Panic! at the Disco: Death of a Bachelor – review

Artist: Panic! at the Disco
Release Date: 15 January 2016
Genre: Pop, rock

Over 10 years since their first studio album, Panic! at the Disco return with a fifth instalment to their discography. The band’s style has transformed over the years, and it is clear to see with ‘Death of a Bachelor’ that they’re still experimenting.

The album begins with bang as ‘Victorious’ launches into an eclectic mix of rock and electro-pop. It’s hectic, it’s vibrant, and most of all it’s in your face – everything that Panic! at the Disco represent. My first thought was that it had a very similar effect to ‘American Beauty/American Psycho’ from Fall Out Boy’s album of the same name, which gives you an idea of how these old-school ’emo’ bands are reviving their style.

The first half of the album continues to fuse vintage Panic! with new experimentation. For example, use of sampling in ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’ helps deliver a contemporary style whilst fitting with their usual rock pop quota – similar to the contrasts featured in ‘Don’t Threaten Me With A Good Time’.

The song that really stands out, however, is the eponymous ‘Death of a Bachelor’. Brendon Urie’s vocals are almost angelic as they reach vast extremes of the spectrum, delivered incredibly smoothly and making it an easy listen. It’s a strong contrast from the rest of the album, yet has its own unique place.

Unfortunately this does not translate to some of the album’s latter tracks. Individually, they are extremely fluent and masterful pieces of music, but there’s a distinct lack of unity for the album as a whole; it feels as if the tracks making less of an impact have been pushed to the end of the album. In addition, ‘Hallelujah’ presents what is one of Panic! at the Disco’s most disappointing songs – musically, it’s extremely basic and much unlike Panic!’s usual, well, ‘panic’ of a song.

In summary, ‘Death of a Bachelor’ provides what could be some of Panic! at the Disco’s best music. It’s revived and promises potential, but retains the reminiscent character which makes Panic!’s music so unique. Unfortunately, the lack of unity as a compilation lets it down, especially for those (like myself) who prefer to listen to albums in one go. Saying that, on shuffle ‘Death of a Bachelor’ serves just as well as any former Panic! at the Disco album which can only give way to immediate praise.

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