Twenty One Pilots reinvents My Chemical Romance’s “Cancer”


The official artwork for Twenty One Pilots’ cover of “Cancer.”

Allyssa Reed, Opinions Editor

My Chemical Romance, the band best-known for its strong, meaningful songs that emos everywhere can relate to ruled the early 2000s. Fans were crushed when the much-loved band announced its breakup in 2013.

Fast forward a few years to today. The world of music now has Twenty One Pilots, which has released a cover of “Cancer,” a 2006 Chemical Romance song.

TOP is a genre-defying band, which does a little bit of everything. Overall, the band is considered to be emo because it mostly produces sad bleak songs. Both bands were and are extremely popular and, in some instances, very similar regarding their music. Both sing sad songs with which fans can easily identify.

Along with the audio, the TOP released a lyric video to accompany it. The cover is part of a compilation project called “Rock Sound Presents: The Black Parade.” The project consists of various covers of songs on “The Black Parade” by other artists. The project is a celebration of the 10th anniversary of “The Black Parade” album.

Often when a band covers another band’s song, it’s either awful or its exceptionally good. In this case, Twenty One Pilots absolutely smashed the cover. Twenty One Pilots didn’t just do a cover of the original song. The band made the song its own. It sounds exactly as if TOP had written the song itself.

The song is about someone with cancer who is having a difficult time saying good-bye. The lyrics of the song are very brutal and direct, just like the disease.With lyrics such as “Baby, I’m just soggy from the chemo” and “cause the hardest part of this is leaving you,” the song inspires the feeling of loss.

The song itself is very depressing and TOP made it sound more somber. The band takes a more relaxed approach to the song. They’ve slowed down the tempo of the song so the lyrics are more drawn out, and added another personal touch by using more of a slow dub step or a slow techno sound.

Overall the cover is good, but like any other cover of a song, it will never be as good as the original, most;y because of My Chemical Romance lead singer Gerard Way, who puts more feeling and passion into the lyrics. His performance of the song is more dramatic. There’s no way another artist can mimic it.