I’ve been stoked about this album for a while now since this band always delivers. It may be a different sound than what they’ve put out before, but the content is always top notch. My excitement about this album though was immediate, and grew exponentially, with each release of new videos and music. Since the album is officially out today, I thought I would give a review/ rundown of each track.
1. “This Is Gospel” 4.5/5
The music video really sold me on this song. Brendon Urie’s performance vocally as well as in the music video is amazing. I am especially privy to “these words are knives/ that often leave scars.”
2. “Miss Jackson (feat. Lolo)” 3.5/5
Although this was the first single released from the album and the music was very interesting, I’m not exceptionally in love with it. It is very catchy–“goddamn but I love her anyway”–but I don’t think it does at much work as some of the other tracks when you consider all the parts working together in some of these songs.
3. “Vegas Lights” 5/5
The intro for this song is class Panic! At the Disco. I love how it carries throughout. This track has a very infectious beat and feels like a party that everyone wants to be a part of. The lyrics are catchy, but also intelligent–“affectations” is used. This track, more than the others, seems to really speak to the Las-Vegas-as-an-inspiration that fueled this album. It is a very good commentary on the generic Las Vegas experience.
4. “Girl That You Love” 4.5/5
I think most of my love for this song comes from the fact that it reminds me of something from the Drive soundtrack. The electronic influence heard throughout this album is especially strong on this track without completely tearing away from the band’s expected sound. However, I don’t feel that the lyrics in this song are as strong as in some of the others. The “followed her/ followed her/ followed her home” is beautifully eerie and in some ways makes me want to take a night drive just for the shear joy of passing people and lights.
5. “Nicotine” 5/5
This might be on the strongest tracks on the album. I loved it from the first time I heard it. It reminds me a lot of their song “Hurricane” from their previous album. This band knows how to make an extended metaphor sexy. The beats that drive it as well as Brendon Urie’s vocals really set the tone of addictions and the frustrations that come with it.
6. “Girls/Girls/Boys” 5/5
The opening sounds doing a lot of work for setting this song up. The vocals and catchiness of the chorus– for instance, “girls love girls and boys/ love is not a choice”–seal the deal. Better yet, the music video that was released yesterday for it was to die for. A seductive song that seduces the listener. Absolutely delicious.
7. “Casual Affair” 4.5/5
Although this might not be as satisfying as the previous track, the electronic sounds and the atmosphere created as beautiful. This track plays more like a contemporary orchestra performance than anything. Only recently did I notice the whispers, which occur around 2:09 that say “I did it/ I did it/ I did it/ I did it again.” That little aural candy really makes this song and underlies the premise of the song. The piano at the end also does great things for the song and really ties the track up nicely.
8. “Far Too Young To Die” 4/5
As the album starts to slow down, the beats and electronic effects really keep this song moving. The flow of the lyrics also helps keep up the momentum. Although this isn’t a bad track in the least, it pales in comparison to the faster, sexier sounds that precede it. The melancholy turn is expected, but not necessarily wanted. Its part in the narrative of album fits.
9. “Collar Full” 3.5/5
The alliteration “I’ve got a collar full of your chemistry from your company” is definitely one of the high points in this track. It is a peppier approach to the melancholy introduced before it. In some ways, it feels a little out place in the album’s story, although one could see it as a plea for a second chance at a relationship. Another weakness of this song is that the lyrics are very simple compared to the complexities Urie usually produces.
10. “The End of All Things” 3/5
From the start, this song sounds like an end-of-the-album song, which almost makes it unsatisfying. Likewise, the effects on the vocals seem to take away from Urie’s natural vocal abilities. The slow, somber tone does not pack quite the punch I was hoping for upon finishing the album. This isn’t the kind of song I necessarily want from this band, because I know that they are so gifted at louder, bigger songs. Still, I understand the need to write about all different emotions using a multitude of sounds.
This band and this album know how to pack a punch while consistently delivering intelligent lyrics and enjoyable sounds that seduce the listener and invite them to dance. The only pitfalls are when the expected complex lyrics and energy are not delivered and instead offer catchy melancholy that doesn’t fit the desires set up by the rest of album. Still, this album is worth a listen because it is very strong and worth baptizing your ears in.