Release Date: Mar 22, 2011
Record label: Fueled by Ramen Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Emo-Pop, Punk-Pop
Panic! At the Disco have invented a new genre: emo retropop. Vices & Virtues is the band's first album since becoming a duo (singer Brendon Urie and drummer Spencer Smith), and it's the closest emo has come to the sound of old-school pop and rock, with Beach Boys harmonies and even gypsy-style swing flavoring the usual hopped-up confessions. The group's old lyricist, Ryan Ross, is gone; these songs are missing some of the hyper mall-rat poetry that made Panic's first two albums such daffy fun.
One of the most forward thinking pop-rock acts around. When Panic! At The Disco exploded into the public consciousness back in 05 with ‘A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out’, no one could have guessed the path the group would take over the next half-decade. Their story is one full of theatre and unexpected twists – they’ve lost members, they’ve found members, they lost the exclamation mark then brought it back again; Panic! At The Disco have kept the internet gossipers gossiping since inception.
Reduced to a duo of Brendon Urie and Spencer Smith, neither of whom were primary songwriters during the band’s early years, Panic at the Disco pick up the thread they started with their skewed Beatlesque sophomore set, Pretty. Odd., and turn Vices & Virtues into a curious little nesting doll of an album. Elements of the band’s energetic emo are here, but it’s only one bit on a record that follows the kitchen sink aesthetic of Pretty.
Act III. The dimly lit stage is bare except for two forlorn but impeccably dressed bohemian gentlefolk. Having gained marginal social respectability with 2008’s Pretty. Odd. things were looking dandy for Panic at the Disco. Their delicious platter of Beatles-y “Strawberry Field” acoustics had ….
Down two members — but up one exclamation point — Panic! at the Disco return to the surging electro-emo sound that first made them Hot Topic heartthrobs on Vices & Virtues. The choruses are catchier than they were on 2008’s overblown Pretty. Odd. (Good luck forgetting ”Memories.”) But it’s easy to miss ex-guitarist Ryan Ross’ acid-wit lyrics; minus his touch, frontman Brendon Urie comes off like just another whiner with impressive guyliner.
You could almost write Panic! At The Disco’s career trajectory without listening to any of the records. World-conquering pseudo-baroque pop-rock record births second-album crisis, which yields slightly odd Anglophilia, which in turn leads to the main songwriter, Ryan Ross, parting company with the rest of the band. The result, one might predict, would be a flailing attempt to return to what made P!ATD great in the first place – ambitious, hook-filled pop songs that embrace the theatrical and the melodramatic.
After emerging as emo big hitters with 2005's platinum-selling A Fever You Can't Sweat Out, Panic at the Disco's 2008 album Pretty. Odd. saw them drop the exclamation mark in their name and switch to baroque classic rock. After the fans deserted – not in droves, but significant numbers – the band split in half.
Panic! At The Disco are a band with few saving graces. If you were to roll them through an algorithm of critical analysis they would suffer severe injury. Unlike that number crunching brute, I’m ashamed to say I’m a more forgiving creature. While acceptably comprehensible English isn’t their strongpoint they do have a knack for writing songs that burrow with a near parasitic resilience in your mind.
Last week, Rebecca Black became a sensation thanks to her single “Friday,” a catchy and unintentionally hilarious anthem that perfectly distills the literal-mindedness of teen-pop (the music video spells out her lyrics: “Today it is Friday…Tomorrow is Saturday, and Sunday comes afterwards”). Black, a product of Ark Music Factory, a label designed to produce the next Bieber-like YouTube child-star phenom, may be unaware of the many levels of irony inherent in her “success,” but that is, after all, part of what makes “Friday” so enjoyable: We’re made to think that Black, an accidental celebrity, is just like any other teenage girl who can’t wait for the weekend to finally come. When she sings the chorus, in that nasally, Auto-Tuned-to-oblivion voice, we believe her.
Panic!’s third album positions emo in a far happier place than a few years back. Sean Adams 2011 A lot has changed since Panic! at the Disco’s debut album, A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out, tumbled into record stores in 2005. The term emo has transitioned from a critic-hated rock sub-genre involving heartbroken groups such as Jimmy Eat World and Weezer, evolving to become an easily identifiable stereotype featured on Coronation Street.
When Ryan Ross and Jon Walker jettisoned Panic! At The Disco in July 2009, a question mark would have been an appropriate addition to the band’s punctuation-accented moniker. After all, Ross had been the group’s driving creative force and primary songwriter since their inception, placing the pressure squarely on the shoulders of Panic’s remaining members—frontman Brendon Urie and drummer Spencer Smith—to fill some positively massive shoes. As it turns out, the pair have handled the challenge better than anyone could have expected.Outside of the obvious personnel changes, Vices & Virtues is a new start for Panic! At The Disco.
Vices & Virtues is the eagerly anticipated third album from avant-garde alt-rockers Panic! at the Disco. It’s the follow-up to their 2008 sophomore effort Pretty.Odd, and their first since the departure of former chief lyricist Ryan Ross and bassist Jon Walker, leaving lead vocalist Brendon Urie and drummer Spencer Smith to fend for themselves. After many had written the band off, curious eyes and ears have been eagerly awaiting the band’s next career move.