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FIRST IMPRESSION: Panic! At The Disco’s Pray For The Wicked

Since entering the music scene in 2004, Panic! At The Disco has brought songs filled with rhythm and upbeat tempos that urge the listener to dance about while repeating the catchy and well written lyrics that accompany them. Their latest album Pray For The Wicked releases on June 22nd and is no exception to this continual drive for excellence.

Back in March of this year, things began to happen… strange things. It all began with a video posted on Instagram of lead singer Brendon Urie brushing his teeth for 2 minutes and 20 seconds as the sounds of an orchestra filled the background. Fans soon noticed that the only consistent thing in the video outside of Brendon’s pearly whites was that the clock on the counter constantly read 3:19. That led fans to believe something new was coming soon, and most likely on March 19th. As it turns out, they were right because on the evening of March 18th, the band’s social media posted a flyer with a header reading “Pray For The Wicked”, inviting fans in the Cleveland, OH area to come and have their “prayers be answered” at a smaller venue in the area. Immediately following that announcement the world was soon given the hashtag #PrayForTheWicked with 3:21 attached indicating something more was in the works. Conveniently on March 21st the band released two singles into the universe announcing the upcoming album.

The lead single “Say Amen (Saturday Night)” introduces itself with a calm demeanor, then hits hard as we enter into the chorus. Words of encouragement ring throughout the track from a subject that finds no regrets of being who he is, proving that being true to himself and not changing for others is absolutely fine. It’s driven forward with a strong percussion section creating a drumline vibe that is reminiscent of a marching band. All of this is done while also offering a glimmer of belief in saying that he “prays for the wicked”. This line ties in with some of the band’s previous songs loosely based around religion including “This Is Gospel” and “Hallelujah” from previous albums. It was also mentioned in his announcement of the album, when Brendon said he “prays for all the wicked people doing wicked things and for all the good people doing good things”. Its classic Panic! At The Disco feel helped it climb the charts shortly after releasing.

The lead single was also accompanied by a music video that features the lead singer fighting off an army of robbers in an ever so elegant yet violent fashion. If you haven’t already, definitely take time to check out this insane music video. It even includes a guy getting stabbed in the face with a potato; if that doesn’t sum up today’s entertainment industry I don’t know what does. Also, for those true PATD fans out there you may wonder what happens after the event at the end of the music video! Well, you actually already know if you’ve watched the music video for “This Is Gospel” and “Emperor’s New Clothes”…

The second single was released on the same day and is actually the first track on the album. “(F*#k A) Silver Lining” comes in swinging and truly sets the tone for the entire album. In fact, if you listen closely at the very beginning you’ll even hear the intro welcome the old and the new fans of Panic! to their new musical playground. With fast tempos and instrumental choices that blow your mind, this entire album is a work of art and comes from the minds of some incredibly creative people.

Continuing through the bands sixth studio album you’ll find that all eleven tracks have the potential to become hits all on their own. From the electronic/techno feeling you get when listening to the story of success in a vicious music industry told in “Hey Look Ma, I Made It” to the motivational horn filled track that is “High Hopes”, this album has all you could ever want. Included on this album are some outstanding hits that are bound to fill the clubs and radio waves for years to come such as “Dancing’s Not A Crime” and “Roaring 20’s”, which does an incredible job of bringing a modern Sinatra-like swing dance vibe to a world that can often get caught up in the pop vocals and new age sounds. The same song even comes complete with a breakdown that feels like it should be paired with a line of dancers doing slow leg kicks in top hats on broadway, which could very well be inspired by Brendon’s role in the Broadway musical Kinky Boots.

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The second half of this musical journey does not let up as the unprecedented vocals of lead singer Brendon Urie brings an emotion to every song much like in “The Overpass”. A song which brings you into a city with not only its lyrics but its percussion section that creates an ambience much like one when you’d get when downtown, surrounded by street performers playing on buckets and tin cans. The album also finds Urie singing about liquid courage and its connections with some great times, and even some not-so-great moments in songs such as “One Of The Drunks” and “Old Fashioned”.

Closing out this roughly thirty-five minute package of awesomeness are “King of the Clouds” and “Dying In LA”, the first of which has a euphoric feel as an airy filled vocal performance serenades you and then brings you right into the world of falsetto which Brendon exceeds at dominating and truly lifts you into the clouds.

Then it all comes to a bittersweet end as you hear the piano in “Dying in LA” that shows the variety of magic this band can produce. This song proves itself as the neatly tied bow to wrap it all up, while explaining the perils and trials of the Hollywood scene. Of all the songs on the album, this one stands out the most because of its contrast from the rest. It speaks of the environment which fuels so many dreams but pairs with such a harsh dog-eat-dog industry. A line you won’t soon forget is the one where you hear “every face along the boulevard is a dreamer just like you”. Through the hurt filled lyrics the elegant orchestra finds a way to surround you and wrap you in its arms as this ballad progresses and creates a beautiful end to an incredible journey.

This album is done so well that it’s pretty much impossible to find a song that isn’t beyond amazing. As with most new release albums it comes paired with a tour. Make sure to get your tickets to the Pray For The Wicked tour, which kicks off this July and now features a second leg spanning all the way into early 2019. Also, be sure to stay tuned to the bands social media as cryptic messages continue to fill not only the web but billboards and mailboxes. That’s right, across many states fans kept seeing Billboards with the city names and a 6:13 tag. This ended up resulting up in the announcement of the second leg of their tour being announced on June 13th. When it comes to the mailboxes, some fans have even received potatoes shipped to them unexpectedly with images, lyrics and hints at the upcoming album. Yep, you read that right. The band sent fans potatoes with hints on them… now that’s a band that deserves everyone’s attention. Get out there and check them out on tour and make sure to check out the album when it drops on June 22nd.

 

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