Las Vegas’ Panic! At the Disco released their fifth full-length studio album “Death of a Bachelor” Jan. 15, their first No. 1 charting on Billboard’s Top 200. It’s safe to say that the alternative rock band has come a long way since releasing their first LP, “A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out,” which featured the hit single “I Write Sins Not Tragedies.” “Death of a Bachelor” was released on Fall Out Boy Pete Wentz’s label DCD2, and is available for download or streaming on all major music services.
P!ATD has travelled a very long and tough road to get to the point of releasing this fifth album. Since the band’s formation in 2004, three of the original four members have either been fired or quit, the most recent of whom being Dallon Weekes, the band’s bassist. Weekes’ departure meant that Brendon Urie was the only founding member left standing. Despite this drastic lineup shift, Urie, along with the rest of his team, were able to achieve some impressive chart results from the LP’s singles. On the Billboard U.S. Hot Rock Songs chart, “Hallelujah” peaked at three; “Victorious” at seven; “Emperor’s New Clothes” at five; “LA Devotee” at 15; and “Don’t Threaten Me with a Good Time” at 10. These high-charting tracks generated hype across the nation for the album, and it definitely delivered.
“Death of a Bachelor” opens with “Victorious,” an absolute banger of a track, complete with a sing-a-long chorus filled with plenty of “oh’s.” Next up is another single, “Don’t Threaten Me With a Good Time” which features a surf electric guitar, typical pop four-on-the-floor piano, and some sort of accordion-like synth in the background. As strange as that mixture seems, the catchy hook of “Alright, alright, it’s a hell of a feeling though,” somehow perfectly fits into the puzzle, creating a second dance track. Another highlight from the song is the lyric, “I’m not as think as you drunk I am.”
The third song is the hit single “Hallelujah.” As the name suggests, it’s a gospel-inspired track that stays true to the familiar sound of the genre. With a supporting choir in the background of the chorus and a modern club drum back track, the vibe of the entire song is as though “Sister Act” and Fall Out Boy decided to cover and remix some Sarah McLachlan songs. The result of which is pure genius and will end up on repeat for a long time to come.
Other notable tracks include “Crazy=Genius” and “Impossible Year.” The former is gypsy-jazz influenced with a quick two-step drum beat similar to that of Caravan Palace. The vocal melody is similar to early P!ATD’s works, but features much stronger vocal techniques and lyrics. Standout lyrics include “You’re so normal that you just disappear,” and “But you don’t seem to change when you stuff all of your feelings with drugs.” In the latter of the two tracks, “Impossible Year,” Urie sounds like a modern day Frank Sinatra. His crooning and deep tenor melodies captivate the listener while soaring over James Bond-esque underscoring.
The Triangle was able to catch up with singer-songwriter Lauren Pritchard in an email interview, in which she was able to offer additional insight into the making of the album. The title track, “Death of a Bachelor,” plays fifth on the album and was co-written by Brendon Urie, Jack Sinclair and Pritchard (a.k.a. LOLO). “The inspiration comes from being totally okay with being in love. When it’s real, there’s no reason to shy away from it,” Pritchard wrote, describing how the smooth groove of the song lures you in and Urie’s sultry voice sets the hook. Her other credits on the album include “Emperor’s New Clothes,” and “The Good, the Bad and the Dirty.” Pritchard has previously worked with Panic! At the Disco and her vocals were featured on their 2013 hit single “Miss Jackson.” When asked about what the process was like this time around, Pritchard said, “It was very collaborative. I’ve spent a few years now working with the Panic! family and it was great to get back in the room and get involved. Brendon has an extraordinary talent and it’s fun to write with/for someone like him.” Pritchard’s favorite track on the album is “Death of a Bachelor” because, “it takes you on this dreamy, twisted journey of love. And I love it. And Brendon’s voice sounds insane.” Pritchard is currently in Los Angeles finishing up her new full-length album, which will also be released on DCD2 later this year.