Panic! At the Disco’s new album is ‘Death of a Bachelor.’ This is the fifth studio album of the rock band that’s had rising success for more than a decade and that now, has had a major lineup change as its founder, Brendon Urie, is now its sole member. Find out what the critics have to say of this; a review roundup is below.
We’ve often seen the drama of bands and musical groups breaking up, splintering and so forth. We’ve seen lead singers break out and become stars in their own right, often eclipsing the bands and groups that brought them fame. But this is a most unusual case. Brendon Urie did not leave the rock band he founded in 2004 for a solo career. The band, such as it was, is gone and he is the band.
Naturally this shakeup has sparked much curiosity over the new album, ‘Death of a Bachelor.’ It’s the first since Panic! At the Disco’s 2013 album, ‘Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die!’ which, at the time was a trio, with Ryan Ross and Spencer Smith rounding out the lineup.
What’s different this time around, is Urie forges ahead, perhaps now unbridled, and continues his exploration of musical genres and, in the process, defying categorization. Yes, it’s liberating, a mashup, a merging, a juxtaposition, and at times pure homage all at once. The latter is especially true, as both the title track and ‘Impossible Year’ see Urie displaying his impressive vocals as he evokes Frank Sinatra. The music video for ‘the title track, shot in black and white, with Urie, as the crooner, underscores the homage. And along the way, there are many musical twists and turns from track to track.
The critics are largely impressed, some more than others. Here’s a roundup of reviews.
“… Panic! at the Disco has always favored a style both steroidal and slick, and Mr. Urie isn’t out to reinvent it here. So if the album’s title is meant to evoke “Death of a Ladies’ Man,” the 1977 album by Leonard Cohen, the analogy never scratches past the surface. A larger touchstone, especially on the title track, is Frank Sinatra — though Mr. Urie doesn’t have the vocal subtlety or the empathy to flesh out his emulation…..”– New York Times
“….And he’s deadly serious about the Sinatra- thing – check “Impossible Year,” which brazenly imagines Ol’ Blue Eyes reborn as a pooched party-goth and pulls it off through sheer force of will….” –Rolling Stone
“…The first album that he’s truly worked on completely on his own – previous record ‘Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die!’ still saw him collaborating with drummer Spencer Smith – it’s quite clear from the off that the shackles are off: this is his baby. There’s the bombast of lead single ‘Hallelujah’, the taunting chants of ‘Victorious” introduction, the swing-infused power of ‘Crazy=Genius’. It’s a trip through just about everything that’s musically influenced him, from Frank Sinatra to hip-hop and just about anything in between. …” — DIY Magazine
“…. Unfortunately, he doesn’t ever capture the glittery theatrics of, say, Freddie Mercury or the impossible cool of Old Blue Eyes. Stomping tracks like “Don’t Threaten Me With A Good Time” and lyrics like “Champagne, cocaine, gasoline, and most things in between” don’t really jive with half-hearted saxophones and staccato jazz flares…. Still, longtime Panic! fans will find shining moments. …..” — Entertainment Weekly
“….‘Death Of A Bachelor’ is a record that comes full circle on Panic’s evolution. With the revolving door of members closed for now, frontman Urie is finally free to take songwriting duties completely into his own hands – and it seems no coincidence that this album is all the better for it…..” — Clash Music
“….Death of a Bachelor sees frontman Urie’s powerful voice wielded like a hammer, sometimes inspiring a mild headache – again, see opener Victorious – but elsewhere paying homage to, of all people, Frank Sinatra…..” –The Guardian
“….Panic! At The Disco’s audience may perpetually renew itself with fresh teenagers, but Urie is maturing as an artist. He takes a lot of risks on Death Of A Bachelor, all of which pay off…..” –The A.V. Club
Yes, the one-member band has reached a new phase, a new evolution, and as critics have taken note, it’s now time to see if fans follow suit. You can see some of the music videos along with Panic! At The Disco’s ‘Death of a Bachelor’ album cover art below!
Pictures: PR Photos