On January 15 of this year, Panic! At The Disco released their fifth studio album, Death Of A Bachelor. What's interesting about this album was it was entirely written and recorded by Brendon Urie.
The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, and sold 190,000 units in its first week alone. This album is the best selling Panic! At The Disco album yet, and is the first number one hit album for them as well.
I'm a little bit late on reviewing this, but have been wanting to since it came out. I've heard "Emperor's New Clothes" and "Victorious" a ton of times, but other than that went into this album completely fresh. With those two in mind though, I already knew it was going to be an incredible and very different album. I mean, come on....have you seen the video for Emperor's New Clothes? Clearly there was a lot of thought put into that and things surrounding it.
I almost instantly discovered a lot of things about this album. Starting with the fact that the inspiration behind this album was incredibly deep and rather beautiful. Brendon spoke about it once on the band's Facebook page, saying all of the following. "When I was a little kid and I heard a song I liked on TV. I would jump up and run to the piano to try and figure it out by ear. When I was 10 or 11, I built myself a drum kit in the garage made out of empty laundry detergent buckets, old lawn chairs, paint cans, and old trash cans. Around that time, my parents got me my first guitar. A baby acoustic. I jumped between all of these instruments constantly to satisfy the ideas I heard in my head. At this young age, I realized that music would play a huge part in my life. I had no idea.
'Death of a Bachelor' is in honor of those times I spent alone as a kid. Allowing music to consume me. Playing everything myself just to get the idea right and out of my head. It's a beginning to a new era. And an homage to how it all began.
This album is me. Running to the piano. Building a drum kit. Strumming a guitar. Some things never change."
Another thing I noticed very quickly was this album is something incredibly unique. For the most part, its fun, its upbeat, and its something you would turn on to get your blood pumping a bit in the best way. Its also very deep, and has a sound that isn't exactly explored much, and may be entirely unique to Panic! At The Disco. Its pop rock, pop punk -whatever you choose to call it, with some vintage vibes as well.
You hear this especially on the title track, and "Crazy = Genius."
"Death of A Bachelor" is a bit about life and how fake it all can be. You lose yourself a bit along the way while pretending everything's fine. It has a bit of a 1940's vibe to it, and definitely a Frank Sinatra vibe to it. Which is exactly what he was going for, actually. Brendon was once quoted saying, "Frank Sinatra turns 100 this year. I attach his music to so many memories: Opening presents on Christmas day, my grandparents teaching the rest of the family to swing dance, watching “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” with my siblings (Sinatra makes a cameo in the form of a cartoon sword singing “Witchcraft”). His music has been a major player in the soundtrack of my life. So it’s only right that I return the favor and/or pay it forward. I wrote a new album this year and even in the few songs that don’t sound remotely similar to any of his music I still felt his influence in the writing and the need to relate so personally to each song. 'Death Of A Bachelor' is very important to me. It expresses the bittersweet (but mostly sweet) end of an era. A look back at a part of my life now deceased. An 'It’s A Wonderful Life'-esque look into a possibly different future. But mostly an appreciation for the present."
As for "Crazy = Genius", you almost instantly people people doing swing dancing in flowing dresses and tuxes. This one would make a very cool music video, I must say. I'm seeing something here that's very unique about this album -it takes old school vibes that are usually seen as "outdated" and connects it to modern pop rock. That sounds very weird written down, but it's something quite special. It may sound a bit crazy, but hey, crazy equals genius. All of the best people out there are simply mad, after all.
Honestly this album is very interesting and worth listening to. Its unlike anything I've ever heard before, and is a bit hard to describe. So, instead of describing it, I will say go listen to the album and form your own thoughts on it. I can guarantee something will catch your attention.
You can get it now on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, or wherever music is sold! Use it to get excited as well, because Panic! At The Disco kicks off a tour this week with Weezer here in the US! The tour starts in Texas on the 10th and will end on August 6 in Irvine CA. They then get a short break before heading over to Asia to perform at festivals in South Korea, Singapore, the Philippines and Japan!
For further information, please check out Panic! At The Disco's official website!
All reviews have the date they were written, the album title, and the band's name, with the exception of Life Starts Now by Three Days Grace and Dear Agony by Breaking Benjamin. Those dates were guessed at, as they were written well before the website began.