After the disappointment of Panic! at the Disco’s previous album Pretty.Odd and two members departing from the band, the rock pop duo had to return with a new and exciting sound, and they certainly don’t disappoint with their new album Vices and Virtues.
Since their last album, lyricist and guitar player Ryan Ross and bass player Jon Walker both left the band as they stated that they wanted to “embark on their own musical excursion”. This could easily have ruined the band but change and innovation seems to be something Panic! at the Disco thrives on. After the theatrical, emo vibe of their debut A Fever I Can’t Sweat Out, Pretty. Odd took a more folk, acoustic sound which did not go down well with many critics or fans. However, PATD’s new album combines the theatrical pop rock of their debut with the more mature side shown in Pretty.Odd. Unlike Ross’ storytale style of song writing, Brendon Urie gives a more personal insight into his relationships and even writes about the two former bandmates in track quirky, upbeat track ‘The Calendar’. These more emotional, relatable lyrics give the band more of a connection to their fans compared to some of the more surreal lyrics and stories told in Pretty. Odd.
Similarly to the last 2 albums, Vices and Virtues does not just stick with one style of music and explores a range of different sounds and genres. The album kicks off with lead single ‘The Ballad of Mona Lisa’ which prepares the listeners for a whole new energy not shown in ‘Pretty. Odd’ with this theatrical rock pop song. Whilst, the next track ‘Let’s Kill Tonight’ is comprised of 80’s synth like guitar sounds, followed by ‘Hurricane’ featuring rousing drumbeats and anthem like choruses similar to tracks from their debut. However, Urie can not only right a good upbeat pop song, there are also more mellow, slower songs strewn amongst the album. ‘Sarah Smile’ is written for and about Urie’s girlfriend and features heartfelt lyrics such as “I was fine just a guy living on my own waiting for the sky to fall, then you call and changed it all” which shows just how versatile the band can be as each track sounds different from the last.
Although, Vices and Virtues may not necessarily gain Panic! at the Disco many new fans, it will certainly win back those who were disappointed with Pretty. Odd, as there is still a theatrical feel but with a more grown-up vibe. Whilst, Urie Brendon’s lyrics show the band still have a lot more potential and the quirky, upbeat melodies show Panic! at the Disco are better than ever, and far from over.