Review by Nick Erickson, Staff writer
Even if it’s not their forte, it would be safe to say that most people with Internet access have stumbled upon four words: Panic! At The Disco. The indie-pop veterans, whose name is more often abbreviated as “P!ATD,” have been a big deal to millions of young adults and teens since their debut album hit shelves in 2005, “A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out,” which is still the band’s best charting record.
Known for immense vocal acrobatics, dramatic lyrics and overall theatrical approach to modern music, it’s no surprise they are as successful as they’ve become. P!ATD’s newest release has just been unveiled to the masses this January, “Death of a Bachelor,” and it’s bound to turn the heads of all types of music listeners.
Ten years have passed since their debut album. Some things have changed, while others have only been improved upon greatly. The improved songwriting on this record is the most noticeable it’s ever been.
While always having been the primary songwriter, the charismatic front man Brandon Urie has proven to be a jack-of-all trades, as he is now the sole member of P!ATD, albeit with a group of other musicians for live performances.
Urie unleashes his talent through every instrument he can get his hands on with
“Death Of A Bachelor.” Each song channels a different vibe.
From full brass ensembles to the tinkling of pianos and Hammond organs to synthetic drum kits, this album screams “creativity” and seamlessly hops and mashes up a variety of genres.
Lead single from the album, “Hallelujah,” tackles religion and taking responsibility for your own actions, and the mood is set by none other than a church choir, which fills out the atmosphere of the track and makes listeners feel as if Urie was performing for them at their local chapel. Sampling from the main guitar riff from the B52’s 1970s hit “Rock Lobster,” Urie unleashes melodies to hook everyone with pounding drums and feel-good lyrics on “Don’t Threaten Me With A Good Time.” As he sings of roaming the town one night and having too much to drink, one could only put themselves in Urie’s shoes as they sing along.
On the title track “Death of a Bachelor,” Urie channels his inner Sinatra, singing low over some delicate, synthesized chords, only to take a 180 during the choruses and display his mesmerizing vocal range and his tasteful use of falsetto.
The piano-driven ballad “Impossible Year” could very well be a lost Queen track, where Urie puts on a one-man show behind the ivories and a microphone, which would have made Freddy Mercury proud.
“LA Devote” features bass grooves and silky vocals and a surprising key change toward the later half that catches the attention of all ears.
Coupled with a very dramatic and artsy music video that shows Urie’s descent into the underworld and a transformation from a demon to an angel, the single “Emperor’s New Clothes” is arguably the strongest track on the entire record. This track showcases just how wide Urie’s vocal range truly is, and with backing chants and orchestra, this track feels like it could come right out of a horror movie soundtrack.
Previous fans of P!ATD from their 2005 beginnings are bound to love this album to no end or at least until Urie composes his next work.
Those who have never listened to them before will find that there is truly something for everyone to be found in this album.
It’s inevitable that the band would progress over time, and within just 11 tracks, Urie shows that he can handle all responsibilities on his own and make the most explosive record of his career.
“Death of a Bachelor” masses all sorts of influences of Urie’s and touches on every variation of hip hop, pop, and rock known to man. Prepare to be impressed.