Sophmore Album Takes ‘Odd’ Approach
Those expecting Panic at the Disco to deliver another â€šÃ„ÃºI Write Sins Not Tragediesâ€šÃ„Ã¹ are in for a surprise. The band takes a markedly different approach on their sophomore album, Pretty. Odd. Gone are bitter lines from an angry teenage boy backed by synthesizer, replaced by insightful, often poetic, and frequently gleefully nonsensical lyrics from content adult musicians. Panic at the Discoâ€šÃ„Ã´s two albums have little in common beyond Brendon Urieâ€šÃ„Ã´s distinctive voice, and heâ€šÃ„Ã´s now sharing vocal duties with the rest of his band.Pretty. Odd. is just right for humming, but that doesnâ€šÃ„Ã´t mean the band has lost its energy. The albumâ€šÃ„Ã²s second single â€šÃ„ÃºThat Green Gentlemanâ€šÃ„Ã¹ as well as â€šÃ„ÃºPas de Cheval,â€šÃ„Ã¹ â€šÃ„ÃºBehind the Sea,â€šÃ„Ã¹ and â€šÃ„ÃºMad as Rabbitsâ€šÃ„Ã¹ are especially infectious, while softer songs like â€šÃ„ÃºNorthern Downpourâ€šÃ„Ã¹ charm quietly. The album is undoubtedly a departure from Panicâ€šÃ„Ã´s previous work, but the addition of unique elements, including the two-minute folk homage â€šÃ„ÃºFolkinâ€šÃ„Ã´ Around,â€šÃ„Ã¹ works.
A good album, it has its flaws. A full orchestra backs several songs, and the doorbells and chirping birds that Panic at the Disco have addedâ€šÃ„Ã®innovative and cool in 1966 when the Beach Boys and Beatles included found sounds in their tracksâ€šÃ„Ã®feel not only unoriginal but distract from the overall sound of Pretty. Odd. Not all of the production elements are problematic; the antique microphone used to record â€šÃ„ÃºI Have Friends in Holy Spacesâ€šÃ„Ã¹ enhances the song, giving it atmosphere.
Trading in their emo cred for a sound more like The Lucksmiths than Fall Out Boy, Panic at the Disco may lose its mob of screaming teenage girls with Pretty. Odd. Hopefully the album will gain the band a coterie of intelligent music fans to replace them.