Panic! at the Disco has had a rocky history at best, with only one of the original four members remaining. Despite the internal difficulties, the band continued to put out albums, each with a drastically different sound than the last. However, Brendon Urie, now a solo act, though he still uses the Panic! moniker, has finally come into his own. “Death of a Bachelor,” not only shows of Urie’s incredible vocals, but his personal style as well.
“Hallelujah,” the first single, followed a similar sound to the previous album, allowing a smooth transition into the band’s new direction. The track tested Urie’s vocal range, though, a bit too much in some places. During the chorus, some of the “hallelujahs” don’t sound quite as angelic as Urie meant. The lyrics, however, really show Urie’s talent as a songwriter.
The music video for the second single released showed a “Victorious” Brendon Urie in a boxing ring as he beat his competitor, and, eventually, faced a breakup with his girlfriend (metaphor, anyone?). The video then follows Urie as he copes with it and moves on with his life. If the video itself wasn’t triumphant enough, the song’s beat makes it a great addition to any “conquer the world” playlists.
Panic! at the Disco’s new triumphant vibe continues on the first promotional single for the album, “Emperor’s New Clothes.” The track, and accompanying music video, put a darker spin on the children’s tale of the same name. The song itself is well put together. Urie’s vocals mixed with the backing chorus set the song up with an eerie vibe that is different enough between the verse and chorus to keep the listener’s ears sharp. However, if you want to get the most out of this single, you have to watch the video, which ties in parts of the music video for “This is Gospel.” The rest of video keeps up the spooky vibe in a way Panic! at the Disco hasn’t done before. The effects and makeup, though not Hollywood level, are impressive, and Urie’s spastic dancing really blows the video out of the water.
There is, of course, a negative to the album. Before the album dropped, fans were creating a buzz about it being a tribute to Frank Sinatra, which is misleading. At least, until you get to the title track, “Death of a Bachelor.” The track definitely shows Sinatra’s influence on Urie’s singing, and the instrumentation and tone give the song a definite Sinatra-meet-2015-pop quality. The only other track that could be compared to a Sinatra song is “Impossible Year,” and while Urie’s voice is perfect for Sinatra’s classic crooning, if you go in expecting a Sinatra album, you’re going to be disappointed.
The rest of the album is, unfortunately, lackluster. The singles set it up to be a powerful and exciting album, but some of the tracks feel unpolished. “Don’t Threaten me With a Good Time,” for instance, doesn’t feel cohesive. The intro and chorus feel like they belong to two different songs, and the lyrics aren’t nearly as good as the other tracks (“I’m not as think as you drunk I am”).
Top Tracks: Emperor’s New Clothes, Victorious, Death of a Bachelor
Verdict: The singles set the stage for an incredible album, but the rest of the songs didn’t quite deliver. However, Urie’s voice continues to impress, and he has definitely found his niche.