Album Review: Panic! At The Disco - Death Of A Bachelor

11 January 2016 | 1:45 pm | Hannah Story

"It's Urie's pure vocals that keep this together."

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Brendon Urie's latest record Death Of A Bachelor is short and snappy: an easy listen to open the year — nothing particularly progressive or inspiring here, but a bit of fun nonetheless. 

It's his fifth record (who saw that happening 11 years ago when A Fever You Can't Sweat Out was released?), less all his bandmates, with a returned exclamation point, and the same urge to experiment with genre as in all his records. He's shifted from the kind of baroque-pop of Panic!'s debut to classic guitar-rock to pop-punk to something synthy. Now we have the combination of cabaret elements (including horns!) with that synth-pop, the former evidenced on Hallelujah and album closer Impossible Year, the latter throughout the record, especially on singles like opener Victorious and Don't Threaten Me With A Good Time, which inspires an instant sense of familiarity, nicking its guitar line from The B-52's Rock Lobster. Both combine easily on the title track, which sums up the themes of the record — settling down, getting married, being in love, a sense of nostalgia for loves past —  things that make sense considering Urie is himself no bachelor anymore. 

This part-cabaret, part pop-punk album has all the elements to make it a bit of fun for a couple of listens, really ramping up in its second half, but it has no clear-cut bangers, although LA Devotee comes close — it's Urie's pure vocals that keep this together, yet he'll "never be Brian Wilson".