I had higher hopes for Panic! At the Disco’s new album

Panic! At the Disco has been through many phases since their first formal entrance into the music industry back in 2005. The band is now a major player in pop punk music and had a hand in creating a new genre most people refer to as “emo”—but frontman Brendon Urie has come a long way since his smudged eyeliner days.

The band released their sixth album “Pray for the Wicked” on June 22, 2018, and let me just say—this is like the love child of their previous album, “Death Of A Bachelor,” and their first album, “A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out”.

The track, “Roaring 20s” is reminiscent of that baroque pop aspect in the first album that makes you want to hit the speakeasy with its rhythmic drum beats and jazz inspired instrumentation. It is definitely a lighthearted song about living it up in your twenties and embracing being young and free. The lyrics, “And I’m on the rooftop with curious strangers/ This is the oddest of summers/ Maybe I’ll medicate, maybe inebriate” speak true to what being in your twenties is all about: uncertainty and self-discovery.

Three of the tracks on the new album were officially released as a single, “High Hopes On Saturday Night.” The songs included on the single were, “High Hopes,” “Say Amen (Saturday Night)” and “(F**k A) Silver Lining.” These tracks are all upbeat anthems that elicit the idea that hard work and positivity lead to success—and more importantly Saturdays grant you a well-earned break. They give off the same energy as songs like “Hallelujah” and “Emperor’s New Clothes” from the previous album.

In contrast to the rest of the album, the song “Dying In LA,” is a slower ballad dedicated to “dreamers” in LA. I have to admit, I found the song to be a little cliche, especially the lyrics, “Every face along the boulevard/ Is a dreamer just like you.”  I think when you try to categorize everyone seeking a happy ending in LA as a dreamer, it is kind of pushing the theme too hard. Not everyone in LA is looking for the glamour or fame, even though it has become a common stereotype. I do like the use of figurative phrases in the song like, “Nights at the chateau, trapped in your sunset bungalow.” 

The album as a whole was pretty predictable in that it sounded a lot like the previous album. It’s like the whole album was supposed to represent all that the band has been through and that Brendon Urie’s twenties are well over. That’s really cool and introspective of him to write about, but on the musical side of things, their sound is kind of dormant—despite the refreshing sound of Urie’s magical vocals that never disappoint. I just did not find it that exciting, and I even found it a bit superfluous. I hate to be this harsh on a band that paved the way for an entire genre that I have always loved, but I am dying to hear something fresh.

3.5/5 Stars