Album Review: Panic! At The Disco’s Death of a Bachelor (2016)

Panic! At The Disco

Fueled by Ramen/DCD2

Powerhouse pop-rock (among other genres) band Panic! At The Disco’s newest album Death of A Bachelor promises, and delivers a highly enjoyable soundtrack for the year.

Panic! At The Disco has gone through numerous sound changes throughout its 12 years, from their massively successful pop-punk/alternative rock album A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out (2005), to the folksy, ‘Beatles-esque’ sounds of Pretty.Odd (2008), and the mainstream pop sounds of Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die (2013). Similarly, the band line-up has been everything but stable, and frontman Brendon Urie has been the only constant from the start. This album has been touted as essentially being his first solo album, and as the only remaining member from the original lineup, Urie had total creative control over the album. He wrote, produced and recorded all the tracks on Death of a Bachelor, giving fans a real taste of his musical ability.

Officially released on January 15th, 2016, Death of a Bachelor offers 11 songs of varying genres, from rock to hip-hop to pop, harkening back to greats such as Frank Sinatra, Billy Joel, and Queen, but still unmistakably Panic! At The Disco. Listeners are taken on a wild ride through the album right from the very start.

Title track Death of A Bachelor  is an obvious tribute to Frank Sinatra, who Urie cites as one of his greatest inspirations, from the vocals to the lyrics and right down to the melody, albeit with Urie’s own modern twist. In the track, Urie shows off his impressive vocal range, serenading listeners with his bass notes in the verses and then belting out amazing high notes in the choruses. The bass lines coupled with the trumpets, and the added rhythm from a synthesizer, makes for a classically modern, yet very addictive melody that you can’t help but tap your feet and sing along to.

Victorious, one of the much rockier, feel good, hits on the album makes for the perfect get-out-of-bed song, with its high octane guitar riffs, amped up vocals and motivational lyrics (All my friends were glorious/Tonight we are victorious; We gotta turn up the crazy/Shooting fireworks like it’s the fourth of July). A potential summer anthem for the year, this song will set you off on the right foot for the rest of the day, and you can be sure it will be a victorious one.

Another party anthem to add to the list is the track Don’t Threaten Me With a Good Time, that tells the story of the day after a wild night (Who are these people? / I just woke up in my underwear/No more liquor left on the shelf) The track will have you head-banging and singing along, even if you can’t relate.

For those more inclined towards ballads, the final track Impossible Year fits the bill perfectly. The melancholic lyrics, accompanied by a heavy piano melody, with violins, trumpets, and Urie’s stellar vocals, add up to a soundtrack that is perfect for a rainy day when all you want to do is stay in bed and drown in your emotions (we all have those days).

Death of A Bachelor is an eclectic mix and one that just might be the perfect accompaniment for the rest of the year, with other notable tracks, such as Urie’s love letter to Los Angeles, aptly titled LA Devotee  and pop-rock first single Hallelujah. Urie’s vocals, songwriting and music production deserve recognition, and the album plays out like a successful sample reel of Urie’s ability to make songs of all genres. Though some songs can come off as shallow lyrics-wise, the album is genuinely fun and enjoyable. If this is the new sound of Panic! At The Disco, count me in as a fan in the years to come! 4/5

By Neda Al-Asedi

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I live for 90s alternative rock and Robyn's "Dancing on My Own".

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