Panic At The Disco

Pretty. Odd.

Written by: TL on 01/04/2008 14:42:54

Sophomore albums are always tricky business, and not less so when your band is Panic At The Disco and your debut album took you from nothing to worldwide super stardom in a matter of 2 years. Usually, whatever you choose to follow up on such a success with is going to create a need for the extension of the term \'polarisation\', and also in this department, Panic does not fail to disappoint.

Forget about eletronica. Forget about dance beats. Forget about cabaret and forget about neverending streams of pseudo-intelligent pop-cultural references. Opener \"We\'re So Starving\" may very well go \"You don\'t have to worry \'cause we\'re still the same band\" but in any stylistical relation, that\'s a flat out lie. Panic At The Disco has dumped the exclamation mark and the youthful attitudes and taken a dive into the record collections of their parents, and after extensive examination they have come to the conclusion that Beatles are back in fashion. Don\'t tell me you didn\'t think \"Wow, Sgt. Peppers?!\" when you first saw the video for the super-catchy single \"Nine In The Afternoon\" (and don\'t tell me you haven\'t seen it yet either, it\'s everywhere). Okay, so \"She\'s A Handsome Woman\" has garage-ish guitars that remind first and foremost of The Vines, but then The Vines always gave you kind of a feeling of Beatles as well didn\'t they? (Look at their covers for crying out loud!)

In any case, Panic are on to something alright, naming the album \"Pretty. Odd.\" - After a couple of listens I feel that even despite it\'s quirks, it\'s just a collection of charming pop songs and nothing more.. That\'s when I start noticing the strange little hints of acid-trip depravation that stick out of all the euforic happiness coming from the seemingly silly lyrics of the album - And what\'s with the doomsday references strewn over the first handful of songs? \"Film the world before it happens\" ?? \"I know it\'s mad, but if the world was ending would you kiss me or just leave me\" ?? Something\'s going on here, and I\'m not going to presume I have it all figured out yet, but if nothing else, this record contains mysteries for the listener to figure out.

Disentangling myself from deeper analysis, there\'s fortunately also something for the more superficial music fan, as apart from \"Nine In The Afternoon\", there\'s an anthem for the loyal PATD fans in \"The Green Gentleman\" and it\'s chorus \"Things have changed for me, and that\'s okay!\". Take that haters.. Personally I\'ve also fallen in love with the ridiculously sweet \"She Had The World\", packing some weird almost medieval sounding strings as well as, yes you\'re reading it right, vocalwork from Ryan Ross. Actually Ryan sings in quite a few places throughout the album and his voice is really the one thing that makes up for all the gimmicks the band has otherwise taken away since their debut. His soft and thoughtful sound contrasts the more full on impact of Brendon\'s and it\'s hard for me not to think of another highlight of the album in this context, namely \"When The Day Met The Night\". Suffice to say, I challenge you to chase the words \"In the middle of summer!\" out of your mind after hearing this song, it\'s brilliant.

\"So what\'s the verdict already!?\" I imagine you\'re thinking, and fine, I\'ll try to sum things up. In Pretty. Odd., Panic At The Disco has done an album that most of their fans are likely to hate, simply because what they really wanted was more of the same. I\'ll let them cry about that on their own, and stick to what this record is individually, and what that is, is a collection of curious alternative pop songs, complete with infectious choruses, quirky details and brilliant vocalwork - And then if you can be bothered to scratch beneath the surface it seems to be so much more. In the middle of the album I\'m thinking 7, because the hidden bounties are more elusive there, but every time I get to the last handful of tracks, I\'m loving it, and for that and the nagging feeling that I\'m going to keep coming back to this record to try excavate its treasure, I really have to risk accusations of overgrading and dish out an

8

Download: Nine In The Afternoon, When The Day Met The Night, She Had The World, Mad As Rabbits
For The Fans Of: Bright Eyes, The Vines, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Beatles
Listen: Myspace
Buy: iTunes

Release date 25.03.2008
Fueled By Ramen

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