If you pick any two Panic! At the Disco albums at random, chances are they sound nothing like each other. Nothing might be an overstatement, but different certainly isn’t; different is what Panic! excels at and their latest album “Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die!” proves it. Long time Panic! At the Disco fans know that the band’s sound has ranged from cabaret inspired pop rock, to folk infused ballads, to energized dance beats.
Since their debut album in 2005, “A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out,” the boys in Panic! have endured their fair share of alterations, from band member departures, to stark changes in genre. Panic! as a band have had their ups and downs. This point in their music, however, is an up.
This album comes at a very unique time for P!ATD. They are fresh off an arena tour with their friends Fall Out Boy, and are coping with missing their drummer, Spencer Smith. Though Smith did record and help write some of the album, he is not touring with them due to his ongoing recovery from drug addiction.
“Too Weird” is heavily inspired by P!ATD front man Brendon Urie’s partying and escapades in his hometown of Las Vegas. Everything from the lyrics, sound, artwork, and album title — a quote from Hunter S. Thompson’s “Fear and Loathing” epic — is somehow related to Vegas.
The opening tracks of the album are the two singles the band released earlier in the year, “This is Gospel” and “Ms. Jackson,” — solid choices for both widespread listening and interpretation as a greater representation of the album. “This is Gospel” has a bit of a dark tone set to a catchy chorus and painful lyrics. “Ms. Jackson” on the other hand is sexy and raw, much like the rest of the album.
Some of the songs speak to the nightlife and partying centered in Vegas, including the appropriately titled song “Vegas Lights” and could-be-club-hit “Nicotine.”
The third single and sixth track on the album entitled “Girls/Girls/Boys” showcases Urie’s unapologetically flawless voice in a song about bisexual relationships. Urie repeats “Girls like girls and boys/ and love is not a choice” throughout the song — an empowering message paired with a chorus that will be stuck in your head for weeks. Oh yeah, and if you haven’t watched the music video, do yourself a favor and look it up on YouTube.
“Too Weird” overall can be summed up as a cross between 80s synth/drumbeats and painfully honest lyrics that plays on both the tragic youth that comes with Vegas partying and sounds that sonically capture the strip.
ONLY RECOMMENDED IF: You’re already accepting of P!ATD’s evolving musical styles.