By Acadia Otlowski
This album, based off a quote from famous writer Hunter S. Thompson, is a usual for Panic! At The Disco. That is, the album is nothing like any of their previous albums. The bands first album, A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out, can only be described as theatrical. This theater morphed into a throwback from the 1960’s in the bands sophomore album, Pretty. Odd. With the departure of founder Ryan Ross and one other member, the band’s third album Vices & Virtues, the theatrics were back with a steampunk/alternative rock edge.
Then there’s Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die. This album is electronic, a radical shift from anything Panic! has done in the past. The first two songs run along a similar vein as Vices & Virtues. They are alternative rock at its finest, with catchy lyrics that invite the listener to sing along. Both songs that open the album were released as singles previous to the publication of the album.
This style is familiar to many fans. Then, the song “Vegas Lights” begins, and a radically different version of Panic! At The Disco emerges. The song begins with a group of what sounds like young girls counting down numbers. This immediately turned me off as a listener, but the more times I listened to the album, I found that the voices had a rhythmic quality that I really enjoyed. This then leads into the an electronic introduction. Previous to the release of the album, lead singer Brendan Urie stated that this album would be different, that it would have electronic elements. Many bands have gone this route, and it has destroyed the originality of quite a few. This is not the case here. “Vegas Lights” quickly grew to be one of my favorite songs on the album, for its shear originality.
When I first listened to the album, “Nicotine” stood out to me. A quiet piano introduction soon escalates into a fast moving metaphor of love and nicotine. Urie masterfully combines the two concepts, using the concepts of the taste of cigarette smoke, drags, and hits, all in comparing the addictive qualities of nicotine to his unhealthy love for the subject of the song. The song moves between fast and slow tempos, bringing the listener on a journey of ups and downs.
“Girls/Girls/Boys” is by far the most racy song on the album, not just because of the “revealing” nature of the music video that accompanies it. The song describes a girl who has a girlfriend without the knowledge of the public. Urie speaks to her, saying that he doesn’t want to be her boyfriend, but he’ll be there if she changes her mind. The song didn’t catch my attention until I looked at the lyrics and I think that it’s an interesting addition to the album.
The last song on the album is “The End Of All Things.” A sharp contrast to the rest of the album, this song is composed of Urie’s wedding vows. The song is slow and beautiful, ending the album on a quiet, solemn note.