Panic! At the Disco makes its comeback after its two-year break following “Vices and Virtues.” The newest album from Panic!, “Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die,” was officially released Tuesday. However, on Sept. 30 the band unofficially released the album by streaming it on YouTube for interested fans.
Following the release of “Miss Jackson” – the first single from “Too Weird, Too Rare” – and the addition of Panic! to Fall Out Boy’s “Save Rock and Roll” tour, the number of interested people in the new album skyrocketed with the album stream garnering over half a million hits in just under a day.
The wait for the new Panic! album was worth it – but it had some drawbacks.
“Too Weird, Too Rare,” written about lead singer Brendon Urie’s hometown, relies on images of both the opulence and grit of Las Vegas. The mix of songs found on the album certainly makes listeners feel as if they’re in Vegas.
“Miss Jackson” and “This is Gospel,” the first glimpses of the album, are not at all representative of the rest of the album. In this sense, it was a shock to hear the rest of the album. The closest songs to the singles on the CD, “Nicotine” and “Casual Affair,” do offer a compromise for those who expected the entirety of the album to sound like the sneak peeks.
Featured in several other songs is a hypno-futurist sound, oddly reminiscent of the band’s own album “Pretty Odd” mixed with a disco-era feel.
The lyricism of the album, however, is great. “This is Gospel,” “Collar Full,” “Nicotine,” “Far Too Young to Die” and “The End of All Things” in particular have personal, reflective lyrics that cause the listener to keep hitting repeat.
While “Too Weird, Too Rare ” may not have been the album fans were expecting, it is indeed an album full of great songs. The cohesiveness of the album may be off but each individual song is a complete entity in and of itself.
The album is, at any rate, worth the listen. The unique tendency of Panic! to switch up sounds and styles is clearly present, making the album a treasury of band talents.
Be forewarned, “Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die” is not simply a collection of the songs “Miss Jackson” or “The Ballad of Mona Lisa.” This is a new, eccentric Panic! that has never been seen before. In that regard, this album may foretell the direction of the long-standing band, Panic! at the Disco.