Panic! At The Disco 'Pray For The Wicked' (Album Review)
Oscar Rendon | June 22nd, 2018
Panic! at the Disco is back with a sixth album Pray For The Wicked. Brendon Urie officially takes the album and the band into his own hands as the sole remaining member of the band. Although Urie is taking the name, the new album is a solo venture which fans have guessed for a while now after the departure of Dallon Weekes. Pray For The Wicked is a nice blend of old Panic tones & melodies and Urie's new direction for the project.
The album kicks off with a bang! "(Fuck a) Silver Lining" sounds of with horns and a cool beat that keeps the song kinetic. More of Urie's influences come out in this first song with the brass instrumentation that come from his Sinatra influence. The lyrics are very simple and yet feel like a statement Urie is making about "falling to the top" like he never feels satisfied and the perception people may have of him and his success. "Say Amen (Saturday Night)" has hints of old PATD with the verse but it jumps into the new with the first taste of the chorus. In Urie's hands, the songs have had more of a religious tone at least lyrically, the messages are never forceful but letting us in to his own head. "Hey Look Ma, I Made It" is one of the best songs to use the trumpets/horns. I feel myself connecting with the song. What kid doesn't dream of telling their family they "made it". Closing your eyes, you can picture a dance number for this song, maybe even Brendon running through the aisles of a theatre singing in the crowd. The song has a groovy Vegas show like quality. "High Hopes" is a perfect song to really get you going and ready for the night out but it's also a song about never faltering in your expectations, Urie's vocals really shine and are almost heavenly at times (nothing new) but it's amazing to hear how well his voice has matured from his early days in PATD. "Roaring 20's" is much like "Death of a Bachelor" where Brendon truly dives into era song writing and flares his musicality. So far the album has taken me through a time-travel journey of music. "Roaring 20's" is a Great Gatsby musical mural if such a thing ever existed.
We hit the halfway mark with "Dancing's Not a Crime" and Urie keeps up the momentum with a tune you can sing to and dance. Urie fuses modern with classic with the music he produces on this track. This song could be heard on the radio or for various marketing ads we see on television. A fun Pop track that anyone can dance to and celebrate. "One of the Drunks" brings a subtle approach to the album from Urie, his singing is a bit lower and lyrically about the struggle with drinking and "looking for a new high" as the song says. One of the songs that will most likely be overlooked because of Urie's subtle vocals. "The Overpass" is another song sampling from another's music but very quickly becomes a Panic! At the Disco song. "The Overpass" is one of the few songs where we truly get the vast range from Brendon Urie, he starts high in vocal range and then goes low for the bridge. "King of the Clouds" plays up the sax and trumpets with the quick lyrics sung by Brendon that almost sound like a rap. The song is about escaping this world and the place that Urie goes to, his happy place where he is "King of the Clouds". "Old Fashioned" has a modern touch, a bit faster with a more apparent synth and beat that is commly used but the song changes in the chorus with the implement of the keys. Not many artists can change a song midway and have it work but Urie pulls it off pretty well. The influence of Queen is very apparent as far is as how the song is structured. "Dying in LA" is the final song in the album and Urie uses it as the perfect book end with a ballad. We get the low tone and his high falsetto's. We hear a harmonic union of piano, strings, and you add Urie's voice and we get one of the best songs in the whole album. The song is about the wonder and dream like quality that LA is for someone who visits for the first time. This is Brendon Urie's love letter to LA.
Overall the album brings a sense of joy, fun and a style of music we hardly ever hear with all the instruments. Urie's voice as always is unbelievable and it really captures the new direction for Urie and Panic! At the Disco.
Purchase or listen to Pray For The Wicked on Apple Music, Spotify, iTunes, Googleplay, and in stores. You can also catch Panic! At The Disco on tour this summer on the Pray For The Wicked Tour. For more info visit www.panicatthedisco.com
What did you think of the new album for Panic! At The Disco's 6th studio album? What are your favorite songs?