Panic! At The Disco
Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die
Decaydance, Fueled By Ramen
After a career of highs and lows P!ATD are back with album four and another excessively long title to add to their baton. ‘Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die’ has seen them mature, yet again having been through a lot to get here cumulating in a huge sounding album bound to bring this band back to the fore they once held so well.
Starting with the singles, current release ‘This Is Gospel’ opens with heartbeat sounds and pounding drums, the vocals though slightly distorted gently build to the chorus of a huge voice and our first opportunity of many here for lead singer, Brendon Urie, to show off his wonderful vocal ability. Whereas ‘Miss Jackson’ featuring Lolo is a grower but once you listen to it enough you’ll not be able to stop singing it. It’s catchy as hell with a chorus bound to be screamed back at the band at live shows.
Big pummelling drums and huge pulsating synths create a song bound to get your hips shaking in the form of ‘Vegas Lights’ while ’Nicotine’ is full of lyrics tinged with spite with Urie swearing like a sailor throughout but pitted against the quick dance rhythm makes it more palatable to take. It’s a fresh take on singing about your annoyances, gone is the moody atmosphere replaced with tinkling piano verses and a Europop-esque big sing along chorus.
There are a lot of songs on this album that feature vocal distortion take the slow swaggering sound of ‘Girl That You Love’ with vivid distorted lyrics, radiating electronics and low bass with computerisation reminiscent of Kraftwerk. Then there’s ‘Casual Affair’ with a clear harmony running throughout featuring buzzing electronics and deep computerized synth, the faint sound of strings and big drums give a grander air to this slow, modern take on a ballad. Finally, atmospheric electronic organ opens ‘Far Too Young To Die’ before graduating synths and vocals that are yet again computerized come in.
The whole album is very danceable with a lot of pop sounds, beats and electronics layered throughout. They have taken a lot of inspiration from 80’s classics too with most of the upbeat tunes reminiscent of that era. One thing holding this whole album together is drummer Spencer Smith creating brilliant percussion from being able to keep a constant beat through quieter moments to having the ability to take the pace up to create something bigger or more dramatic when needed.
‘Girls/Girls/Boys’ sees 80’s whirring electronics opening preceding a deep bassline, a soulful voice and a slight funk rhythm, flowing and melodic to the chorus before things are taken up adding to the clear danceability of this one. Finishing up with quickly strummed guitar and an overplayed piano chord of ‘Collar Full’ with a fast paced chorus and punk influenced riff playing us out while album closer ‘The End of All Things’ sees keys and strings create a beautiful ambience before muffled vocals gently flow with the background music. It’s a quiet, taken down song to end proceedings on especially when a lot of this album has been fast paced and poppy showing the other beautiful side of Panic! At The Disco.
This album is ten tracks of pure up tempo goodness with the rhythm to get you dancing and catchiness to see you singing along, taking what they’re already brilliant at and building upon it. Some fans may not like this change in direction but the majority will love it, whether instantly or after a few listens, because this showcases the band’s talent and willingness to experiment perfectly.