Panic! At the Disco – “Death of a Bachelor” Review

Frank Sinatra lives on in Panic! At The Disco’s fifth studio album, Death of a Bachelor which was released on January 15. In an interview with Upset Magazine, lead singer Brendon Urie confirmed that DOAB is most like the band’s first album, A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out and he went on to describe it as “baroque pop”. The album combines everything Panic! have done for over a decade with a new touch of jazz.”

After their second studio album, two of the four members left P!ATD. Then, in April 2015, drummer Spencer Smith left the band too. By the time the album was released, Brendon Urie was the only member of the band left.  There are, of course, touring members like bassist Dallon Weekes, but Urie is the only one who currently contributes to the creative process.  

Panic has been releasing singles from DOAB since April 2015. The first single, ‘Hallelujah,’ is a spiritual song, to say the least.  With a sample from ‘Questions 67 and 68’ by Chicago, this song was an exemplary way to introduce the world to the new Panic! At The Disco.  The third single from DOAB, ‘Emperor’s New Clothes,’ was released in November and was perfectly accompanied by a theatrical music video. The video showed Urie’s transformation from human into a demon-like creature, and was set up to be a sequel to P!ATD’s song, ‘This Is Gospel.’

The title track is a Sinatra style ballad that explains the feelings that happen when something changes for the good.  Urie sings about how people say he acts or looks different because of how happy he is, after he got married in 2013.  The other two singles, ‘Victorious’ and ‘LA Devotee,’ are both songs to dance to, one for celebrations and the other for enjoying where you are in life.

As of the week before the album release, six out of the eleven songs had already been heard in full by the public. The one song that was somehow leaked but wasn’t a single, ‘Don’t Threaten Me With a Good Time,’ is a tale of a wild night.  The song that sampled the B-52’s ‘Rock Lobster’ left fans wondering if the lyrics were a promise of a true story or just imaginary scenarios. “I lost a bet to a guy in a chiffon skirt/But I make these high heels work.”

The only reaction that ‘Crazy=Genius’ warrants is dancing like you were transported back to the 1920s.  This song is the epitome of a dance hit.  In the bridge, Urie sings about acting like Brian and Dennis Wilson and not being like Mike Love.  All three men were members of the Beach Boys. There’s just one question that may never be answered about this song: why did Urie exclude John Stamos?

Though it is a brand new song, ‘Golden Days’ brings a sense of happy nostalgia to the album.  The name might lead a fan to believe that the song could be a sequel to Panic!’s song ‘When the Day Met the Night,’ but it is not the slow, gentle love song that was to be expected. Instead, listeners are met with an antique sounding rock anthem.

Picture a Quentin Tarantino movie with lots of fighting and dramatic zoom ins. The soundtrack to accompany that movie would have to be just as intense. ‘The Good, the Bad, and the Dirty’ embodies any action packed movie where a group of friends kick some ass.  “If you want to start a fight/You better throw the first punch/Make it a good one.” If any song on DOAB is deserving of headbanging, it’s this one.

The song ‘House of Memories’ talks about how easy it is to look back and get lost in the memories you have of someone.  The smooth but haunting chorus is bouncy and easy to sing along to. Much like a lot of P!ATD songs, the lyrics to ‘House of Memories’ are much deeper and more melancholy than the melody leads the listener to believe.

The last song on the album, ‘Impossible Year,’ has dark, dismal lyrics, but is still beautifully written. The simple piano accompaniment leaves plenty of room for Urie’s voice and lyrics to shine. “There’s no sunshine/There’s no you and me/There’s no good times/This impossible year.” Although the song ended the album on a low note, this tear-jerker’s soft, enchanting melody leaves listeners satisfied.

Panic! At the Disco’s newest album, Death of a Bachelor, was a great way to start off 2016 with it’s exciting jazz undertones and gritty rock vibes. This summer, look for P!ATD on their U.S. tour with Weezer and Andrew McMahon and the Wilderness!

 

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