Panic! At The Disco / Vices & Virtues / Decaydance
Sandwiched somewhere between A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out and Pretty. Odd., Vices & Virtues acts as a return to form for Panic! At The Disco but is remarkably, much more than that. There’s the addictive 2005-esque melodies and layered pop synth you’ve come to know (“The Ballad Of Mona Lisa”, “Hurricane”), then there’s bits that exemplify a natural step forward. “Trade Mistakes” is a track one would expect on the third disc from the Las Vegas group as it uses every inch of talent Brendon Urie and Spencer Smith have and, with no surprise, is also collar-stained with a tease of a chorus.
The return of the exclamation mark has followers screaming in delight for a rerun of obsessive lyrics yet it isn’t the case. Ryan Ross is missing, thus leaving Urie as the featured author to bond with listeners over “a more polished pop sound”, something the group has tried to achieve in the past whilst fiddling with other ideas. When the glistening production takes a back seat, tracks come to life with fidelity (“The Calendar”); when it’s pushed to succeed under a million spotlights (“Nearly Witches..”), it trips, failing to highlight the writer’s thoughts of infatuation. Urie may not acknowledge his imagination gets the best of him and it might not be a pitfall for Panic! At The Disco anyway, that is, if they can continue to croon about love and loss at a shy and less frantic pace.
Download: “The Calendar”, “Sarah Smiles”
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