Panic! At The Disco – Pray For The Wicked
Released: June 22nd, 2018
Panic! At The Disco is:
Brendon Urie // Everythingist
Here we are with another band that has provided years of alternative music, having formed in 2004 they’ve produced countless albums and no two have ever been the same, which tells me that I’m definitely in for a treat to see what is in store for fans this time around. Panic! At The Disco have always gone big or gone home, having big dreams and ideas of where their music is headed and making music videos and tour experiences more like a production as opposed to anything else. If you’ve been a fan for a while, you’ll know exactly what I mean. Any music video from their early years is proof enough. Now I’m not here to talk about their concerts or music videos, but I bring this up for a good reason, so keep this in mind as you continue reading.
Pray For The Wicked is the newest release, two years after the previous record; which in that time frame, frontman Brendon Urie had a short run on Broadway as the lead role in Kinky Boots as Charlie Price which he absolutely nailed the part, showing people who have never listened to Panic! At The Disco just how much talent he really holds, and for those fans who were lucky enough to see him perform, reminding them that he can hit almost any note, and he’s one of those people that is good at pretty much everything that he does. It is no secret that the band have had many changes throughout the years, a few members leaving for various reasons, meaning that Urie is the only original member left, which is quite sad for fans, but musically speaking, I believe we’ve seen the changes in their style as time goes on and I feel as if this album is a true testament to that.
The minute I listened to this record in full, I was a little confused. While I know that no two albums are never the same and they never have been, this one comes way out of left field. It was immediately distinctive that it was Panic! by the vocals of Urie but it seemed so different — so… not like them. It has always been known how much the frontman loves and is influenced by styles such as jazz, blues, and artists such as Frank Sinatra which is why I found that this is where the complete style change in their music has come from and why it didn’t sound anything like what I had expected to hear. From the release of the first two singles, ‘(Fuck A) Silver Lining’ and ‘Say Amen (Saturday Night)’, I loved them. Funky, jazzy, still slightly alternative but overall, incredible hits. Then I heard the rest of the album and everything made a whole lot more sense.
Remember when I said I brought up music videos and concert experiences being a lot like productions for a reason? Here’s why. You need to listen to this record with the frame of mind about how you think it will look as it is being performed. I was unsure how I felt about each track until I remembered that Brendon had most recently been on broadway (aside touring) and instantly my mindset changed. The influences are heavily based on this, in my honest opinion. I found myself absolutely loving the music, but I felt as though it sounded like it had a big dance number to go along with it. In no way is this negative at all — in fact I find it to be pretty positive. It means that the songs are upbeat, fun, easy to dance to and insanely catchy but if you listen along and expect to be hearing heavier guitar filled tracks, you’ve got another thing coming. So I’ll be real honest, if you’re looking for a taste or any piece of the Panic! that you may remember up to the point of Death Of A Bachelor, then in that case — there probably isn’t many songs that you’ll enjoy, but I highly recommend that you give it a chance at least one time.
In my eyes, this release is something fresh, it’s fun, it’s something that people may not see coming and it is almost as though we’re seeing a release full of songs that Brendon would have owned in his collection of records from older generations and made it his own. I will say I did find the lyrics to be a little repetitive, there’s not as much lyrical depth to these tracks as I’m used to hearing which is a bit disappointing, but like I said, it’s a complete change from what people traditionally think of when someone would mention Panic! At The Disco.
I honestly have a hard time picking out standout songs since I genuinely love all of them and I have so much fun listening to them all, so I’ll leave you with the three that I feel cross all sorts of stylisations. ‘Roaring 20s’ which is a track that is heavily broadway influenced, ‘One Of The Drunks’ is a cool jazz influenced track and lastly ‘Dying In LA’ which is the only slow song that has made the record. It strikes me as one that addresses the issue of being in LA and dealing with the struggle of mental health.
I am beyond excited to see these new songs brought to life on tour later this year, check out all the date and info here
Panic! At The Disco — Pray For The Wicked tracklist
1. (Fuck A) Silver Lining
2. Say Amen (Saturday Night)
3. Hey Look Ma, I Made It
4. High Hopes
5. Roaring 20s
6. Dancing’s Not A Crime
7. One Of The Drunks
8. The Overpass
9. King Of The Clouds
10. Old Fashioned
11. Dying In LA