Oh man. Oh boy. Oh lady. Oh gal. Oh they. Oh them.
I’ve only been out of the UK three times, twice to Disney land and once to Germany. Panic! At the disco makes me feel travelled. It makes me feel old and wise and worldly. Lyrically, harmonically, emotionally I feel like I’ve been everywhere and this is only the first time I’ve listened to the full album through.
I am a life long fan. As hopelessly devoted as Sandra Dee. There are so many reasons for this, firstly; change. Every single album produced is so different and gives something new, exciting and different. I’m going to focus on Pray for the wicked in this review and stick to comparing it to post split Panic! To make it easier on myself more than anything.
Let’s start with the track list, my one dissapointment. Only 11? More please thanks. The vibe of the album progresses like a good night out, the excitement and high of preparing, predrinks, and hyping yourself up to leave the house. Moods brought to you by high hopes, hey look Ma, I made it and (f**k A) silver lining. And then you’re out and you’re mixing and it’s noisy and there’s a slight regret and you’re roaring (roaring 20s that is) and maybe you want to go home but the people around you are drunk and having a good time. When you’re in the roaring 20s you are convinced coming out was the best idea you ever made and you are feeling classy as fuck and you’re saying all the right things and making all the right moves because dancings not a crime and you’re on the high of your life (or you think you are but you’re just pumping with adrenaline and you feel great). Anyone who knows me should know that I’m talking about Aberystwyth so as well as taking me everywhere this album takes me home. The peak of being out is one of the drunks, you’re going home after this the mood is dipping into melancholy, you’re tired but euphoric. You know there’s a burger waiting for you in 24hr Spar. Track 8 is. Second wind because your friends all just took shots and a great song just came on and you’re back to dancing. The high lasts a track or two before Old fashioned, my current personal favourite. It feels old Hollywood. Edward Hoppers Nighthawks is brought to mind, it’s beautiful and familiar but completely new for Panic! And it makes me so happy to be alive. I feel it in my bones. Finally, you’ve had your burger, you walked along the sea to get home and watched people stumbled to and fro and you’re sad it over. It began and ended so quickly and you feel so melancholy but it’s the best feeling in the world.
It’s time to start it all over again.
The biggest difference between pftw and early post split albums is the style, vices and virtues felt like a story, death of a bachelor was one man’s journey into adult life (which felt all too real, despite the fact that I’m only 23 and not getting married). Pray for the wicked is a celebration of achievements with the fear of obscurity. A sentiment reflected in a few tracks is the idea that ‘you haven’t seen the best of me’ and I certainly hope not, if it can only get better I’m here for it. There are very few songs that inspire me to change , plenty get me moving (and boy can I move) but I rarely feel the inspiration and flutter of the heart that High hopes gives to me.
I’m slightly more qualified to talk about artwork than music as I have an A-level in art, pretty sure it was a D but which great artists were ever truly appreciated in their time? The album art is simple, heavy used of millennial pink (man knows his audience) the Illuminati style logo watermarked on the pages is a great touch and my favourite of all messages is the dedication to the fans. Brendon Urie has sustained, survived and thrived and grown into a marvelous front man. Unstifled and unashamed.
A lot of people like to complain that they’ve changed, they say the same about Fall out boy, good! Keep changing, yes a fever you can’t sweat out was and is iconic but that’s because it was relevant then Pray for the wicked is modern, stylish and different. The only thing I could ask for is more of it.
Find a more enthusiastic review than this; I dare you.