Album Review: Pretty. Odd. – Panic! At The Disco

The album art.
The album art.

Panic! At The Disco released their debut album in 2005 after getting signed to DCD2 records by none other than Pete Wentz. Pete claims that when he first flew the band out to California, the lead singer, Brendon Urie, then 17, stayed up all night because he was ‘so excited he didn’t have to listen to his parents’.

17 year old Urie stepping off of the tour bus with a pack of Capri Suns.
17 year old Urie stepping off of the tour bus with a pack of Capri Suns.

And despite their young ages, the group soon garnered a large fanbase. To date, the official band Twitter account has over one million followers. This is an impressive feat for a band whose style follows what seems to be the Fueled by Ramen trademark – lyrics clearly written by the band themselves, unorthodox melodies and music videos that probably don’t even make sense to their closest friends. Needless to say, Fueled by Ramen is on the far alternative side of popular music today.Starting out with the track We’re So Starving, Pretty. Odd. has a sound rivaled by no other. Within the first thirty seconds, it is clear that Panic! has an extraordinary lead vocalist, the one and only Brendon Urie. Powerful guitar riffs and killer drums complete the sound, adding in harmonies. However, the song ends abruptly at 1:21, going into Nine In The Afternoon. Upon first hearing this one, it’s bouncier, in a way, than the first track. With noticeable piano and strings, it is different than their traditional style, yet still features the harmonies, belting, and steady beat that trademarks Panic!. At only two minutes and thirty four seconds long, Nine In The Afternoon is longer than We’re So Starving, but still fairly short. However, at 3:11, She’s a Handsome Woman is much longer. The fifth track, That Green Gentleman, starts off with acoustic guitar and the opening lyrics that are the closest any song has come to referencing the title of the album (“things are shaping up to be pretty odd”). The chorus is one that many of the fanbase connect with (“things have changed for me/and that’s okay”), and the whole song is a feel-good track. With layered audio in the last minute or so, Urie shows off his impressive vocal capabilities. The next track, I Have Friends In Holy Spaces, starts with a staticky sound that goes into what sounds like a muffled ukulele and Urie showing off his falsetto, before adding in a saxophone and trumpet. At the end of the song, there’s applause before going into an echoey, muffled sound of people singing a completely different song that is much slower. This leads right into the next song, Northern Downpour, which is the slowest on the album and soon reveals itself to be the muffled song that was heard at the beginning. The slowest and most melancholic track, Northern Downpour is famous in the fanbase for being the song to bring most people to tears. Incredible skill on every instrument featured shows what a force to be reckoned with Panic! is. Layered audio once again appears to finish the song off before it fades into silence. The next few songs are all unique and a bit strange, before going into the slightly odder closing track, Mad As Rabbits.

All in all, Panic! At The Disco are steadily rising in popularity. And with Brendon Urie’s obvious talent and frequent knack for connecting with fans through Periscope, it’s really no surprise.

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