Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Panic At The Disco: Pretty. Odd.

In the two and a half years since its multi-platinum debut, A Fever You Can't Sweat Out, threatened to eclipse the band—Fall Out Boy—whose bassist helped bring it to national attention, Panic At The Disco has done a lot more than strip the exclamation point from its name. In many ways, the PATD responsible for Pretty. Odd. (that gratuitous punctuation had to go somewhere) isn't even the same band whose keyboard-spiked nü-emo initially grabbed Pete Wentz's ears. Like My Chemical Romance before it, this Panic has "matured" via historical rewind button, only where MCR evolved under the harder-rocking influence of Queen, Pretty. Odd. takes production cues from George Martin and Brian Wilson. Nervous energy still crackles: "Pas De Cheval" and "Mad As Rabbits," in spite of their respective epic choruses and horn charts, should sate casual listeners looking for an obvious hit like 2005's "I Write Sins Not Tragedies." But the album's majority—all baroque orchestration (the horn- and string-rich "The Piano Knows Something I Don't Know") and multilayered, Sgt. Pepper-esque psychedelia (the lovely "She's A Handsome Woman")—demands far more than a casual listen. The question is, are the masses who initially embraced Panic At The Disco committed enough to give it one?


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