Panic! At the Disco has had an interesting career, from their humble beginnings as one of the premier pop-punk bands to arrive out of Las Vegas in the mid-2000s to their recent tumultuous member changes. The band’s evolution has progressed from an indie dance sound, found on “A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out” and “Pretty Odd,” to a full-blown pop presence in their recent “Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die!”
Brendon Urie, the lead singer and sole remaining member of the original lineup, has directed Panic! to new levels of success with their latest album, “Death of a Bachelor.” Being their first album to reach No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart, “Death of a Bachelor” promises an even brighter future for the band.
Recorded just before his wedding, Urie’s songwriting has a noticeable theme throughout the album, kissing the bachelor lifestyle goodbye through a series of songs that document the thrills and perils of the rock star lifestyle.
In the months leading up to the release of the album, Urie teased the tone for the new album, promising an ambitious mix of both Frank Sinatra and Queen. Does the finished concoction work? It certainly does.
Tracks like “Crazy=Genius” and the title track offer the bombastic production style of Queen, with a few well-placed hooks and melodies sprinkled throughout. Both “Hallelujah” and “Victorious” promise to become anthems for fans and new listeners alike. Urie, however, is the star of the show, as he croons over each track doing his best Sinatra impression, which contributes a somewhat nostalgic element to smooth out the sound.
The album comes to a bizarre halt towards the end however, as the songs suddenly slow down the pace of the album. Both “House of Memories,” and the ballad “Impossible Year” feel misplaced in the overall structure of the album, and feel underwhelming especially placed at the end.
Fortunately, these minor flaws do little to hurt the album overall, as the production and hooks still promise multiple listens. For years, Panic! At the Disco has been evolving toward a more pop-oriented sound, and “Death of a Bachelor” is a strong indication that their evolution has come full circle.