By JONAS POGGI
It’s not easy to be a fan of some bands, especially if that band is Las Vegas alternative band Panic! at the Disco. Two of the members left the band in 2008 after a creative divide between singer Brendon Urie and guitarist Ryan Ross. In April 2015 drummer Spencer Smith, the last remaining original member, officially left the band as well due to drug rehabilitation. This left Brendon Urie as the sole member of the band.
This left fans with many questions. Does the band even still exist? How could Brendon alone put out an album? Is this the end of Panic! at the Disco?
Brendon Urie answers all these questions with the new Panic! at the Disco album Death Of A Bachelor. The first single, Hallelujah, was released in April of last year, and fans have been anticipating a new album since the release. The album was officially announced last fall, along with the release of another single, Emperor’s New Clothes.
Brendon Urie has once again returned to the role of songwriter for the band. The last time Brendon wrote songs for an album was in the YEAR album Vices & Virtues. In the 2014 album Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die, bassist Dallon Weekes wrote most of the songs, but Weekes has since left the band as a writer.
For Brendon Urie, this album is less of stylistic growth, but more of a stylistic expansion. Urie branches out, straying from the pop-punk roots of the band. In songs such as Impossible Year and title track Death of a Bachelor, Urie channels his musical idol Frank Sinatra with slow pace and a melodic crooning, while the songs Don’t Threaten Me With A Good Time and The Good The Bad and The Dirty are more rock driven, featuring percussion heavy choruses and distinctive guitar leads.
Death Of A Bachelor is by far the most personal album from the band, due to Urie being the sole member. Many of the songs instead of telling a story address internal issues such as sanity, greed, triumph, loss, and accepting all of those things at once. Reflecting one’s own mental state, the album is a mess of angst, joy, and emotion that although may be initially off putting, gradually becomes something more familiar and acceptable.
Although the album initially seems like a bit of a mess, the distinctive Panic! style and insightful lyrics create an album that altogether delivers a new and powerful message that will appeal to Panic! fans both old and new.