Sunday, March 23, 2008

Panic At The Disco's "Pretty. Odd." - A Song-By-Song Review


I got a copy of Panic At The Disco's new album "Pretty. Odd." about a week and a half before it's release on Tuesday, March 25th.
"Pretty. Odd." is Panic's follow up to their ridiculously popular A Fever You Can't Sweat Out from way back in 2005 (yes, it's been that long since the last Panic album).
To be honest, my first impression when I heard 30 second clips of each song was slight disappointment.
However after listening to the entire thing I completely changed my opinion and I can't get enough of it.

The title "Pretty. Odd." could also double as a description because this album definitely is odd upon first listening. You're waiting for the synthesizers and hypersexual lyrics and they never come!
But what does come is an awesome new experience that you really don't hear in mainstream music.
It starts out with We're So Starving which is a sarcastic song directed towards critics.
They claim in the song that they haven't changed, yet they've matured so much and it's very apparent as the album continues.
Nine In The Afternoon comes on next and as everyone already knows, it's a great song.
It's catchy and fun and just awesome.
Then She's A Handsome Woman is great too! As soon as the vocals start it's awesome! The chorus is catchy (and could double as the theme song for YouTube haha) and it was stuck in my head all of one day during the first week that I got the album.
Next is Do You Know What I'm Seeing? and it starts out sounding like it might be boring but it's definitely not. It's one of the catchiest ones on the whole album. The pre-chorus and the chorus are so cool sounding and fun to sing. The second verse (or post chorus or whatever it is haha) is my favorite part though. It's exciting x]
The second single from the album is That Green Gentleman and it starts off fun right off the bat. The song seems to basically describe how the band feel about themselves now that they've matured and moved on from their old album.
I Have Friends In Holy Spaces is short but fun, and it's the first of two songs that Brendon Urie has credits for as writer. It sounds like something you'd hear while sitting on a beach or something.
The next song is when you realize "okay The Beatles possessed Panic AT The Disco and wrote an album" because it sounds like something The Beatles might have cooked up. The lyrics in this song are the ones I've been singing to myself all day; "Hey moon, please forget to fall down. Hey moon, don't you fall down." And by the way, is that Ryan Ross I hear...? ;]
And then comes one of the best songs on the album, When The Day Met The Night. Quite possibly one of Panic's best songs on EITHER album, it starts out slow and pulls you in until it's got you completely hooked. The lyrics are really awesome and the beat is catchy as hell (especially at the breakdown or whatever you'd like to call it). The budget for the album probably skyrocketed when they recorded this song because there's so many horns and other crazy instruments in it. If this song doesn't have a music video attached to it by mid-summer then I'll be extremely surprised. I would not be surprised, however, if this one is the next single right after That Green Gentleman.
Then comes Pas De Cheval (Pronounced Pah-Duh-Shuh-Vahl), which starts out sounding like a Johnny Cash song and gets progressively better as it reaches the chorus. Ryan Ross is back to sing a bit in this one but don't think he's finished yet. ;] Also this song really makes me want to visit whatever place they sing about in the chorus...hahah.
Okay this is the first song that sounds like good old Panic At The Disco. The verses are almost eerie, but this is how you know that Panic hasn't changed as much as you think. This could have been on A Fever You Can't Sweat Out and no one would have thought any differently (although right before the chorus when the bells chime you might wonder if someone really likes Christmas...). I have to point out that the harmony on "of course" in each verse is really awesome.
Behind The Sea is a very different Panic song, but only because Ryan Ross takes over lead vocals for basically the whole thing. His singing is really fun to listen to, as is the song itself. The chorus is very catchy and the Melody of the song is awesome. The only part of the song I could do without is everything after about 2 minutes and 25 seconds into it. It's as though pirates invaded the Las Vegas studio they recorded in (before recording strings and horns at Abbey Road in London - yes, the one The Beatles made famous) and took over for a minute or so. The pirate-sounding thing was fun when Fall Out Boy did it on "Band The Doldrums", but it's kind of annoying in Behind The Sea. And believe it or not, that's one of my two only problems with "Pretty. Odd."! :D
When Folkin' Around starts, I feel like people are going to shake their heads in embarrassment. On it's first listen you'll wonder what the hell Panic was thinking when they wrote this. Either that or you'll wonder if they listened to The Beatles' song "I've Just Seen A Face" a few too many times! But after listening a few more times you'll realize it's a really good song. It's sort of goofy but it's alot of fun and you can tell through his vocals that Brendon enjoyed recording this one. But then again maybe he enjoyed it because this is the other song he has credits for writing...oh well, I still like it! x]
She Had The World is another song where you'll feel like you're back with the same old Panic At The Disco. It immediately brings an image of a Victorian House to my mind for whatever reason. Ryan Ross comes back in to sing a ridiculously catchy portion of the song, although the whole thing is catchy. The lyrics are great as well and you really pay attention to them as soon as Ryan starts to sing.
From A Mountain In The Middle Of The Cabins has a great title but a horrible intro. It sounds like a big joke when it starts (and that's my second and final problem with "Pretty. Odd."). However luckily it gets catchy and fun as soon as the vocals start. I can picture this one being alot of people's favorites although it was my least favorite when I first listened to the album.
And finally Mad As Rabbits takes us out of "Pretty. Odd." and it's a perfect song to close with. It's easily one of the best on the album and one of the best of Panic's songs in general. Ryan is back again to sing with Brendon and they do an awesome job together. It's extremely catchy and fun to sing along to and I think it's a great way to finish off the album.

All in all, "Pretty. Odd." will be hated by anyone who only liked Panic At The Disco for their techno sound and hypersexual lyrics. It will be loved by anyone who liked them for their clever lyrics and their catchy hooks because "Pretty. Odd." is just as full with both as A Fever You Can't Sweat Out was.
I really hope that everyone loves this album as much as I do because it'll be alot more fun than if everyone hates it (obviously?).
Either way, I'm really glad that it's as awesome as it is. While it is extremely different and unexpected, Panic At The Disco did an amazing job on it and they really deserve alot of praise. They've got the balls to do something so different with their music without worrying about whether or not people will hate them (which, like I said, lots will).
I think it's great that the band that went from nothing to mainstream literally overnight (thank you, Pete Wentz) did something so out there and crazy with their sophomore album. They've taken such a far step away from their old style and it's a really great step.

I hope you enjoyed reading my review! :D
Leave a comment and let me know what you thought of it if you'd like to!
And let me know what you think of "Pretty. Odd."!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

thanks for a really good review. i thought that it was spot on unlike a lot of reviews I've read about pretty. odd. i love this album and am so proud of panic for branching out. when i heard nine in the after noon and when the day met the night (totally my favorite song on the album) for the first time last September i thought it was going to be amazing (I'm happy that it exceeds my expectation) so when i started to read all theses really bad reviews it was getting me down, a lot. so thanks for giving a good one