Release Date: Oct 8, 2013
Record label: Atlantic
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Emo-Pop, Punk-Pop
Picking up where they left off on the synth pop and '80s new wave direction of their 2011 album, Vices & Virtues, Panic! At the Disco return with their fourth studio album, 2013's Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die! Still focused around the songwriting duo of lead singer Brendon Urie and drummer Spencer Smith, Panic! At the Disco also feature bassist Dallon Weekes, who joined as a full-time member in 2010. Ever since the original lineup of Panic! At the Disco split in half just after the release of their Beatles-influenced sophomore album, Pretty. Odd.
There probably are some people out there who don’t like Panic! At The Disco but they must lead horrible, hollow lives. The rock crowd get all het up about them mostly on the strength of their debut ‘A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out’ which was the soundtrack to many a sticky floored club around the middle of the last decade. Further afield, for every indier-than-thou numpty who thinks it’s clever to giggle at their glittery jackets and vocal histrionics there’s a fan who digs the Beatles-esque vibes of second record ‘Pretty.
Panic! at the Disco’s fourth full-length Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die! is as eclectic and diverse as anything we could’ve imagined, which was hinted at by the soulful lead single tease of “Miss Jackson.” Of course, by now we’ve learned to expect nothing less than the unexpected out of the quirky alternative band from Las Vegas. The group’s latest effort is noticeably inspired and shaped by Sin City’s gritty darkness as much as its glitz and glamour, hence it seems only fitting the album’s title is taken from Hunter S. Thompson’s novel Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
It took eight years, but this Sin City-born emo-glam squad finally made its Vegas Album. Brendon Urie sings about endless bed-hopping (faux-rap "Miss Jackson"), troubled love (disco dirge "Girl That You Love") and joyless smoking ("Nicotine") to catchy synth-rock nuggets adorned with drah-mah-tic flourishes. The title is via Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, but that bonus exclamation point is all Panic's.
Ever since its inception roughly ten years ago, Panic! At The Disco has continuously reinvented itself. Debut effort A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out was an endearing slice of catchy emo punk; sophomore LP Pretty. Odd. was a masterful ode to the colorful warmth of 1960s pop music, complete with plenty of orchestration and gripping harmonies; Vices and Virtues replaced some organic textures with electronic influences while maintaining fantastic songwriting.
After three albums, disparate directions and more lineup changes than the cabinet of a Republican presidency, Panic! At The Disco have completely hung up their steampunk wardrobes to deliver one of the year’s finest modern-pop works. On Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die!, Panic 2013—vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Brendon Urie and drummer Spencer Smith—sound as confident as ever, exploring moments of quirky dance tracks (“Vegas Lights”) new wave electro-pop (“Girls/Girls/Boys,” “Far Too Young To Die”), deep intrigue (“Casual Affair”) and aching poignancy (“The End Of All Things”). As a singer, Urie has never sounded more assured—and with good reason: P!ATD have made four albums that sound nothing like each other, yet they continue to pique the curiosity of ardent fans, vocal critics and an ever-growing crowd of folks that were late to their party years ago.