Panic! At the Disco - Vices & Virtues

2011-05-24 13:27
After a less-than-impressive second album and intra-band upheavals that ultimately led to the band splitting in half, Panic! At the Disco (and their exclamation mark) are back with their third and possibly most interesting album.

The album opens with "The Ballad of Mona Lisa" – a prelude to the eclectic nature of the album as it chimes with the sound of xylophones overlaid with solid guitar riffs. The familiar Panic! sound is still there, but you immediately get the sense that they're trying something new, and that perhaps they have slightly matured with age.

Vices and Virtues is certainly not as vivaciously hyperactive as their debut, but it still has plenty of energy that is now focused and more evenly distributed. "Let’s Kill Tonight" is a case in point as it jumps about with exuberant Casio beats and hand clapping - gradually building into a rampant and dramatic finish.

On "Memories" vocalist Brendon Urie moves into more melodic territory supported by surprising yet satisfying strings. This aural experiment is carried through into "Trade Mistakes" – which turns out not to be a mistake at all. Clearly Panic’s willingness to try new things whether it be violins or children’s choirs pays off.

On the down-side, the band (and the vocals for that matter) do seem to get swept up in all the sound the album creates, and it is sometimes difficult to get a sense of what the point is to all the new and interesting things that are happening.

Sure, the whole production leans towards being camp and melodramatic, but when considered as an amalgamation of retro –emo-post-pop-punk, I say anything goes. And that includes string orchestras, blaring trumpets, 80s synths and people chanting "Hey! Hey! Hey!" If you're willing to go with it, you might just find yourself chanting along.

No need to panic – the new stuff just might surprise you.

Tania 2011/05/24 5:00 PM
I LOVE their album! Been listening to it for a month non-stop. It's got an unique sound to it.
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