For Fans Of
Panic! at the Disco change their stylistic musically endeavours as often as most people change their socks. Although their albums have been fresh and inventive and oozing with creativity each time around, their newest release ‘Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die’ falls slightly off the mark this time. There’s Urie’s ever-present style, and you can tick off the catchy hooks and techno-rock vibes as well, but there’s something flat and uninspired about Panic! At the Disco’s 2013 offering, suggesting that the band may have finally exhausted all their options.
It isn’t often that the most memorable track comes at the end of the record, but this is the case for ‘Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die’. The first single from the album ‘This Is Gospel’ is monotonous and quickly gets old, and while the second single ‘Miss Jackson’ picks up the energy and rhythm a bit, it’s still mostly more of the same. It is to a great extent the lack of ambition and vigour in the album’s singles that makes the final track pack so much of the record’s limited punch.
The band channels the trippy, hollow and space-rock sounds of 80’s dance music in the crux of ‘Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die’. ‘In Vegas Lights’ and ‘The Girl That You Love’ are stylistically fascinating, as Urie lends his unique vocals to an oppressed, synthesized beat. However, rather than coming across as innovative and effective, the vital aspects of the tracks, the hook and the vocals, are squashed by the monotone that dominates the tracks, and as such, the album as a whole suffers.
The record is dragging its feet for the most part and although it is apparent in songs like ‘Casual Affair’ that Brendon’s lyricism is reflective of the highly noxious, high-speed nature of the celebrity rock star experience, this kind of a message has its limits in reaching out to its mostly teenage audience. Having said this, ‘Casual Affair’ becomes increasingly more addictive as the song progresses, and it may be that while the lyrics aren’t relatable, the hypnotic, technicolour nature of the song writing is just enough to carry the record on its own.
The End Of All Things, sees the record to a memorable conclusion. It’s a trance-like piano ballad with some delicate violins slipped into the woodwork, that produces the desired effect – the disbelief and adoration of crazed fans.
It’s likely that Panic! At the Disco play around with their sound in the way they do because it’s simply more interesting than resting on their laurels. It’s also likely that they feel safe in the knowledge that as long as they have a base of fans as dedicated to Brendan Urie’s hair cut as My Chemical Romance fans were to Gerard Way’s eye-liner, then they will be fine. ‘Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die’, while it has some flickering moments of value, is as nondescript and hazy as Panic! At The Disco will be in ten years time.
1 This Is Gospel
2 Miss Jackson (feat. Lolo)
3 Vegas Lights
4 Girl That You Love
7 Casual Affair
8 Far Too Young To Die
9 Collar Full
10 The End of All Things