Album Breakdown: Death Of A Bachelor (Review)

Okay, so I know I’m a bit late on this one. Trust me, I’ve been wanting to get to this fantastic album more than anyone, believe me. Death Of A Bachelor is a fascinating album with tons to offer, and even more to get excited about. It showcases the singing talents of Brendon Urie so well, and reminds you of the variety of music that Panic! At the Disco is capable of producing. While the album has a mostly swing or big band feel, there are some definite glam rock and punk rock influences touching the mid to late tracks on this album. I didn’t think I would enjoy it as much as I did, but months after its release, I’m still finding so much fun and energy in tracks that I go back to and really examine with a critical ear.

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I think what’s so important about this album is the idea that it really is more of a showcase album. There aren’t any edgy political themes. There aren’t any singles that are looking to change the world nor the genre of music that they’re associated with. The title track, Death of a Bachelor is a simple swing song that focuses heavily on Brendon Urie’s smooth voice and allows him to carry the melody as he’s accompanied by a pretty generic, Frank Sinatra-esque swing beat in the background. I say beat because the one gripe that I have is that a lot of these tracks do feel a little overproduced, sometimes using a bit too much auto tune or conversely relying on an extremely heavy composition to balance out a lack of lyrical diversity.

On the other hand, you do get some extremely catchy and fun glam rock tracks. LA Devotee was one that I particularly loved, as the heavy horns and pounding drums lend to a song that makes you want to get up and dance. Emporer’s New Clothes is a more modern track, and has a much more progressive rock feel than anything else on the album, lending to the diversity that the overall piece produces. Speaking of the diversity, a lot of folks want to use it against Panic on this album, and I definitely couldn’t blame them. Yes, I enjoy the diversity, but I can concede that it doesn’t exactly have a clean feeling. The piece jumps from genre to genre and style to style never really feeling as though the songs are linked. Occasionally it feels like I’m listening to two or three separate albums, ultimately feeling disjointed.

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For those who are fans of the new alt rock wave that has swept over pop rock and progressive rock, I think this album is for you. At the same time, longtime Panic fans will enjoy Brendon’s continued chops shining through on this album, and the large catalogue of diverse and well put together songs that are available for consumption on here. Personally, this made me a Panic fan, and I can’t wait to see what the group does next.

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