By Carter Hickman, Contributor
[Fueled By Ramen; 2016]
Key Tracks: “Impossible Year”
Although Panic! At The Disco have experimented with different sounds since their debut A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out, they have always made sure to incorporate theatrical and dramatic sounds into their music. This is still very apparent on their latest release, Death Of A Bachelor, even though the only remaining member of the original band is the lead vocalist, Brendon Urie.
The album starts with the track “Victorious,” which is very upbeat yet over-stimulating. The chorus is catchy, but it’s a kind of embarrassing-catchy. This track features mainly electronic instrumentation, which sounds over-produced and uninteresting. In addition to this, the lyrics don’t have much substance to them: “Oh we gotta turn up the crazy / Livin’ like a washed-up celebrity” is a good example.
The following song “Don’t Threaten Me With A Good Time” features very generic electronic beats and lyrics that have less substance than the opener. Featuring lines like “Five-thousand people with designer drugs / Don’t think I’ll ever get enough,” the “washed-up celebrity” theme definitely carries over into this track. The rest of the album basically follows the theme that these first two songs create.
There are some tracks that stuck out in particular, as they feel sincere and are pleasing to the ear. The last track “Impossible Year” is Sinatra-esque with a modern vocal twist. Additionally, “Golden Days” is reminiscent of old Panic!, mainly because it is guitar-driven and also has interesting lyrics that subtly reference Panic!’s good old days–when Urie wasn’t the only remaining member.
Overall, Urie sounds hopeless, still trying to keep the fire burning like it was when Panic! released Pretty. Odd. in 2008. He sounds washed up, alone, and out of ideas for music. There still is a hint of old Panic! in this album due to Urie’s theatrical and very impressive voice, but it’s not as appealing as it used to be. Overall, the album as a whole kind of sounds like Fitz and The Tantrums–if Fitz was a relapsing coke addict and the Tantrums lacked musical passion. Unless that somehow sounds appealing to you, it’s definitely not worth your time.