Album Review: Panic! at the Disco, ‘Too Weird To Live, Too Rare to Die!’

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It’s pretty obvious that electronic based music has taken over these past few years. A lot of artists have been losing their roots and trying to cash in by soaking their tunes in synthesizers. Sometimes I find it crazy annoying. But I get it. Bands need to keep up with the trends to stay relevant and that’s cool with me. As long as they do it with integrity. There are ways to keep up with the trends while still staying true to yourself and making quality jams.

Now, I was never the biggest Panic! At The Disco fan. I thought their first album was decent, I really enjoyed Pretty. Odd and I got bored with their next project. But this new album is really doing it for me. Too Weird To Live, Too Rare to Die! has basically become the Brendan Urie solo project. And with that, it’s really fucking good. Panic didn’t half ass their venture into electronic waters. They took all the right formulas to stay relevant, while keeping it their own.

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A lot of people thought this was going to be Save Rock & Roll Pt.II after hearing “Miss Jackson” but I can assure you it’s not. I think it may actually be better. Fall Out Boy incorporated electronic influences into their songs but it didn’t feel like they fully went for it. It feels as if they got a little lost along the way (my views on the album have changed a bit since I originally reviewed it). But Panic! fully embraced their dive into electronic influenced music and came out with something fresh that I’m really excited about.

As much as their sound changed, it still feels like a Panic! at the Disco record. They did after all start out as Fall Out Boy’s dance happy little brother. What I really love about Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die! is all the ’80s vibes that are given off with the synths and programmed drums. Butch Walker really did a stellar job on production.

There were some really great tracks on this record. Right off the bat they give us “This is Gospel” which is such a killer track. That chorus is so powerful and infectious. Like holy shit why isn’t this on the radio? The album continues with some great songs. I have to say, my favorite track is probably “Casual Affair”, which feels the most out of their realm.

While this is a very solid pop album, there are a few songs I could probably do without. “Vegas Lights” just misses the mark for me and the chorus of “Girls/Girls/Boys” is more annoying than anything. The album ends on a really beautiful note with “The End of All Things”. I would love to hear a stripped down version with just the piano and Brendan’s natural voice. Although, somehow it still sounds very raw even though the vocals are drenched in effects.

Now again, I was never the biggest Panic! fan so I didn’t have any expectations for them. I can’t say that a die hard will love this album, but I can say that anyone who can get down with a catchy hook or gnarly 80s style drum machines will have a fun time. Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die! is equal parts moody and fun, giving it something that stands out from it’s peers. Give it a shot. Don’t be weird.

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