Thursday, June 16, 2011

New Music Review: Panic at the Disco – “Vices and Virtues”

Darn you, bad advice. I was suckered into buying this album for two reasons: 1) Because, deep down inside, I really have always kinda liked a lot of Panic at the Disco songs. And 2) A reviewer I trust told me that the album was overlooked and underrated and that it was worth it. Hmm. Wonder what mood he was in. It’s not that it’s all bad here…it most certainly is not ALLbad. But I had to listen multiple times just to try and remember what I’d just heard, as the songs’ energy and sound blended together so much across the whole album.

For the most part I found myself two-starring songs. I two-star songs that are not bad, but are not really that good. In a sense, two-star means average since five-star just barely ever happens. That sums up most of the album. Not a single terrible track here, but nothing better than a three-star. What are the three-stars? Let’s start with the infectious melody in the chorus of “Calendar” for one, Like it or not, it’s hard not to sing along. Then there’s the pulsating electro romper “Let’s Kill Tonight”, which I’m surprised hasn’t seen a little radio play yet. The chorus utilizes layered vocals for a crowd effect and Killers-esque synth rock edge. In fact, this song probably belongs on The Killers first album. “Memories” brings together some good musicality and deft handle on melody. Finally, despite the odd sample at the beginning and the unnecessary junior high school sounding choir at the beginning, “Nearly Witches (Ever Since We Wait…) is a throwback to the creative burlesque rock sound that Panic brought in their first album. It gets points simply for being a different sounding gem in an album that all too often seems to just be rushing synth rocker after rushing synth rocker, complete with string samples on top of just about everything.

The final verdict is simply a shrug. If you are a Panic at the Disco fan through and through, I won’t give you any reason not to give the album a chance. If your experience was merely liking that “one song” a few years ago, then you probably won’t be the biggest fan. I don’t think Panic at the Disco is dead or done or anything that dramatic, but I can’t imagine myself listening to too many of these tracks two years from now.


  1. They have a few catchy tunes, but nothing that I absolutely love, great review!

  2. Good review, although I disagree. I'm nowhere close to a Panic! fan, but I thought this album was actually quite good. One of the best parts, in my opinion, is the fact that none of the songs run together. They are each separate, yet the album still remains cohesive. I wrote a full review on my blog, and I hope you'll let me know what you think.

    I am now following you! :) Keep up the good work!