Tuned In To Music

Reflections from a lifetime

Review: Panic at the Disco, Pretty. Odd

Panic at the Disco came out of nowhere (well, the Las Vegas suburbs which is close enough to nowhere to count) to be one of the surprise successes of 2005.  Another young band doing emo, their first album, A Fever Pretty OddYou Can’t Sweat Out, led to national and international tours as headliners and an MTV video award.  Now, three years later, here they are with their second album Pretty. Odd and it’s just about the last thing anyone expected.  Panic at the Disco are on their knees in the Temple of the Beatles.

Pretty. Odd opens with “We’re So Starving” which features vocalist and guitar player Brendan Urie singing “Oh how we’ve been so long / We’re so sorry we’ve been gone / We were busy writing songs for you” set to music that does everything it can possibly do to conjure Sgt. Peppers era Beatles.  They ape every aspect of Beatles music you can imagine.  French horns, backwards guitar, Beatletastic vocal harmonies, layered string quartets, Paul’s melodic bass, it’s all here.  With such blatant appropriation of the Beatles sounds and styles you’d think Pretty. Odd would come cross as a dreary rip off but just the opposite is true.  Rather than sound like jaded professionals who ran out of ideas and decided to copy the masters to squeeze out one more record, Panic at the Disco sound like young musicians who are having a ball with all the new ideas they recently discovered on those old Beatles records their parents kept around.  Although just about every aspect of many of the songs on Pretty. Odd  will be familiar to listeners who know their Beatles, the music sounds fresh and alive with the exhilaration of a new discovery.  It’s not only the kind of album that only a young band could make, it’s the kind of album that might induce cranky old fogies who are still living in the ’60s to pay some attention to the wealth of good music being made today.

As much as they are enthralled with the Fab Four, Panic at the Disco aren’t the Beatles and although they have done an admirable job capturing the style in a fresh way, they don’t have the breadth, depth and culture-stopping talent of the Beatles at their prime.  But then who does?  If you like melodic pop and especially if you like the Beatles, give Pretty. Odd a listen.  You’ll have a good time.


05/13/2008 - Posted by | CD reviews, music, music reviews

1 Comment »

  1. […] or Sgt Pepper’s type instrumentation can be found from bands as diverse as Cafe Tacuba, Panic at the Disco, and Dr. […]

    Pingback by Review: Jim Noir, Jim Noir « Tuned In To Music | 07/04/2008 | Reply

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