Best of 2016 Playlist

October 25, 2015

Panic! at the Disco - "Emperor's New Clothes" Single Review

Hot damn they've done it again! Panic! at the Disco is back with the next single of their album, "Death of a Bachelor", which now has a January 15, 2015 release date. If you haven't already seen the music video, we recommend you stop whatever it is you're doing (reading this post no doubt) and go give them a listen/look. The band have finally found a common ground in their sound, and it's the best thing since their debut album. Click this (link) to pre-order the album on iTunes. 

This is one band that have always been in the shadow of their sort-of label mates Fall Out Boy. But where FOB works to please the masses, Panic! works to please themselves and their fans. Always changing their sound, and image, the band have now made a more subtle shift for their next album. The title track aside, Panic! seems to be doing their take on FOB's arena rock. 

"Emperor's New Clothes" seems to have been taken straight from an un-produced Panic! musical. Everything, including the incredible music video, just screams theatrics. The song is fueled by a simple drum beat and Brendon Urie's vocals. While this isn't one of his strongest performances, these are some of his strongest lyrics. In the band's most recent songs, Urie's vocals and songwriting skills have been the focus. Which aren't as phenomenal as "Hallelujah" or "Victorious". Sure they're classic Panic! lyrics, "Welcome to the end of eras, ice has melted back to life. Done my time and served my sentence, dress me up and watch me die", and they almost reaffirming the band's emo origins, but they're pretty predictable. The dark, sort of angsty lyrics recall the "A Fever..." Panic! from 10 years ago. Not the Panic! we've heard in recent albums. It's a nice throwback. Still, we prefer the P!atD that wrote "Hallelujah" to this version.

And the band makes a mistake far too many bands have been making as of recent. It's a fact that part f a band's success is attributed to their image and frontman. But that doesn't mean you have to go and make them the only focal point. Panic's single makes it all the more obvious that they want people to focus on what Urie's doing, not the rest of the band. With the mixing and production, the only discernible sounds are the vocals, drums, and electronic parts. It's a real loss, since other songs like "Ballad of the Mona Lisa", "Ready to Go", and "Girls/Girls/Boys" don't shine the spotlight on Urie alone. Listen to "Emperor..." and tell me you can hear something other than his voice or the drums. In a few instances you can hear the horn section, but there's no discernible guitars or bass. 

The only other thing that gets attention are the background vocals. Which is good since they're a real treat. The background choir is reminiscent of Tim Burton's "Nightmare Before Christmas", especially the vocals during the song's bridge. And It gives the song a spooky feel, that the music video enhances ten fold. In all honesty, the music video makes this song a lot better than it is by itself. Without Urie's captivating performance, the song's flaws are more obvious. 

Summary -  
The familiar, and much loved, theatrical Panic! has returned to us at last. Though they haven't abandoned their love of eccentricities, they bring them back to the forefront in this new single. "Victorious" gave us a glimpse at a more arena rock Panic!. This new single takes the arena, and turn it into a theater for the band to amuse.

It touches on familiar ground for longtime fans, and is a safe choice for the band's follow up single. Fall Out Boy and P!atD go together like peanut butter and jelly, so you FOB fans we'll love this new track. If you're into Beautiful Bodies, PVRIS, or Icon for Hire we suggest giving this tune a listen. 

Rating - 7.5 to 8/10