Panic! at the Disco: Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die!

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Posted September 7, 2014 by in Alternative
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Rating

Overall
 
 
 
 
 

3/ 5

Details

Genre: ,
 
Producer:
 
Label: ,
 
 
 
 
Genre: Rock, power pop, alternative
 
Producer: Butch Walker
 
Label: Decaydance, Fueled By Ramen
 
Format: Digital download, compact disc
 
Time: 32:32
 
Release Date: 8 October 2013
 
Spin This: "Girls/Girls/Boys," "Vegas Lights," "This Is Gospel"
 

Pros:

"Girls/Girls/Boys" is a definite pop-rock anthem and too impossible to shake; usage of '80's-powered synths are a nice addition to the band's evolution
 

Cons:

Lack of ballads, strays too hard away from PATD's early works
 

Synth-drven Eighties nostalgia rock enters into Panic’s celebratory nod of Vegas

by J Matthew Cobb
Full Article

Synth-drven Eighties nostalgia rock enters into Panic’s celebratory nod of Vegas 

After an abrupt lineup change leading up to 2011’s Vices & Virtues, Las Vegas band Panic! At the Disco pulled through while maintaining some of the posture of their earlier records. On their fourth disc, Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die!, the group abandons some of their narative gloom about Vegas culture by fully embracing it. Heck, they’re big boys now; they can participate in the revelry being twenty-something rock stars. Now with the raucous volumes turned up, Panic! frontman Brandon Urie and the songwriting collective are ready to play a serenade to their hometown. “Vegas Lights,” an obvious love letter to Vegas life, boasts mightily of their new home sweet home infatuation (“So give it to me now/We’re lost in a dream now”) while powered to a sexy rhythmic punch and ‘80’s synths. Then comes “Nicotine,” which accentuates a creepy piano pulse and dramatic guitars as Urie sounds off about the pleasurable temptations of around-the-clock sex. But absolutely nothing comes out of the gate as hard and as triumphant as “Girls/Girls/Boys.” It’s their pop-rock song winner, their crossover firework and possibly the most catchiest single to come out of their entire discography. The sexy D’Angelo-esque music video will probably grab the most headlines, but Urie hits those high notes on the chorus as if he’s channeling Freddie Mercury. That along with the cutesy retro video game bleeps is enough to turn this into a timeless sing-a-long.

That’s not to say that the rest of the disc disappoints. On the urban-ready, “Miss Jackson,” Spencer Smith’s pounding drums and smart lyrics powered by pop trivia (“Miss Jackson/Are you nasty?”). The title track marinates the edges of their youthful pop punk rock into OneRepublic pop. But when the disc fires up dark rock (“Casual Affair”) and robotic Madonna (“Far Too Young to Die”), Panic! At the Disco loses some of their glow and momentum. They also seem to dislike the use of ballads on this round, which may be the obvious glare from the set. Only the album coda – the vocodor-supported “The End of All Things” – fills that void. Still, it’s a set powered by high-energy rock, driven by orchestral arrangements and cocky pop. It’s a bit of an evolution for those still hungry for more of A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out and isn’t as versatile as their last set (Vices & Virtues), but it’s a different kind of record that feels just right for a Vegas rock band enjoying the decadence of Vegas life.


About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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