Album Review: Remember The Laughter – Ray Toro

As I write today, I write with a heavy heart. I’m so sorry that this week has to be saturated with sorrow for so many of us, but this is the perfect album to help wring out some of that weight and provide a light amongst all of the darkness. Ray Toro, ex-guitarist from My Chemical Romance and now a thriving solo artist, brings us Remember The Laughter, out November 18. It’s an album that’s jam-packed with good vibes and hope for the world. It’s about standing up and fighting for what’s right, it’s about believing in yourself, and it’s about holding on through the darkness. In other words, Remember The Laughter is precisely what we need.

The album cover.

Despite voicing concerns about his vocals on the album, Toro proves himself immediately in the strong, independent Isn’t That Something while belting lines like, “Mama told me I should stand alone/Papa said you’re better on your own”. Each song is upbeat in a new way  – the proud Look At You Now features moving strings and soothing guitar is showcased in The Lucky Ones. Interspersed among the bright tracks are interludes of chaos – Waiting Room, for example, utilizes whispers and an ethereal lullaby-esque tinkling to leave you unsettled as it leads into Remember The Laughter, the final song on the album that circles back around in cycle not unlike the cycle of life.

Each song showcases a new side of Toro’s guitar ability, with solos that dabble in every genre from jazz to classic rock. Songs range from upbeat to mellow, although never sacrificing power for chill vibes, with catchy guitar riffs and strong vocals. From the strikingly complex Walking In Circles to the hopeful, pure Hope For The World, Ray has broken expectations left and right.

Ray Toro.

In our interview, Ray talked about the expectations that My Chem fans might have, and said that he “like[s] the idea of breaking those expectations”. In that aspect, he’s certainly outdone himself – Remember The Laughter is not at all what I expected, but it’s exactly what I didn’t know I needed. 

Check out Remember The Laughter, out November 18, for a dose of positivity and breaking boundaries.

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