Panic! At the Disco ‘Death Of A Bachelor’
As the only remaining original member of Panic! At The Disco, there was a lot riding on pop-punk-prince Brendan Urie and his fifth studio album, ‘Death Of A Bachelor’ when it was released earlier this month. And the success of it clearly shows that Urie has always been the one with the talent.
- Brendan Urie – Vocals, guitar, bass, drums
- Suzy Shinn, Jake Sinclair, White Sea – Backing vocals
- Jeff Kievit, Tony Kadleck, Dylan Swab – Trumpets
- Dave Mann, Andy Snitzer – Tenor sax
- Aaron Heick – Alto sax
- Dave Riekenberg – Baritone sax
- Mike Davis – Tenor trombone
- Randy Andos – Bass trombone
- Mark Stepro – Additional drums
- Don’t Threaten Me With A Good Time
- Emperor’s New Clothes
- Death Of A Bachelor
- LA Devotee
- Golden Days
- The Good, The Bad And The Dirty
- House Of Memories
- Impossible Year
The theme of his latest creation is vintage decadence. Think Jazz Age, think Gatsby, think champagne, think money. All with a little madness. Well, this is Panic! after all. There’s a huge variety of style throughout, no song is like the previous one, yet all are interconnected with this ravishing yet twisted sense of Hollywood glitz and glamour. Big brass sections fill songs like ‘Hallelujah’ in contrast to the screeching synthesisers and pounding drums of ‘Victorious’.
Brendan’s witty and creative lyrics are always my favourite component of a Panic! album and he delivers yet again. Quick paced ‘Don’t Threaten Me With A Go’ is the champion on this level, purely for ‘I’m not as think as you drunk I am’.
My personal favourite has to be ‘Crazy=Genius’. The title speaks for itself really. A quick, sinister Charleston. Listening to it makes you feel like you’re in a 1920’s New Orleans blues bar, on acid. Along with the single, ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’- a dark dance track, inspired by Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy tale of the same name, ‘Crazy= Genius’ steals the show.
Despite its overall beauty, there are some disappointments that ruin the effect of the album. ‘Death Of A Bachelor’ is a classy, smooth jazz affair, reminding me of old Hollywood but not necessarily in a good way. It sounded more like a Michael Bublé track at times, which physically pains me to say. It lacks the quirkiness of a Panic! track until the instrumental which mixes the traditional brass with the synths. The final two tacks ‘House Of Memories’ and ‘Impossible Year’ also don’t hit the mark. ‘House Of Memories’, despite its clever lyrics, doesn’t really go anywhere. It remains at a steady pace and fails to reach a point of interest. ‘Impossible Year’ comes across as a cheesy show tune. It reminds me of the hero’s compulsory ‘sad song’ that occurs in almost every musical. Although in keeping with the theme, it’s just a little too boring.
Although a solid album, for me, it does not reach the bar of ‘A Fever You Can Sweat Out’ (2005), which is the standard I am still waiting for Panic! to surpass. Yet as Brendan’s first album without his usual band members, it is pretty extraordinary. Therefore, it’s still getting a high score from me.
Highlights: Crazy=genius, Emperor’s New Clothes
Author: Leah Hamer