“Sometimes I use lyrics because they sound badass,” Brendan Urie, only remaining member of the original Panic! at the Disco, tweeted.
Urie managed to sustain the classic Panic! sound as the group fell apart, which in itself is an inspiration and nothing less than a commendable success. With vivid flair, true charisma, and unbelievable eccentricity Urie produces, he’s a firecracker of a frontman and unafraid to embrace conceit. Urie managed to get what he aimed for: to become the ringmaster of his own circus.
Death of a Bachelor is one of Urie’s brilliant concoctions including many eras of music in one beautifully created 36 minute album full of emotion, powerful rhythms and excellent vocals with inhuman ranges. While mixing gospel jam, Sinatra-esque sounds, and halftime show excitement, the crowd is brought on a wild journey through pop, rock, and every genre in between. To put it bluntly, Death of a Bachelor is infectious, powerful, and energetic with perfected lyrics, fantastic hooks, and memorable riffs.
Urie presented the album as a marriage cut in two: Panic’s early emo 2005 A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out sound while the other half provides triumphant anthems. Death of a Bachelor rings true to the journey from playboy to married man, portraying Urie as a self-destructive man not wanting to be fixed until the end. Simply put, this album is a celebration of life changes.
This album was heavily influenced by Frank Sinatra, particularly on the title track. Months before its’ release, Urie wrote about his passion for Sinatra’s music and how it influenced his own music in an Instagram post: “I wrote a new album this year and even in the few songs that don’t sound remotely similar to any of his music I still felt his influence in the writing and the need to relate so personally to each song.” Thus, Death of a Bachelor has very heavy undertones of that type of music and yet, Urie makes it work.
The album sparks to life with handclaps and a choir of cheerleaders ending in a high-pitched “ahh” from Urie himself as “Victorious” begins. This song lives carefree in the moment no matter the consequence; yet, those consequences hit hard on “Don’t Threaten Me With A Good Time.” As a horrid hangover robs Urie, it becomes known he doesn’t exactly know what happened the night before.
The remarkable lyric of “No one wants you when you have no heart” rings true as the glorious lead single “Hallelujah” comes on. The haunting nursery rhyme sound of “Emperor’s New Clothes” is a constant reminder that the party lifestyle will always catch up in the end.
“Death of a Bachelor,” with its’ slow and melodic Sinatra sound, hits the turning point of the album. This song seems to find that same playboy coming to terms with the twilight of his youth creeping in. With lyrics like “How could I ask for more lifetime of laughter at the expense of the death of a bachelor,” adulthood is finally crawling in, the party is over. However, for Urie, the real party is just beginning.
The centerpiece of the album, “Crazy=Genius” brings forth the cynical manifesto with lyrics like “Darlin’ you know how the wine plays tricks on my tongue.” Though, Urie’s favorite lyric comes from “Golden Days,” a song of reminiscence laced with regret: “Time can never break your heart but it can take the pain away.” Next comes “L.A. Devotee,” a song based on the love of a city that never sleeps and a man who never wants to sleep with the city. “This Impossible Year” sends a final, farewell note of nostalgia to Urie’s past.
Death of a Bachelor takes listeners on a wild ride and yet, one doesn’t have to be “crazy” in order to write great pop, or a wild variety of genres balled up into one. All they need is an active imagination and an extensive musical appetite – two things Urie prides himself on, creating yet another almost perfect album.