I haven’t paid attention to Panic! since my high school years, the beginning of their career. I had no idea that the album I was stepping into now had P!atD embodying one of my music pet hates: one person with a band name.
But Urie has just scored has first Billboard number one album; and to call myself curious might be an understatement.
My teenage years saw me in love with Bowie, Green Day and Tim Burton. I was one of the watered down 00’s punks, the pop punk generation, an emo? Maybe.
Groups like Panic! are representative of the last real subculture. Emo, and it’s death as Scene, we’re the last embers of the nonconformist punk spirit amongst the alternate youth.
My friends loved Fall Out Boy, My Chemical Romance, and the emo band who’s front man would eventually rebrand as Skrillex; From First To Last.
Fall Out Boy were fine, but I’d soon learn Wentz had an ego bigger than I cared for; and more to my disappointment so did MCR’s Way; but Urie’s theatre captured my attention, at least for the short time they promoted their first album. I still know all the words to I Write Sins Not Tragedies, but I couldn’t name another song from that first album, in fact I can’t recall the album title.
Panic! At The Disco’s Death of a Bachelor is a musical adventure. It captures the Baroque Pop stylings Urie does so well. The classical and big band sounds have a nostalgia, hailing beautifully to his inspirations. The poetic, sometimes convoluted, lyrics throwback to Panic!’s beginnings as a group born of the emo generation.
It seems Urie hasn’t forgotten his roots, or indeed lost his love of theatrics. There are plenty of music videos to accompany Death of a Bachelor, and they tell great stories.
Emperor’s New Clothes begins with a conclusion to 2013 track This Is Gospel, Urie is dead, most definitely and he is now descending into hell, where he transforms into a demonic being, with some impressive prosthetic make up.
But I’m not sure I’m interested in P!atD’s visual show anymore, in fact ten years later I think I finally have a true appreciation for Urie’s real draw, his vocal skill. It is probably the title track itself that best shows off Urie’s talent. Death of a Batchelor is Urie singing the bittersweet tale of the end of his single life (he married in 2013) but also pays brilliant tribute to Frank Sinatra.
The album is a rollercoaster of pace and emotion. Penultimate track House of Memories, featuring trumpeter Dylan Schwab is pacy, with an addictive beat. However the album ends with the strong ballad Impossible Year. Tony Kadleck plays the climactic horns on this track, leading into the haunting last note of the album. It makes for a memorable end.
Death of a Bachelor is definitely going to be an album I continue listening to.