By Shirley Erasmus
Panic! At the Disco, the Las Vagas formed punk rock band has released the lovechild album of their three year hibernation since “A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out.”
Pretty. Odd breaks onto the music scene with a considerable leap from the emo, rock niche they had created with their debut album.
Panic, have dropped the exclamation mark in their name, and it seems have long since abandoned the sarcastic style of “A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out” and tracks such as “I Write Songs, Not Tragedies,” with the release of Pretty. Odd in March 2008. The debut of Panic, won devout rock, emo fans, repetitively playing “But its Better if You Do”, only to disappear and emerge from a cabin in Mount Charleston in Nevada, with a whole new style and their new single “Nine in the Afternoon”. (As well as a track called, “From a Mountain in the middle of the Cabins”)
The band now boasts a colorful, fun and different outlook, apologizing to their confused fans in, “We’re so starving” singing “Oh how it’s been so long/ we’re so sorry we’ve been gone/ we were busy writing songs for you/ you don’t have to worry, cause we’re still the same band.” Well now, I wouldn’t say that exactly. But the Beatles would be proud.
Clearly, the new album carries a heavy Beatle’s influence with a style that can only be described as, Pretty. Odd, however, a fun and very flowery sound, vastly different from their previous album. On the one hand, many of Panic’s emo, rock fans will mourn the complete change in their style, but with the statement made by front man Brendon Urie, “Emo is bullshit!” It is clear they want to escape the weak stereotyped genre of emo rock in exchange for a happier, more hippy crowd to the likes of Beatles and Beach Boys Fans and obviously trust their fans to follow them through the transition.
The band does their new style justice with their boyish, cheeky charm and harmonic piano and trumpet tunes. Songs such as “Northern Downpour and That Green Gentleman [Things have Changed]” feel far more upbeat than the adolescent moans of lost love and strippers. Brandon Urie, Panic’s lead vocalist conducts the band effortlessly from the immensely overplayed sound of their previous album into lyrics such as, “Things have changed for me/ and that’s okay/I feel the same/ I’m on my way,” holding his voice well above the garden party of instrumentals in the background, yet not overpowering them.
Perhaps what makes Pretty. Odd a remarkably new experience each time you listen to it is songs such as “Behind the Sea” where the band croons out stories of, marching drums while playfully singing, “Waves of wooden legs.” Not only is the leap to such a different genre odd, as well as the strange combination of instruments in the music, but the lyrics too, which leave one wondering if Panic followed the Beatle’s example with LSD inspired happy trips.
I was disappointed by “She had the World” where the lyrics seemed too long for the song, and the repetitive words used in some of the tracks. However the band seamlessly slips into the vocals and instrumentals in the rest of the album with songs such as “When the Day Met the Night” and “Folkin’ Around.” The new single recently released, “New Perspectives” promises too, a mature mix between the two albums, producing a sound which featured in the recent Megan Fox movie, “Jenifer’s Body.” Having proved their worth with two completely different albums, I look forward to their next installment.