Listeners who haven’t paid much attention to Panic! at the Disco since “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” may be intrigued at the band’s new album, Death of a Bachelor, but those who have been following the jarring genre changes that have represented the following releases will not be remotely surprised.
The album somehow combines elements of 80’s pop, hip hop, rock, and Frank Sinatra-esque lounge and swing music to form one sound, which is surprisingly successful, even if it does seem to drag on. There are ups and downs to the record, but it never seems to reach a climax.
Since putting out the most recent album, Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die, in 2013, Panic! at the Disco has shrunk to just one solo member, Brendon Urie, which may account for the flatness throughout the newest release. Although Urie’s talented and powerful vocals compliment the music well, he may have yet to find the extent of the new direction he is taking his band.
The album is by no means a complete flop. High points include the first single released on the album, “Hallelujah,” and the title track, “Death of a Bachelor.” The latter showcases both the most successful modern twist on jazzy big band music that the album has and arguably Urie’s most impressive vocals on any Panic! at the Disco album released to date (the only other contender for this title may be the closing track, “Impossible Year”).
Brendon Urie has some way to go to explore his new songwriting freedom, but he has still crafted an original and enjoyable album.