“Oh, how it’s been so long, we’re so sorry we’ve been gone, we were busy writing songs for you.”
These are the first lyrics heard on Panic at the Disco’s second album, Pretty. Odd, in an attempt to justify their lengthy absence from the lime light.
Panic’s second album, which comes roughly over two and a half years after their first release, brings about a drastic change in their sound through progression and maturity (note: the dropped “!” from their name.) The sound on Pretty. Odd. is so foreign from Panic’s first release, A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out, that the album’s well being amongst fans might be a hit or miss situation.
Pretty. Odd. replaces past synth lines with a string and horn section and past techno beats with actual guitar solos. And to be quite honest, I could not be more impressed.
It seems that Panic has discovered the one thing that most bands in the emo scene are struggling to discover, and that is, that this genre is not going to last.
Power chords, broken-hearted lyrics, and whiny vocals are not going to define a musical generation, and boy do I respect Panic for trying to craft the music that they want to. Pretty. Odd. may have well been made in the 60’s, as most forms of media are accusing Panic of trying to rip off, of all bands, The Beatles. Although, Pretty. Odd. has slown down from Panic’s first release, it is pretty absurd in my book to compare them to The Beatles.
The thing that I enjoyed the most about Panic’s newest album is that you can tell they worked on all aspects of the music, as opposed to just trying to make a “catchy” song.
Many times throughout Pretty. Odd. I was very impressed with the way Panic showed that not only can they make good music, but they can play their instruments pretty dang well too, which is very rare in music these days. Many people may have some resentment towards Panic at the Disco, but I ask anyone listening to Pretty. Odd. for the first time, to listen with an open mind and with out any bias towards these guys.
The album presents a wide array of songs, almost making it impossible for someone not to find a song they like.
The crowd favorites will inevitably end up being the upbeat songs such as: “Nine in the afternoon” and “The Green Gentlemen.” But, make sure not to limit yourself to just these songs as the album provides many other solid tracks.
The sing-a-long, “Northern Downpour” is by far my favorite on the album, “Behind the Sea” presents some wonderful lyrics once again showcasing Panic’s bitterness towards religion, and “Do You Know What I’m Seeing” provides a great chorus infused with surprisingly, a harmonica.
One thing that is noticeably different on this album is how Panic incorporated guitarist/songwriter Ryan Ross into the vocal spotlight. Surprisingly Ross has his own song on the album, entitled, “Behind The Sea” and handles the vocals very, very well. Ross is also found singing on numerous other tracks, acting as if he was the lead singer himself.
In the end, Panic At The Disco’s latest release Pretty. Odd. is a bold statement, to say the least. Really, only time and feedback will let Panic know if their new sound will be praised or detested. And honestly, it may become trendy in this genre to change your sound and try and emulate the classic rock era. But, at least these kids out of Las Vegas will be able to proudly say they made the music they wanted to make, regardless of what anyon else thought.