Panic! At The Disco loses some identity with this -still very good- new album.
Back to my high school years, while Panic! At The Disco was one of my favorite bands. I have to admit I kind of snubbed them since their split up (Ryan Ross, the former guitarist, was my favorite band member and I couldn't imagine the band existing without him), but I wanted to listen to this brand new album, just to see what it would be like.
The CD's title, Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die! already pleased me: it perfectly fitted P!ATD, addicted to XXL track titles quite as long as their whole songs. After reading the tracklist, I noticed that this point didn't appear anywhere else than on the album's title, all the tracks' names were quite short.
First listen, first impressions :
Let's make things clear: I like the album, and I find that it fitted well to the band's music tag, evolving without losing its original identity. But I don't find that the evolution is at their advantage for once. One song after another, I realized that I didn't really listen to Panic! At The Disco, but rather a band trying to sound like Fall Out Boy (P!ATD's mentors, who invited the band to play the opening of their last tour). It disturbed me a bit more, even if I also like Fall Out Boy.
Among my favorite tracks, I would quote Miss Jackson (undeniably the most "commercial" track of the album, which could be confused with a Fall Out Boy song, but I love it) and Casual Affair.
The End of All Things, the album's last song, is the traditional "closure" we can find on almost each band's album, a kind of melancholic old school ballad, which never really pleased me, true, BUT it's the band's hallmark, so that's a point for them (even if we could well debate the fact that all habits are not good to keep but that's not our point).
Brendon Urie's voice didn't change and is still nice to listen to. The instrumental parts tend to sound more pop than folk, while remaining very good. Regarding the lyrics, they stay quite faithful to the spirit of Panic! At The Disco: between tragedies, sarcasm and open letters to some kind of individuals.
I would recommend to all the former fans of the band to take a listen to this new opus. I think that if they do it right, P!ATD could soon intend to target a larger audience than the one of the previous albums... Even if they had to sacrifice part of their atypical personality and stop being outsiders for this purpose.