Panic at the Disco - Pretty. Odd.
Record Label: Decaydance / Fueled by Ramen
Release Date: March 25, 2008
In 2005, Panic(!) at the Disco released their platinum selling dance-driven emo debut, A Fever You Can't Sweat Out, a record that caused a sensation with the young, high school oriented MTV market. Most popular bands of their stature would have gone back and recorded a disc of the same or a much similar direction. Instead, Panic (now without the '!') at the Disco decided to go and do exactly the opposite. When Panic began writing in a cabin in Nevada, they were dead set on making a different album, but it isn't the one we heard. As the band was unpleased with the songs that they wrote, they scrapped it and started anew. To write and record they went into the Las Vegas Palms studio and recorded the strings at Abbey Road Studios (the irony is not lost).
The new and (possibly improved) version of Panic at the Disco is more mature and more creative than before. Their interesting brand of Beatles-esque pop has pleased critics and fans alike. Pretty. Odd. is an album that hasn't been made since the early 70's and might not be made again for many more years. But in this era where so many veterans are reverting back to simplicities, Panic at the Disco stand out and break through the generic.
What's so appealing about A Fever You Can't Sweat Out are the creative lyrics and wordplay found on songs like "Lying is the Most Fun a Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off" and "I Constantly Thank God For Estaban." It seems that Panic at the Disco have deserted that along with almost everything else from 2005. As the lyrics range from swearing they really haven't changed ("We're So Starving"), the moon falling in love with the sun ("When the Day Met the Night"), or even saving the calender business ("Mad As Rabbits"), Panic at the Disco have shown they can still pen unique lyrics.
Brendon Urie's vocals that were so eccentric and energetic on A Fever You Can't Sweat Out are now controlled and precise; they can be mundane or even dull at times. It would seem he really knows what he's doing and what he wants to do but isn't very confident. His voice stays mostly on the same scale and doesn't show the range that he showed on their debut.
While Urie's vocals aren't much improved, the instrumentation is. The instrumentation on this album is all over the place, spanning from folk songs to electric guitar laden tracks. It is attention grabbing in a different way on each track, at times because of the way Spencer Smith conducts himself behind the drum kit or the way an acoustic guitar is strummed.
Panic at the Disco threw out everything that made their 2005 debut so much fun, and it couldn't have turned out better. They have created a sound that has been lost for over 30 years. This album is one that can be embraced by multiple generations - here's an album that both you and your parents can enjoy.
I agree with what is said but hate this review. Not enough about the new record. Just about Fever and how they started. If I hadn't already spun this record 20 or more times I would have become very uninterested in hearing it at all.