James Christopher Sheppard reviews
the new Panic! At the Discoalbum
Vices & Virtues

In 2005, Panic! At the Disco burst onto the music scene and rose quickly to the very top of the huge emo/rock genre. Their debut album, A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out, had a theatrical and upbeat fun rock vibe, which went hand in hand with their groundbreaking shows. With lyrics on their first two albums penned by now departed member, Ryan Ross, it’s going to be tough for the new line up, Brendon Urie and Spencer Smith, to match the same depth of lyrical issues the band were known for. Second album, Beatles inspiredPretty. Odd., featured a departure in sound for the band, plus they dropped the much-loved exclamation mark from their name. As a result, the album had underwhelming sales and a luke-warm reception from their fans. Vices & Virtues see’s the band re-instating their original name, Panic! At the Disco, and sounding more theatrical and rock orientated, employing the same style as their debut, but how does it compare?
‘The Ballad of Mona Lisa’
Musically in-keeping with their debut, this first single stands far enough away from the material on their first album to show the bands growth, but also shows that Urie and Smith have realized and are playing to their strengths. The creeping, slightly distorted piano that opens the track is a good indication that Panic! are back and mean business. A dark and upbeat roaring track, this provides a promising start to the album.
‘Let’s Kill Tonight’
The drum machine and vocal effect featured at the beginning of this track, again, is a sound familiar to the lovers of the band’s debut. By the chorus, the track has taken quite a different and intriguing turn, however, becoming darker and angrier. This almost sounds like the Panic! of 2005 meeting Lostprophets, which surprisingly works and provides an invigorating and fresh sound.
‘Hurricane’
‘Hurricane’ sounds a lot like it belongs on a Fall Out Boy album. Catchy and danceable, the track circles around the line ‘you’ll dance to anything’, which is quite a provoking statement. Not bad by any means, but there is nothing unforeseen here.
‘Memories’
The opening of ‘Memories’ sounds slightly Manic Street Preachers-esque which is unexpected after ‘Hurricane’. Musically and lyrically moving, strings soar and the tempo keeps an uplifting pace, ‘Memories’ is the song that hears the boys reflecting on the troubled past of the band. One to download if you are cherry picking.
Read the full review at Eyewear
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