I’m sticking with the “favorite bands” thing for these first few track-by-tracks. Up next: Panic! At the Disco. While technically the band is really just one member, Panic! still counts as a band to many people.
Death of a Bachelor is the fourth studio album by Panic! at the Disco, released earlier this year. It was the first album to be recorded without original drummer Spencer Smith, who left the band in April 2015. Frontman and singer Brendon Urie, in an interview with iHeartRadio, has described the sound of this album as ranging from “anywhere from jazz, to rock, to new wave, to hip hop, and everywhere in between. But I guess I would describe it as Panic! 2.0.”
When this song was first released as a single, I could not really get into it. It just didn’t catch my ear. But it grew on me and now I love it. Fun fact: according to Brendon, when they were recording this song in the studio, he almost passed out recording that one really long note in the beginning of the song.
2. Don’t Threaten Me With a Good Time
LOVE. THIS. SONG. I had a feeling it would be become a music video, the sound and lyrics are too perfect to just be a normal track. So imagine how psyched I was when the music video was released–and it had paranormal, dark stuff happening. It was classic Panic!; my only complaints are that we didn’t get to see Brendon in a wedding gown or heels! “Don’t Threaten Me with a Good Time” samples B-52’s song “Rock Lobster” (thanks to my dad for this tidbit!)
First off, the music video is pretty trippy. It makes me think of some of the Pretty. Odd. music videos. Interesting fact: when talking about this song, Brendon mentioned how, having grown up in a religious Mormon household, “hallelujah” was always such a strong word. He personally “learned [the meaning of the word] through music instead of religion.” Something about that last bit just caught my attention and cast some of this song into a different light. Additionally, the lyric “under the covers with secondhand lovers” is a mini-reference to Elton John’s “I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues.”
4. Emperor’s New Clothes
I love how this video picks up where the video for “This is Gospel” left off. I have my fingers crossed that a future music video will pick up where this one left off! It did not surprise me one bit that Brendon decided to transform into a demon of sorts. The whole video made me think a lot of “A Nightmare Before Christmas,” particularly the part with the singing skulls. I found a funny tumblr edit on social media a while ago, where someone joked that the skulls were the three original members (Ryan Ross, Spencer Smith, Jon Walker) of the band.
This is one of two tracks on the album that are heavily influenced by the sound of Frank Sinatra. “Death of a Bachelor” has a semi-upbeat tone to it. The song is sort of self-autobiographical to Urie’s life. In the time period between Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die in 2013 and Death of a Bachelor, Brendon married his wife Sarah. The title is meant to represent the huge life change Urie underwent upon marriage. The song sort of makes it soung like a bad thing, but when you look at the lyrics aside from the song–and at the meanings, plus images of how Brendon looks at his wife–you realize that Urie does not feel as negative as the song sounds. Also, in addition to the music video, enjoy this live video of Urie being his natural self while singing this track. Also, watch it just to hear him naturally hit those high notes. Wow.
This is definitely one of my favorite Panic! tracks, both on the album and in general. I love how the song has a vintage swing music sound that’s simultaneously contemporary. It is sheer genius and total Panic!. I found this awesome article by Clifford Stumme where he did this really interesting and quite accurate interpretation of the lyrics. According to Stumme, the song is about a girlfriend telling her boyfriend he’s boring and him arguing back that he’s “the “rocket scientist” equivalent of crazy.” It also finally explained the Mike Love, Dennis Wilson, and Brian Wilson references, who were all members of the Beach Boys.
7. LA Devotee
I absolutely love how the song is so lighthearted and even Brendon has stated that it’s supposed to be “a love letter to Los Angeles” (iHeartRadio). And then you have the music video which is super weird and dark, and includes that actor who portrays Will in “Stranger Things.” It’s the best kind of contrast ever. (Also, I have never seen “Stranger Things”…should I?)
8. Golden Days
The following tweet is from Urie, who states one of his favorite lyrics from this album. “Golden Days” honestly is an underrated track on this album. The track is about looking back at old mementos–in this case, old Polaroid shots of one’s younger years–and remembering those “golden days” of how things used to be. In this song, he’s promising to “repaint” these memories for someone: although whether it’ll be true to how things actually went, though, is non-discernible. The “Farrah Fawcett” reference is alluding to the typical 1970s hair (think Laurie from “That 70s Show”).
9. The Good, the Bad, and the Dirty
This is another song I could see becoming a music video. I’m surprised it hasn’t gotten the music video treatment already, but who knows? Musically, it is similar ‘s a lot like “Don’t Threaten Me With a Good Time,” and is very reminiscent of the sound heard on Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die, particularly “Miss Jackson.” The lyrics are interesting. One line in particular caught my eye: “I know what it’s like to have to trade/The ones that you love for the ones you hate.” The song is about the cycling in and out of band members. Enjoy the following clip of Brendon explaining how he came up the lyrics.
10. House of Memories
“House of Memories” is about a past relationship that the singer is recalling: although like in “Golden Days,” it’s possible he’s not remembering it properly. He’s begging the girl to remember him even “when your fantasies/Become your legacies.” What I love about this track is how Brendon could have taken a more whimsical musical spin, but he went with a more dark sound. I love how he describes it though: see the video below to hear it and I bet it’ll make you laugh too.
11. Impossible Year
“Impossible Year” is the saddest and most solemn track on the album. You kind of have to be in a certain mood, and definitely have to be prepared, in order to listen to this song. I do love how Brendon went for a very classic, Frank Sinatra-era-crooner kind of sound. It’s just so him, plus I know how much he admires and looks up to Sinatra. Perfect way to make a tribute to Sinatra’s music. What I also noticed about this track is that it’s the second Panic! album to closeout with a slow, sad-sounding song. On Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die, the last track is “The End of All Things,” which Brendon once told Billboard could possibly be the song he’d want played at his funeral.♫
And there it is! I hope you liked this post–if you did, give this blog a follow! I’d also head over to the Say Hello! page and follow me on social media to get regular updates about future posts!
**Note: I went to add the iHeartRadio interview link, but it is my belief that the article was removed as I could not find it.