Panic! at the Disco – ‘Death of a Bachelor’

By Adam Rosario

What started over 10 years ago as four friends playing pop-punk together has whittled down to just one. One man left standing. Panic! At The Disco have become a solo project in all but name, spearheaded by the irreplaceable Brendon Urie. ‘Death of a Bachelor’ is the first Urie only album but that means that all the pressure is on one man. Brendon deals with the rebirth of his band with aplomb.

Opening on the Rivers Cuomo co-written stormer ‘Victorious’, the album is off to a high octane start and allows Urie to show off his inimitable vocal prowess. He’s always sounded good, but now he sounds incredible, and this first single is just the first instance. The title track allows Urie to channel his inner Sinatra and blend together a dreamy synth with his best vocal performance to date (sans the live cover of Bohemian Rhapsody). Sinatra’s influence is also found on the closer ‘Impossible Year’. The fact Frank Sinatra is being discussed as an influence should make this an album worth everybody’s time.

There are throw back moments, such as ‘Don’t Threaten Me With A Good Time’ hardening back to older Panic! days. Opening with a very James Bond like bass intro, the song dives down into a new wave pop-punk gem, and looks set to be a live favourite. ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’ hammers home that this is a new Panic! At The Disco. A stronger one at that. Whilst being a very synth driven album, guitars have a place and are very prominent at times, including some great riffs which bubble and soar underneath the electronics. Throughout the course of these 11 tracks, there’s not a single one which doesn’t feel vital and that’s a skill in this day & age.

Urie’s grown up a lot and that can be seen as his wife’s influence on him. The key theme throughout the album is indeed the Death of a Bachelor. Semi-autobiographical, the excess which has taken place has brought out the best Panic! At The Disco album since their debut. With a sold out Brixton Academy date already in the books, there’s the small matter of headlining the anniversary edition of Slam Dunk later in the year. This is an album that will be met with a universal love as well as a rapturous crowd on live dates. Panic! At The Disco are back and back at the top of the game.

ADAM ROSARIO

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