Ten years after releasing their first album A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out with memorable tracks like “I Write Sins Not Tragedies”, defining a whole generation of black haired emo kids with questionable hair styles, Panic! at the Disco released its fifth studio album. Death of a Bachelor is completely written and recorded by Brendon Urie himself after the band lost bassist Dallon Weekes from the official line-up, and is now only a one-man band.
After almost half a decade of hiding inside my body, I was ready to embrace my inner emo again, preparing myself by getting my fringe game on again. But Panic! is not the emo-pop band from 2006 anymore (the band threw away the eyeliner around 2011), as the band is evolving continuously along with their fans, but without losing their original sound, which is mostly owed to Urie’s vocal range. The album follows a specific theme pattern, telling stories of the youth and carefree living like the opening song “Victorious” featuring a choir, handclaps and Urie’s smashing vocals, whereas in contrast songs like”Don’t Threaten Me With A Good Time” or the just released single”Emperor’s New Clothes” (with like the best music video I have seen in a while, seriously stunning!), concern the consequences and down bringing of a decadent lifestyle.
Whereas songs like”LA Devotee” sound like typical Panic! songs, Urie was definitely inspired by the swing era with”Crazy = Genius” and the album’s title song”Death of A Bachelor”, which symbolises the current state of leaving the party life behind and growing up, while directly transferring the listener back into the Golden 20s. The album sets the listener onto a journey through Urie’s life like a theatre play with”Impossible Year” as a curtain closing song. Death of A Bachelor is coherent but at the same time varied, offering tracks for hardcore Panic! at the Disco fans or people like me who still nostalgically listen to Fall Out Boy and My Chemical Romance once in a while, as well as for new listeners, who experience Urie’s wide range of talents for the first time.
Review by Carolin Wolfsdorf