Legendary alternative rock/pop band Panic! At The Disco released their latest (and highly anticipated) album “Pray For The Wicked” on June 22nd, 2018. After hyping up the release of this album with a variety of singles, such as “Say Amen” and “(Fuck A) Silver Lining”, performing about a month’s worth of pop-up shows across the country, as well as sending fans unholy water and potatoes in the mail, Panic!’s fanbase was ecstatic to finally hear the album.
I would say the sound on this album builds nicely off of their previous release, “Death of A Bachelor.” There are quite a few similarities, but they also have their differences. Solo member and frontman Brendon Urie only continues to amaze listeners with his unique pop/alternative/jazz style, and his vocals that seemingly only get better with each album he releases.
On Panic!’s last album “Death of A Bachelor”, we got a little taste of Urie’s experimentation with jazz style music and vocals, similar to artists such as Frank Sinatra, with songs like “Crazy=Genius.” We continue to see this style peek through on “Pray For The Wicked”, with songs such as “Roaring 20s” and “The Overpass.”
I continue to be amazed with Urie’s skill in blending so many genres of music, because while these songs can pass off as a classic pop style, they also have elements of jazz, such as the voice samples used in the background, the sounds of golden saxophone and trumpet, as well as Urie’s deep and smooth vocals. In addition to this experimental jazz style, Urie also throws in songs that are just alternative pop bangers.
Some of the other songs that simply stand out to me from this album are “High Hopes”, “Old Fashioned”, and “Hey Look Ma, I Made It.” I think these songs show off not only Urie’s vocal talent, but also his ability to continue producing catchy and unique rhythms in his song that are impossible not to dance to.
“Old Fashioned” features some awesome electronic backing beats, and the rhythm is unique and catchy. I also liked that most of this album was straight bops the entire time— only at the end did Urie put in a slow song, which is also amazing both in quality and vocals. When “High Hopes” was released as a single, I instantly fell in love with Urie’s vocals. Not only is the song very groovy, Urie’s vocals are strong and you can hear the passion in his voice. The same goes for “Hey Look Ma, I Made It”, as I feel both of these songs really emphasize how far Urie has come in his journey as an artist.
I think a lot of the theme of this album is focused not only on how proud Urie is of himself for coming so far in his career (especially now that he is the only member of the band), but also how grateful he is for his fan base in helping him succeed, and always supporting him even when the band lost its members, and when he wanted to experiment with other styles and sounds. Overall, I think this album is fantastic in its production quality, as well as in uniqueness and passion.
It is pretty easy to tell when passion is missing from an album, especially in the vocals. It is evident in the high quality produced in this album, as well as through Urie’s voice, that he truly cared about this album and spent a lot of time working on it. And, most importantly, that he had fun creating it, and has been having a blast performing it. If you are looking for an album to jam to all summer long, “Pray For The Wicked” is definitely for you.
Written by Demi Marshall
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