Artist: Panic! At The Disco
Album: Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die
Release Date: Oct 8
Panic! at the Disco has shaken things up with every new album since their debut, each record markedly differing from the last, and their latest release, Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die! is no exception, bringing a new set of electronica and dance music to the table.
Probably the most noteworthy song on the record, “This is Gospel” starts off with a heartbeat and a vocoder, drawing focus to the lyrics sung by frontman Brendon Urie. By the end of the verse, all the effects drop off in time for Urie to plead, “If you love me, let me go,” his voice powerful in its vulnerability. The transitions from verse to chorus are flawless and empowering, and start the album off on a positive note.
The song is tough to follow, and the album’s primary single, “Miss Jackson”, may not have been the best track to follow such a powerful anthem. The song, offering a more hip hop vibe and featuring vocals by Lolo, is pleasant in its own right, but starts to sound like it fits more on Fall Out Boy’s most recent album, Save Rock and Roll, than on a Panic! at the Disco record. Perhaps this is because both records were produced by Butch Walker, but that’s hardly an excuse. The track references Janet Jackson’s song, “Nasty”, both in title and in every repetition of the line, “Are you nasty?”
Songs such as “Vegas Lights” and “Nicotine” compensate with their club music vibes and “Girls/Girls/Boys” showcases now official member Dallon Weekes’s infectious bass lines. “Collar Full” is reminiscent of the theatrical tunes found on Vices & Virtues but is updated to sound like it belongs not only on a more danceable record such as this one, but at a time when alternative is becoming much more easily assimilated into the party scene. Overall, Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die! embodies the band’s knack for catchy hooks, theatricality, though not to the same extent as previous records, and danceable music.
However, certain songs do fall flat in comparison to others. “Girl That You Love”, which sounds like something you might hear while shopping at Hollister, ends up being far too repetitive and goes on for about a minute too long.
Furthermore, aside from the final track, “The End of All Things”, a ballad reminiscent of the sentiments woven into Vices & Virtues acoustic favorite “Always”, there aren’t really any moments where fans can just sit down and listen. The song itself is beautiful and chilling, the use of the vocoder adding layers of emotion to Urie’s already amazing natural voice as well as providing a contrast to add emphasis to the strings and piano.
Panic! at the Disco has the passion, the talent, and the heart to keep moving forward with their sound, bringing something new and fresh with each album, and this record is no exception. Despite minor technicalities, Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die! is still infectious and energetic enough to take to the airwaves and feature on road trip mixed CDs and high school dance playlists everywhere. (By Paula Mirando)
Listen to “Girls/Girls/Boys” below: