The latest album by Panic at the Disco seems to be a hybrid of pop punk of the 2000s and their more techno music of late. This in turn has led to an interesting new direction for the band that could bring old and new fans together. Leading the album is Brendon Urie’s distinct vocals which are ambitious as always. On this album we have the now very popular ‘Hallelujah’ as well as the title track ‘Death of a Bachelor’.
The album opens with ‘Victorious’ which parallels their victorious return to form in many peoples’ eyes. The start of the track has an eeriness which would be at home on any Halloween playlist. This is matched with a very steady drum beat and the occasional synthesizer. It seems to be well suited for people having fun with their friends. The positive attitude of this song would be sure to elevate the mood of one’s guests.
‘Victorious’ is followed by ‘Don’t Threaten Me With A Good Go’ which details Brendon’s waking up after a rather eccentric night out and is matched with the usual attitude and sass that he is known for, best demonstrated in ‘A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out’. Throughout the course of this song you can hear the chords from B52’S ‘Rock Lobster’ which helps pump up the audience.
The third track on this album is ‘Hallelujah’; this is an extremely positive song that with either encourage you to be joyful, or irritate you if you are not feeling happy and stuck listening to it. In the chorus he is joined by a choir which adds to the feeling of ecstasy to whom is singing or listening. A genuinely fun song.
The title track ‘Death of a Bachelor’ is the fifth track on this album and starts with Urie crooning the first lines, with the backing sounding like an off sounding record player giving a vintage vibe to the song. Towards the chorus this is merged with a more techno beat which follows throughout the song, except for an instrumental break near the end which could be seen as homage to classic video games, but still to the tune of the rest of the song. This song poses as an interesting post modernist mix.
The next song ‘Crazy=Genius’ is my favourite song on this album and is what one would associate with a more classic Panic at the Disco sound. The big band providing backing gives it a vaudeville sense whilst the strategic use of guitars makes the song very fun with a rebellious spark to it. One could feel like you could do either a foxtrot or mosh to this song.
The eighth track on this album ‘Golden Days’ could be best described as a bittersweet war cry and is very reminiscent of the pop punk movement that Panic at the Disco rose to fame with. This song is filled with passion by Brendon Urie which would be best suited for singing in the shower or if you are having a bad day.
This is followed by ‘The Good, the Bad and the Dirty’ which has a very addictive beat, also with near spoken lyrics which conveys the anger of this song effectively. However this is unfortunately juxtaposed by Urie’s vocalising which makes it hard to take the song as seriously as was probably intended.
The last track of this album ‘Impossible Year’ starts with a very bare and honest performance. It’s almost possible to imagine this being performed in an empty theatre for how sombre it feels. There seems to be no gimmicks to this song, it is genuinely a beautiful track with very few instruments backing Urie’s powerful voice.
Personally this album seems more of a return to Panic at the Disco’s original work which I prefer. There is a brilliant use of instruments and does not always rely on Brendon Urie’s vocals to carry the song. To any fan that was put off by previous albums I would recommend they give ‘Death of a Bachelor’ a listen. Out of those who have enjoyed their more recent stuff it has also certainly been used.
3 out of 5 stars
Have you listened to the album yet? Do you agree with Emma? Let us know by tweeting @UCLanPluto with the hashtag #PATD or leave a comment below!