If you're searching for a dose of party music or feel-good escapism, you won't find it on I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love. Lyrically, this debut album by My Chemical Romance is definitely on the dark side; lyrics like "The amount of pills I'm taking counteracts the booze I'm drinking" (from "Honey, This Mirror Isn't Big Enough for the Two of Us") and "I think I'll love to die alone" (from "Cubicles") are typical of the New Jersey band's less than rosy outlook. But like so many angst-ridden alternative pop/rock and punk-pop artists who have emerged in the early 2000s, My Chemical Romance know how to be exuberant and introspective at the same time -- musically, they tend to be aggressive and hard rocking, but lyrically, they're all about introspection. And that combination certainly isn't unique; from Nirvana to blink-182 to Creed -- from post-grunge to emo -- plenty of alterna-rockers have demonstrated that a band can rock aggressively and be introspective at the same time. But if My Chemical Romance are less than groundbreaking, they're good at what they do. Produced by Thursday's lead singer, Geoff Rickly, I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love is a generally decent effort -- one that deals with a lot of negative emotions and does so in a very candid way. Some will find the lyrics depressing, but then, rock music isn't obligated to press the smile button 24 hours a day. Sadness, pessimism, anger, disillusionment -- none of which are difficult to find on this album -- are, like happiness, pleasure, and optimism, valid areas of rock expression. I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love falls short of exceptional, but it's a noteworthy, generally respectable debut for the New Jersey combo.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson