The Death of a Bachelor is a solo album in all but name. Whilst he still performs under the Panic! At The Disco name, Brendan Urie, lead singer and general instrument master, is all that remains of your favorite masquerade emos. Whilst he has never been one to shy away, and has always attempted to push the boundaries of pop-rock with his music, The Death of a Bachelor finally sees Urie shatter the genre line beyond recognition. With only 3 other writing credits on the record, everything you hear is Urie. This album is his baby and through it he pulls in every influence and passion he has to create a glistening ode to decadence and excess.
Opening with ludicrous chanting and cheerleaders, ‘Victorious’ immediately starts the party which bursting bottles of champagne and shots all-round. And that’s just the start as well, with The Death of a Bachelor been a non-stop guide through each and every influence Urie has ever loved. There’s the party-pop gospel of ‘Hallelujah’, and even the swinging Sinatra styling of the title track. Each and every song comes packed with Urie’s trademark flair and energy, the ludicrous ‘Don’t Threaten Me With A Good Time’ singing about ‘champagne, cocaine, gasoline and most things in between’ over a sample of that B52’s riff. You can tell that Urie feels totally comfortable with this record, putting his incredible vocal range to use on every track.
The tongue-in-cheek cabaret of ‘Crazy=Genius’ is probably the closest this record gets to the band’s debut, A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out, everything else showing just how much this band have changed. That’s no bad thing though, with the dark nursery rhyme stomp of ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’, and the shining pop perfection of ‘LA Devotee’ been some of the best tracks Urie has ever written.
Unfortunately the album as a whole seems to suffer from a lack of focus, and although each and every track has its moment to shine, they don’t seem to stand together. This can be put down to the records Frank Sinatra moments, as Urie forgoes any of the records pace and energy to deliver tributes which feel out-of-place. And that’s where the issue with The Death of a Bachelor lies. Without other creatives to bounce off, Urie and his boundless ideas haven’t been reigned in, resulting in a messy final offering.
This record shows Panic! At The Disco at a turning point in their career. With the endless revolving doors of band members finally stopping, Urie has to decide where to go next. A journey through rock, pop, and everything in between, The Death of a Bachelor isn’t just about the passing of Urie’s youth, but also closing the door on a part of the band’s history. Is this the death of Panic! as well? Who knows. But it sounds like the party has quite possibly only just begun.
Released: 15th January 2016
Label: Fueled by Ramen
Check out: ‘Don’t Threaten Me With A Good Time’, ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’, ‘LA Devotee’