All of our inner middle school selves are probably familiar with the pop-punk band Panic! At The Disco. Known mostly for their hit “I Write Sins Not Tragedies,” Panic! is reintroducing themselves to the scene this year with a new album titled Death Of a Bachelor. Though the band now only consists of lead singer Brendon Urie, the album still showcases the transformation of sound that Panic! has undergone through the years.
For those who are familiar with Panic!’s earlier work, Death Of a Bachelor will have a few songs that are reminiscent of their previous albums. Tracks such as “Victorious” and “Crazy=Genius” pound with the familiar angst punk that is classic of their music, though these tracks still have a flair to them in their musicality that introduces a new element.
In “Crazy=Genius” specifically, the combination of electric guitar with trumpet introduces this sort of punk-goes-Sinatra vibe the whole album emulates, while “Victorious” showcases a more playful tone.
In addition to this tweaked familiar sound, Urie also introduces a brand new type of sound. Tracks such as the title song “Death of a Bachelor” and “Impossible Year” are both prime examples of the crooning, jazz, Sinatra-esque foray that Urie enters into with this album. This jump into the new pays off, as I think both of these songs are two of the best on the album.
“Death of a Bachelor” features a more upbeat, modern take on the jazz angle, while “Impossible Year” is more of a slow, crooning ballad, but both are masterfully executed. Urie is perhaps at his vocally strongest in these two tracks. They have completely different vibes, but you’ll still want to listen to both on repeat.
Though the lyrics in the album do fall short in a few songs, and some tracks are a little weaker than others (“Don’t Threaten Me with a Good Time,” “LA Devotee”) Death Of a Bachelor is a clear example of Panic! At The Disco’s ability to adapt not only to changes within the band, but also to a sound that changes as the band does. Urie keeps old elements, but isn’t afraid to add in the new, and, for the most part, it pays off. In fact, the songs in the album that try out new elements (“Hallelujah”) tend to be much stronger than those that take too many notes from the old (“Crazy=Genius”).
All in all, Death of a Bachelor marks a clear transition in the sound of Panic!, but it seems to me like it’s headed in a good direction. If you’re into the pop punk scene, make sure you give this album a listen. Even if you’re not, the album has enough quality songs that there will be at least one you’ll enjoy.