Fans of the foursome that created the ragtime and techno inspired album A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out will be pleased – recently renovated band Panic! At the Disco has returned with upbeat tempos in Vices and Virtues.
The opener “The Ballad of Mona Lisa” kicks off the album with a bouncy pop-rock inspired sound. “Mona Lisa” is also the first single from Vices – and sets the mood for the whole album. In the second track “Let’s Kill Tonight,” lead singer Urie wails, “May your feet serve you well/ And the rest be sent to Hell/Where they always have belonged/Cold hearts, colder songs.” The nature of these lyrics can be interpreted in many ways, but it’s clear while listening to this album that the boys of Panic! have moved on, and encouraged everyone else to do the same.
There are a slew of other songs in-between covering topics of love, progress and the past, but the most outstanding track on the album is by far “Nearly Witches (Ever Since We Met).” The song starts off with a French children’s chorus, and then switches over to a driving beat and whimsical melody. The chorus changes the whole direction of the song – slowing it down to a meaningful ballad with strong background harmonies. The switch isn’t for long though, whereas the heavy beat returns quickly. The song continues to alternate between the slower chorus and quicker verses, eventually swelling into a climactic ending that references lyrics from the first track on the LP.
It’s clear after one listen to the new album that the split was a good thing. For both the fans and the band it wasn’t easy, but the personal and musical growth the two remaining members of this band have gained are extremely apparent in Vices.