ENTERTAINMENT: Panic! At The Disco Victorious With New Album Release
By Nisali Fernando – Staff Reporter
Panic! at the Disco released their fifth album, “Death of a Bachelor” on January 15th. The album follows the band’s frontman and founder, Brendon Urie, through the turmoil of moving on. The aforementioned bachelor is Urie himself, the album serves as his redemption arc. Urie paints the scenes of wild, booze filled nights followed by regret and sorrow, and finally resolves, if not apologizes for his past digressions. Listeners find themselves maturing alongside Urie, while his marriage did serve as the spark for this album, the album’s theme of redemption and change resonates with everyone.
The release of “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” in 2005, kickstarted the band’s fame. Following that success the band has released “A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out”, “Pretty. Odd”, and “Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die”. Panic! at the Disco is not the same band it was in 2004. Following the departure of drummer, Spencer Smith in 2015, Urie is the only remaining member of the punk, alternative band. The release of “Death of a Bachelor”, leaves past success in the dust. The album skated to number one on the Billboard Top 200, and according to Billboard, “Death of a Bachelor also earns Panic! at the Disco its best sales week yet for an album, as it sold 169,000 in pure album sales.” This album represents a new era of Panic!, one created solely by Urie, composed and arranged by the frontman.
There are 12 songs on the alternative track, and each one follows Urie through a different part of his life, taking fans on a fast-paced journey, whether or not they’ve signed up for one.
“Hallelujah” is the first single off the album and was released on April 15th, 2015. The knock-off gospel track, is not one that should be played at church. Urie disguises his ulterior motives with devout lyrics such as, “All you sinners stand up sing hallelujah (hallelujah), show praise with your body stand up sing hallelujah (hallelujah).” The up-tempo track is also sprinkled with crescendos and aggressive drum solos.
“Victorious” and “Don’t Threaten Me with a Good Time” follow the feel good vibe of the album. “Victorious” portrays a winner, someone down on their luck then given a chance at well-deserved success. The repetitive chorus, “tonight we are victorious, champagne pouring over us, all my friends we’re glorious, tonight we are victorious,” motivates listeners to get up and dance, and conquer anything in their way. “Don’t Threaten Me with a Good Time” illustrates Urie’s wild side, the lyrics paint a wild night filled with, “champagne, cocaine, gasoline and most things inbetween.” In the bridge, Urie recounts memories in a haze, “I lost a bet to a guy with a chiffon skirt, but I make these high heels work.” Wild west themed guitar riffs, precise synth beats, and rigorous drum solos flood the track and leave listeners hyped up and with a “hell of a feeling.”
Urie channels the legendary Frank Sinatra in the mid-tempo, swing dance track that is “Death of a Bachelor”. Urie croons lyrics of sorrow and loneliness and is accompanied by a romantic swell of trumpets and saxophones. He introduces synth to this classic ballad of heartbreak and turns this track into one for the record books. Urie brings theater to his music, “Death of a Bachelor” is sung so dramatically it’s almost as if listeners have been transported to a Broadway stage. Harmonious high notes and sharp crescendos litter the song and introduce a modern interpretation of a legend.
“Crazy=Genius” previews Urie’s insecurities and ingenious when it comes to music. The track is a modern version of Benny Goodman’s “Sing Sing Sing.” Brass compliments the 20’s swing vibe and Urie manages to leave listeners tapping their feet once again.
“Impossible Year” concludes the album. The ornery lyrics and powerful piano chords prove Urie’s musical growth. His sophistication and sadness indulge the track, and his musical ability shine through.
Unlike past Panic! albums, “Death of a Bachelor” showcases a completely different side of the band. Urie is the only remaining member of the band and diehard fans can agree this new sound is nothing like the one established in 2005. The sad, emo sound has morphed into an eclectic synth-heavy, jazz sound. Compared to “Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die” (released in 2014) the new album is a complete 360. It may seem as if Urie is trying too hard to be an entire band, overcompensating for the obvious lack of depth. There are no longer any complimentary guitar riffs or any background vocals, the album is 100% Brendon Urie. For those who signed up for Panic!, Urie is considered a compromise.
Yet this compromise proves to be a triumph. After losing four members, most people quit while they’re ahead. Urie honors the band he founded and proves that while the band may not be what people signed on for, what he can bring to the table is worth a listen. Urie to much surprise was able to successfully portray what it’s like to grow up. To make mistakes, to live recklessly, to move on, and to finally be happy. While the entire album is full of emotion, first time listeners may want to take it slow with the more up-tempo tracks, before divulging in the melancholy ballads.
Creativity and talent consume the energetic frontman and that much is obvious throughout “Death Of a Bachelor” Urie proves to be a success story, and while the album is dubbed “Death Of a Bachelor” the revival of his career is evident.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars