Panic! At The Disco's, "Death of A Bachelor" song by song album review
The fifth album by the sound-transitioning pop band is undoubtedly a solid salute in the form of a lyrical and overdosed wave goodbye to the wild days of your messy 20s and single life. Lead singer Brendon Urie is comically credited in the CD booklet, "Panic! at the Disco Is: Brendon Urie." It seems to be a mild joke regarding the band's frustrations ultimately resulting in the three previous members leaving. But this album embodies Urie's transition from a bachelor to married life with responsibility leaving him to reminisce and slowly say goodbye to the old days. It is his album. It's clear that everyone is growing up and finding themselves after the decade-long friendship quadrangle. The drums throughout the album mimic an electro-pop synthesizer with undertones of anthem-like beats akin to the early days of Fall Out Boy. The album fully ensconces in regrettable madness to everything that was and everything that's ahead and unclear.
Throughout the album each song is laced with new and old formats of punk, pop and poetry, but only now is Urie uninhibited enough to let his old ways meet his new vibes of jazz and harsh romance.
1. Victorious (2:58)
"Victorious" is the culinary equivalent of Pop Rocks in your mouth. This song starts off the album with a loud, rowdy, 4th of July-esque bang— an exciting and aurally displeasing combination of shouts over a catchy pop beat. "Victorious" is the green light to puff out your chest and convey your ego, march through the end of your partying days and ultimately kick off your bachelor party. This is the song that starts at the last party and is a death bell ringing to signal the end of bachelor shenanigans. Ultimately, you're victorious and anything goes.
2. Don't Threaten Me with a Good Time (3:33)
If the kickoff track to the bachelor party wasn't enough, "Don't Threaten Me with a Good Time" is the pathway to indulgence before restraint. Strains of the B-52s’ “Rock Lobster” are threaded through its chorus, adding a grungy element that accepts all danger. "Champagne, cocaine, gasoline and most things in-between" are all welcomed at this party and every threat is met with a friendly nod, pop-punk chants and drum rolls.
3. Hallelujah (3:00)
"Hallelujah" is the morning after song that drags you to church with Brendon singing in a manner as uplifting as a southern baptist priest. The powerful drums create a simple rhythm that allows Brendon's confessions of bad boy behavior to be forgiven. "Say your prayers, say your prayers, say your prayers," and finish who you were trying to be.
4. Emperor's New Clothes (2:38)
The music video for this track translates the song's clear meaning. In the video, Brendon is in costume, transitioning like Satan from John Milton's, "Paradise Lost." Urie is the fallen angel and now as Satan he chants how he was so close to having it all and an era of his life is ending. The devious chants and boasting of crowns, embody the power-trip over an electrifying guitar and simple use of percussion.
5. Death of a Bachelor (3:23)
Jazz elements meet a west coast beat and agree to interact to a point where Urie can attempt to croon like Frank Sinatra. It's undeniably a somber, rocky goodbye to the single life and a stumbling entrance into new uncharted territory. This number was written by Urie, Jack Sinclair and Lauren Pritchard with basic repetitions of easily digestible meaning. In fact the lyrics parallel to "Sarah Smiles" from the "Pretty. Odd." album of 2008. Then, Urie sang, "I was fine, just a guy living on my own waiting for the sky to fall." Now in Death of a Bachelor he says, "I'm walking the long road, watching the sky fall." The poetic elements have continued to resonate since the band's 2004 debut, and if there's one song that can encompass that, it's this track.
6. Crazy=Genius (3:18)
The roaring twenties were embodied in "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald but now Brendon further condensed the decade into a summation of "Crazy=Genius." This song surely didn't skimp on anything; it's full of excessively ambitious overuse of string and brass instruments accompanying intense lyrics.
7. LA Devotee (3:16)
"LA Devotee" is the "there's no place like home" song — as long as your home is the wild west of L.A.. Urie's voice passionately screams his affinities and does not hold any composure toward his symbiotic passion with the city and it's drugs — not that he was under the influence of any (unconfirmed). This is the song in the limo you yell out of the sunroof. It's the song that makes you grateful for weirdness. It's not appealing at first except for the percussion. However after a few listens it becomes evident it's an ode to "LA LA Land."
8. Golden Days (4:14)
The longest song on the album is a recollection of the "golden" days. The band's emo origins come back to emulate a pop-punk attitude. This is the song you can scream while driving in your car with the windows down. It will make you feel vulnerable and invincible all at the same time. It's a stand-out among the others.
9. The Good, the Bad and the Dirty (2:51)
This track bring back memories of the 2013 album, "Too Weird Too Live, Too Weird Too Die." It's more of a rowdy filter that's thrown in to obviously reference the famous film. The simple pop song format makes it a track that you would listen to in your car and not really think twice about.
10. House of Memories (3:28)
This track is an effortless anthem that can be easily added to your sing-along-in-the-car playlist. The lyrics tell a tale of loneliness in love which brings the album to a slow, confronting cascade.
11. Impossible Year (3:22)
Thankfully the turbulence of the band has allowed resistance to put its guard down and give Brendon Urie the chance to transition from safe rock and pop to Sinatra territory with tracks like "Impossible Year." The piano's slow melody carries Urie's voice, which clearly shows he's been training for this sad ballad. The slow and hopeful trumpet interlude along with thoughts of romance, sadness, and gin made of tears further show the capability of the band's direction led by Brendon. If this has truly been an "Impossible year," the band has proven to survive it and bring with them this album that fully ensconces everything a year can contain— the good, the bad and the memories that carried them through it all.
1. "Don't Threaten Me with a Good Time"
2. "Golden Days"
3. "House of Memories"