Panic! At the Disco
is a band with an interesting background, and this is certainly a new page in their history book. The band lost two members last year, leaving just frontman Brendon Urie and drummer Spencer Smith to pick up the band in their original direction. It's a good job that they play about twenty musical instruments between them, then.
Vices & Virtues is the band's first album since the split, but it retains what we've come to expect from Panic!. The somewhat poppy somewhat psychedelic sound has endured, as has the lyrical style which manages to be complex as well as catchy. “There's nothing wrong with just a taste/Of what you paid for,” declares Urie during lead single The Ballad of the Mona Lisa. It's a fantastic little phrase which will stick in your head for days after you first hear it. The chorus is equally catchy, and although Urie doesn't quite measure up to the band's previous lyricist, it's still a great effort.
Highlighted tracks include the light pop ballad Ready to Go (Get Out of my Mind) which features a fairly breezy feel and atmosphere. The folk-influenced Sarah Smiles is also brilliant, with a fantastic light tone which will have you clapping along. It comes at exactly the right time after the musically-heavy The Calendar, which is equally easy to listen and sing along to.
Musically, Panic! still have the ability to produce a perfect pop hook – Oh Glory and Let's Kill Tonight prove they can still convince the masses to get up and dance. But it is the diversity of each track that is perhaps the album's strongest aspect. From rock-influenced The Calendar to folk-drenched Sarah Smiles to the groove of Hurricane, it's impossible to generalise tracks as one style. This is typical of a band which has often flown in the face of categorisation, and although they emanate their previous work, they are careful never to repeat it. There's only one way to categorise a style like this: Panic! At the Disco-style.