It would appear that Panic! At The Disco have returned, to have another stab at creating a fairly decent album in comparison to their debut, (which we all bought and loved) 2005’s A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out’. The bands first album was a thirteen track emo-thon, that despite their overly theatrical music videos, and forcefully pessimistic subject matter, reached everyone, and the majority of people between the ages of fifteen and twenty-eight, embraced the up-tempo guitar riffs, catchy as hell lyrics, and playful yet extremely smart lyrics. The annoyingly titled ‘The Only Difference Between Martyrdom and Suicide Is Press Coverage’ had that unexpected electro breakdown, and ‘But it’s better if you do’ had that retro feel to it, with an amateur jazz bar piano riff accompanying Brian Urie’s vocals throughout. So at the beginning, despite the former Blink 182 cover band being as annoying as possible, and ‘I Write Sins, Not Tragedies’ being on MTV2 at least once every minute, the band had a triumphant beginning as far as their breakthrough to the main stream goes.
The reason I provide an introduction like this to a single review is that since then, the band haven’t really done anything good. I think everyone is behind them, and supportive in the release of another brilliant album, but 2008’s ‘Pretty Odd’ wasn’t it. When they returned with the first single release from their difficult second album, ‘Nine In The Afternoon’ showcased their new positive attitude, and Beatles-esque musical style. Which was equally annoying… BUT, this time, the album was a bit of a disappointment, with literally the one decent song on it, and that being the single, which wasn’t actually up to much. So the story continues into a whirlwind of nothing, following the lack of success ‘Pretty odd’ had, and before you know it, the band has possibly one of its most devastating losses yet! They ditch the exclamation mark from the name… good, it’s fucking pretentious. Then decide that the next move to make is to have the third album release to be a live album. So one good album, one poor album, and now they want to encapsulate all that, do it live, record it and sell it. Fair enough… They lost a few members, and got bottled of stage as well I think.
Third album ‘Vices and Virtues’ is released in 2011, and almost the same happens, one relatively average single release, that actually managed to get a great deal of radio play, and then the album didn’t really achieve much attention. I couldn’t even comment on its success, or whether it was any good, because A) I’m not buying it, and B) Nobody has mentioned it, even Wikipedia doesn’t know anything about it. Which is ‘Pretty odd’… Get it?
So anyway, that brings us to the important bit and the reason I even started writing this literary waste of time. On the 15th of July 2013, they released the first single from their fourth LP, ‘Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die! Which I’m certain will be a great big hit. But on stumbling upon this news, and rushing over to YouTube to watch the brand new music video, another large disappointment came in the form of ‘Miss Jackson’. I know what you’re thinking, “God, I hope it’s an alternative rock cover of the Outkast song.” Well it isn’t!
Instead, in the music video Urie looks like an anorexic Brandon Flowers tribute act, and the music video is as arrogantly theatrical as the stuff off the first album, but what’s worse is that the songs crap too. I wasted three good paragraphs on getting to talking about their new single, and the truth is, I have nothing to say. It’s just a shame that this band did produce something brilliant in 2005, it wasn’t groundbreaking or life changing or anything like that, but it was new, original, a bit provocative and went down great at a house party. So why do they refuse to reach that standard again, and through it all why do they maintain that smug emo attitude that they portray in the music videos, when really they don’t have loads to be smug about. The song itself, just sounds like the demo to ‘My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark’ by Fall Out Boy. The music video is confusing, I’m sure the obscurity is intentional but it’s just not even clever, it’s just arrogance. The album name even suggests how aware even the band are of the fact they’re clinging on to a place in the music business. But hey, who knows, maybe the album will be great…problem is; I don’t care anymore.
Words by Stuart Green (@mojo20_music)