mayday Parade.