Panic at the Disco’s new album is odd

Antonio Hernandez

Usually, when a band puts together their sophomore album, the sound rarely changes to retain the loyalty of their fans. However, this is not the case with Panic At the Disco and their latest album, “Pretty.Odd”.Panic’s first album released in 2005, “A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out”, was laced with vaudeville inspirations and coupled with popular emo lyrics. Horns and piano blared behind the lead singer, Brandon Urie, and came together to make an impressive first outing. Well, say goodbye to all of that.Panic at the Disco has grown up, dropping their title’s exclamation point in the process.The first track of Pretty.Odd opens with Urie reassuring fans that Panic is the same band they were in 2005. The following song, “Nine in the Afternoon”, seems to live up to the promise and gives fans all of what they would expect from Panic. It’s the rest of the album that truly separates them from their freshman debut. If the first album was a tribute to the 1940s, then Pretty.Odd is a tribute to the 1960s and the hippie movement. “That Green Gentleman,” a track about the changes in growing up, has a small dose of the Beatles and their soothing choruses, while injecting the trusted Panic formula of odd lyrics and piano.The song “The Piano Knows Something I Don’t Know” is one of the songs that stand out on the album, serving as a backbone to Panic’s new image.With lyrics such as, “She’s the smoke, she’s dancin’ fancy pirouettes, swan diving off of the deep end of my tragic cigarette,” the song demonstrates the evolution of Panic’s songwriting.However, the album doesn’t play out like a complete set. Songs like “That Green Gentleman” seem to run into other songs with radically different influences. “Northern Downpour,” an almost purely acoustic performance, feels more like an interruption to the cohesive feel of the rest of the songs. There is even a folk song thrown in for good measure, and while good, it serves as more of a distraction than a piece of music. Unlike their first album, which had a similar theme that tied it together, “Pretty.Odd” seems to jump all across the musical spectrum. This makes it sound more like a tribute album instead of a purely original outing. On its own, “Pretty.Odd.” is a solid album, yet when compared to their freshman debut, it seems that Panic is stumbling to find their true voice. Such is the trouble in growing up.One thing is for sure, though: Panic at the Disco are not the same boys they were four years ago.


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