'Victorious' is disappointing at first but has potential.
At first listen, the bizarre cheerleader hook at the start and tacky sounding synths give no indication that this single is anything like the old Panic!. While the revert back to a dark minor key is some relief from the electronic showiness of ‘Too Weird To Live, Too Young To Die’, I couldn’t help but feel like both the track and Brendon are trying too hard from the start to achieve a party anthem.
This track is both noisy and hollow at the same time, the band having come a long way from the accordions and bells of their first album, this time settling into a mix of synths and percussion. Like the previous single, ‘The Death of a Bachelor’, this felt a little like an unfinished demo without all the instrumental touches Panic! At the Disco fans are used to, the track sounding almost empty if it wasn’t for Brendon’s powerful voice, the redeeming feature of the single.
It’s these vocals that really save it, along with lyrical mentions of “guillotines” and “broken Christmas lights” that fly somewhat under the radar at first listen, in amongst the beat and champagne, adding some slick depth to the otherwise glitzy pop theme; that bit of grit shining through after a few listens.
So despite the disappointment at first glance, this track could actually be a grower, as most other fans seemed to have grasped already, ‘Victorious’ being welcomed with open arms by most, although not so much by critics (or myself). But as the nostalgically dark lyrics and the jaunty riffs filter through the chirps of the cheerleaders and the shrieks of the synths, you come to realise that although it’s not the asbestos and formaldehyde of ‘Fever’, this lovechild of the emo legends and their Vegas lights incarnation may not actually be a bad thing after all.
‘Victorious’ is out now via Warner.