In Hear This, The A.V. Club writers sing the praises of songs they know well. This week, since we’re getting into the summer groove, we’re picking what we’d like to be this year’s song of the summer.
Panic! At The Disco, “Hallelujah” (2016)
The legendary summer novel F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby includes this line: “I always watch for the longest day of the year and then miss it.” This quote is poignant, since the day in question is the summer solstice, June 21. Fitzgerald equates summer with youth, because they both go by in a frickin’ heartbeat.
Fortunately, it’s only June 17. You still have time to make this the greatest summer of your life. Panic! At The Disco’s “Hallelujah” is the soul fuel you need to inspire you. Brendon Urie’s project kicked off 2016 with new album Death Of A Bachelor, and the single “Victorious” is currently clobbering the alt-radio airwaves. But “Hallelujah” is the album’s true high point.
Urie starts by announcing, over a Beastie Boys-sampled rolling drum fill: “A moment you’ll never remember, and a night you’ll never forget.” What more could you want from summer? He rallies the crowds like a desert preacher in a packed, dusty tent; he’s backed by some angelic gospel voices, a revved-up church organ, and a goddamn choir of a horn section, convincing everyone to embrace whatever’s right in front of their faces. If you can’t get out of the way, “let it move right through you.” If you’re still sad, “being blue is better than being over it (over it).” You’ve got scars; we’ve all got scars. But Urie is “sitting pretty” in his, ready to take on a brand-new day.
Summer is a time of rebirth and resurgence. If your last few wintry weeks sucked, Urie says, “You’ll never know if you don’t ever try again,” and these glorious, too-brief months are the perfect time to embrace your life and start over. When you falter, just give a listen to this three-minute carpe diem of an anthem. After all, September will be here sooner than you think. So go have the greatest summer of your life, okay?