P!ATD: one of the only bands that actually puts out different music with the release of each CD. It’s pretty easy to determine if a song was from A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out or Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die. Let me rephrase that: it’s pretty easy to determine if a song was from [insert any P!ATD album] or [insert any P!ATD album]. Moral of the story, this band has undergone many changes, ranging from members to their instrumentation. And alas, on this grand day of January 15th, 2016, I Panic (essentially just Brendon Urie, let’s be honest) has come out with the latest and greatest “Death Of A Bachelor”. So join me tonight (well, it’s actually very early morning) as I indulge in this new album.
Track 1: “Victorious”. This song was released a couple months ago, being one of the singles off of this album. Victorious is a very upbeat song, a great start to this album. “Tonight we are victorious, champagne pouring over us, all my friends we’re glorious, tonight we are victorious!” can be heard through chants at the beginning, leading up to Brendon’s high pitched voice. This single is one that I can close my eyes and picture myself in a sports stadium with this blasting in the background as teams rack up points.
Track 2: “Don’t Threaten Me With A Good Time”. This single was released merely 2 weeks before this album dropped. It explores themes of drugs and alcohol, and kind of points out how they’re glamorized. Brendon sings about the confusing aftermath of doing drugs and alcohol, with cool guitar riffs leading into the chorus. The chorus is very poppy sounding, and very catchy at that.
Track 3: “Hallelujah”. This single was released in late April, a song with a chorus that makes you want to get up and dance. “All you sinners, stand up, sing hallelujah. Praise with your body, stand up, sing hallelujah. And if you can’t stop shakin, lean back, let it move right through you. Say your prayers, say your prayers, say your prayers.” Although this song has been out for months, I still find myself jamming to this one. “Hallelujah” debuted on the Billboard Top 100 at No. 40, their highest ever since “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” (which, lets be real, everybody remembers P!ATD as). The vibes throughout this song are pretty simple and laid back.
Track 4: “Emperor’s New Clothes”. This is another single that was released the months before the albums release date. It kind of gives me some “Nightmare Before Christmas” vibes, with chants throughout and high pitched vocals. Maybe it’s because the music video is pretty much Brendon turning into the devil. Lyrically, the main point is that Brendon is taking what’s his (“finders keepers, losers weepers” being the main chant throughout) and taking the crown. This isn’t a song that I can really picture masses of people loving, but big fans of Panic! will probably really enjoy this.
Track 5: “Death Of A Bachelor”. This single and music video were dropped about 3 weeks before the album release date. There’s a lot of hip hop/r&b influences in this, but you can also hear a lot of jazz undertones. Brendon’s voice is very much influenced by soul music, his pitch ranging from lows to highs.
Track 6: “Crazy=Genius”. When I close my eyes and let this song flow through my headphones, I imagine that I’m watching a musical at Broadway or some sort of Vaudeville show. The verses are more jazz influenced, with a lot of trumpets, saxophones, and drums, leading into the chorus’s that sound more rock than jazz. The themes explore the creativity of what it is to be an artist; “If crazy equals genius, then I’m a fucking arsonist, I’m a rocket scientist”.
Track 7: “LA Devotee”. At this point in the album, you can really start to see the jazz influences in this album, although more alternative influences are starting to show through. This would definitely be the song any alternative lover would enjoy listening to.
Track 8: “Golden Days”. This song starts off strong, and fades into the chorus, leaving only a guitar and Urie’s soft voice. The guitar builds as Urie’s voice does, with more instruments coming in, until it’s led into a full on anthem-theme song. At this point, I feel pumped. When I close my eyes, I picture myself dancing in a room with my peers, confetti falling all around me. It’s sort of an infinite feeling. The feeling of infinity is kind of explored, as well as being forever young. Our memories will always stay the same.
Track 9: “The Good, The Bad And The Dirty”. This song starts off with more of a hip-hop/EDM kind of feel. It’s catchy, although it doesn’t really stick out to me too much. “If you wanna start a fight, you better throw the first punch, make it a good one” is how the chorus starts off, which are some interesting lyrics to ponder. I can see myself jamming to this in the future, although not as good as the other songs have been so far.
Track 10: “House Of Memories”. The beginning of this song kind of has a futuristic feel. The beat isn’t slow, but it isn’t fast either. Urie’s voice is soft; it doesn’t sound strained or anything. The chorus is very low pitched, leading into the higher pitched “oooooooOOoOoooOoH”s. I really am feelin the alternative rock in this song, as well as the lyrics, which at first listen are talking about ex-lovers and the house of memories that they have made together.
Track 11: “Impossible Year”. The beginning of the last track is a ballad, with piano that reminds me of something out of Peanuts. Brendon’s voice is very low and soulful. This also kind of gives off that Broadway/Vaudeville vibe. It’s definitely a completely different vibe from the beginning of the album.
Overall, I really enjoyed this album. As a Panic! At The Disco fan, I know to not expect any of the same sounds from their previous albums. This album definitely did not disappoint. Brendon’s unique voice mixed with jazz, soul, alternative, rock, etc. makes for great instrumentation and great vocals throughout this entire album. The songs that I enjoyed the most are Golden Days, House of Memories, Death Of A Bachelor, and Hallelujah. The songs flow together pretty well, although I would say that the ballad at the end has a completely different vibe than the rest of the album. Of course, most albums have slower ballads, but having it at the very end of the album was almost a weird choice. Maybe that’s how P!ATD wanted to make us feel: confident in the beginning, but towards the end a little bit unsure of our feelings. Of course, this is just my first time listening to it all the way through and it surely won’t be the last. I’m sure that the more I listen to it, the more I will pick up and notice. All in all, I give it a 8/10.