Be still my high school fangirl beating heart, Panic! At the Disco is BACK!
With the help of producer Butch Walker (Weezer, Bowling for Soup, Fallout Boy, Taylor Swift) Panic! has released yet another a signature rapid-fire, mixed genre, perfect-for-a-house-party album that ends quicker than you want it to and leaves you yearning for just one more track.
I. Am. Thrilled.
I genuinely believe that Panic! At the Disco is heavily underrated in mainstream music. Especially since the release of their second and third albums (Pretty. Odd. (2005) and Vices & Virtues (2009), respectively), Panic! has evolved into their own sound all-together that provides a fantastic soundtrack to any house party.
The album starts out with This Is Gospel, one of the first single releases off of the album. It’s a perfect introduction into what the album is as a whole. As if to set the pulse of the album, This is Gospel starts out with a simple drumbeat and layered, vocals heavy with vocoder affects, the first track builds momentum quickly.
The second track, Miss Jackson (feat. Lolo) very blatantly shows the hip-hop influence lead singer Brendon Urie said this album would have. I’m not quite as crazy about this track as I am the rest of the album, but I still like it. So I guess if I’m going to dislike anything about this album, and this is it, everything is going just fine.
As the boys of Panic! are want to do, the next two tracks have a different feel from the first two entirely, Rather than a dubsteppy dance tune or hip hop, enter tracks three and four: Vegas Lights and Girl That You Love. I almost had to check to make sure I was still listening to Panic! and not Depeche Mode. Everything about the backing electronica instrumentals and the vocal effects screamed Depeche Mode, but not in a trying-to-be Depeche Mode-kind of way; it definitely sounds like there is an influence there though.
Nicotine, track five, is right up there with Miss Jackson for me – I just can’t quite get into that one like I do the others. I will admit that a large part of the reason that is because I just can’t stand listening to songs that have lyrics with drawn-out, hard E sounds. “Nico-tiiiiiinnnnnnnne”. Ick. I just can’t. Besides that, there isn’t really anything spectacular about the song. The beat is generic and Maroon Five-sounding, the lyrics aren’t great and it just sounds like a filler song.
Girls/Girls/Boys brings back that 80s synth sound and a pop beat that makes it impossible not to tap your foot along with the track. I really like this track because it truly shows off Urie’s vocals with a soaring chorus that rivals even Brandon Flowers of The Killers (The have a compilation album coming out in December, by the way). With the driving beat, catchy hook and chorus, it’s pretty safe to say that this is the catchiest song on the album – so I’m extra happy to see that it’s one of the three music videos they’ve made for this album.
Casual Affair begins with militaristic march beat that sounds eerily like Katy Perry’s E.T., but then smoothes out into more of a power-pop ballade that again displays an impressive vocal range. Again, it’s not a track that I’m going to write home to Mom about or anything, but it does serve as a good stepping stone to the last few tracks of the album.
I really love Collar Full too, the second to last track on the album. As soon as this song started, Kevin Bacon was dancing across my mind in all of his delicious 80s glory. Obviously, the track isn’t Footloose, but it sounds enough like it to make me smile and bebop around while I’m cleaning my house – which is, by the way, how I prefer to listen to new albums all the way through for the first time. Fun Fact.
And so we have reached the last track of Panic!’s new album, appropriately named The End of All Things. Though I really enjoy this track, I think I would have preferred it be used as an interlude in the middle of the album rather than be the closer. If they wanted the album to come in like a lion and go out like a lamb, they succeeded, however it feels a little… anticlimactic. I would have preferred they end the album as hot as they started it.
In closing, this album rocks pretty hard. Not every song can be fantastic, but considering there are only three tracks out of ten that I mildly disliked, I would say I have to give this album a solid 4 out of 5. If you’re not about dropping money on the album before you get a chance to judge it for yourself, definitely at least check out the videos. The band has most of the tracks on the Fueled By Ramen YouTube channel or Panic! At the Disco’s own YouTube channel, if you don’t want to sift through the rest of the label’s artists to find them. Otherwise you can certainly find it downloadable in the iTunes store.