Review: Panic! at the Disco’s “Pray for the Wicked” is giving us deja vu

The band's newest album dropped on Friday.

Album cover Courtesy of Genius.com

Album cover Courtesy of Genius.com

Maraya King

Released on Friday, “Pray for the Wicked” is an homage to the successes and shortcomings of Panic! at the Disco and their frontman, Brendon Urie.

The band’s sound has been described as pop punk, alternative rock and emo — all of which are accurate. But Urie’s vocal range deserves a genre all its own. 

Jaws first hit the floor in 2005 when Urie’s range was showcased in “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” from Panic!’s first album “A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out.” 

Now, two years after their last album “Death of a Bachelor” was released, “Pray for the Wicked” is exactly what you would expect it to be: energetic and oh-so-angsty.

The track list for this album reads like a twenty-something’s journal entries. “One of the Drunks,” “Hey Look Ma, I Made It” and “Dancing’s Not a Crime” are just the beginning. 

Panic!’s albums are notoriously brief. At only 34 minutes long, the newest is no exception.

While nine of the 11 songs sound almost identical, there are two standouts — “Roaring 20s” and “Dying in LA.” 

With a speak-easy vibe and upbeat lyrics by 31-year-old Urie, “Roaring 20s” could have made “The Great Gatsby” soundtrack.

On the other hand, “Dying in LA” is a somber ballad that describes an artist’s fear of ending up unsuccessful in the city of angels. “But nobody knows you now, when you’re dying in LA,” Urie croons. 

“Dying in LA” offers a stark contrast, and possibly a continuation, to the last album’s “LA Devotee.” 

The older song highlights an almost immature and childish dream of the city, all of which is dismantled in the final track of the new album. 

Panic! first formed in 2004. Now, fourteen years later, Urie is the only original member remaining. 

With an ever-evolving cast of musicians, it’s an impressive feat to still maintain the sound that first piqued our interests. 

However, is a more diversified soundtrack too much to ask for? Apparently so.

Nonetheless, whether you’re cleaning the house or lounging poolside this summer, you’ll need an upbeat soundtrack. This will probably get the job done. 

Grade: C+