Review:: Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die | Panic! At The Disco

By this point, we can all agree that we should never “expect” things from Panic! at the Disco. They are a band that will entirely recreate themselves at every turn, diving head-first into it as they do so. From the guy-liner & masquerade theatrics of their explosive debut to the equally infectious yet absolutely different follow-up and back again, their ambition is an element that few bands can match.

With the band’s fourth full length, Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die!, another album means another transformation. Opening with the heartbeat of the album’s second single “This Is Gospel (which also features a brilliantly shot music video),” Urie delivers a sort of mantra for the album as well as the band’s attitude as a whole – “The gnashing teeth and criminal tongues conspire against the odds / but they haven’t seen the best of us yet.” Because as the band continues to release new albums, Urie continues to show us what he’s made of.

Following the first two songs, which are also the first two songs released – the previously mentioned “This Is Gospel” and lead single “Miss Jackson,” Panic! dives into the hyper, electric “Vegas Lights.” Packed to the brim with synth and an explosive pop chorus, it is a nod to the older era of the band’s music, while still keeping things fresh and new.

“Girls/Girls/Boys,” which was recently released as the third single, is upbeat and snappy, going nicely with the instantaneously addictive clap-along chorus of predecessor “Nicotine.”

The dark shoegaze of “Girl That You Love” and “Casual Affair” are buzzy and synthetic, though they teeter on repetitive. Contrarily, the 8-bit tinkering of the verses on “Far Too Young to Die” grow into echoing choruses that draw you in.

“Collar Full” continues with the feeling that Vices & Virtues carried, specifically tracks like “Ready to Go” or “Trade Mistakes.” By keeping with the same vibe as the last record, even if just for a moment, Panic! lends a bit of assurance that they are, in fact, still the same band. And on finale “The End of All Things,” there is a culmination of everything the group has been since their inception – the orchestration that we grew to love following the intermission of A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out, the low, piano-accompanied crooning that Pretty. Odd. showed us, and the ghostly ambiance that took charge throughout parts of Vices & Virtues.

I’ll be the first to admit that I never know what to expect from Panic! at the Disco.

Eight years ago, (eight?!) when A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out was originally released, it was unlike anything I had ever heard. And Pretty. Odd. took everything we would have expected for the band’s sophomore effort and completely rearranged it, delivering folksy pop rather than the electro-dancepunk the preceded it. Vices & Virtues took a little bit of both and threw them in a blender. Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die throws the blender out a window. It possesses elements that you would expect to hear from a dozen different bands on a hundred different albums, all masterfully compiled into one 10-song, thirty-two minute record.

Back in 2005, a mere minute after pressing play on A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out, a promise was made between Panic! at the Disco and their listeners – they swore to shake it up if we swore to listen. And nearly a decade later, we’re both making good on that agreement.

Release Date: October 8th, 2013
Rating: 4/5
Runtime: 32:32

1. “This Is Gospel”
2. “Miss Jackson” (featuring Lolo)
3. “Vegas Lights”
4. “Girl That You Love”
5. “Nicotine”
6. "Girls/Girls/Boys”
7. “Casual Affair”
8. “Far Too Young to Die”
9. “Collar Full”
10. “The End of All Things”

Panic! at the Disco is:
Brendon Urie – Vocals, guitar, piano, synthesizers/programming
Spencer Smith – Drums
Dallon Weekes – Bass

Written By: Eric Riley