Maybe I'm sick, maybe it's the amount of easter candy I have devoured in the past few days, but I took it upon myself to buy the new Panic At The Disco album, Pretty. Odd.
But Al, you might be wondering, I thought you hated bands like that because they were whiny and un-imaginative. And it's that kind of mentality that I had about most bands with an "emo" music label. But when you think about it, most bands with that label are given said label by the music magazines and critics who take it upon themselves to put bands into a single, specific genre of music.
This is a bad idea.
It's the same bad idea that turned me off of Panic's first album. I appreciated and respected their lavish set designs, and the Beatles cover songs on their set lists. It's just the music wasn't for me. And it seems that their love for The Beatles have completely changed their entire outlook on their music. So much that they have completely done away with the "emo" label that they didn't even have to begin with (according to their singer).
The songs are humorous and light-hearted and sound more deeply-written than the other album. Dropping the "!" from their name, Panic have written beautiful, catchy tunes that inspire and make people smile. Almost Flaming Lips-like.
Not only that, but the band has actually done something few bands can ever hope to accomplish: a single that sounds as good as the rest of the album. "Nine In The Afternoon" is a bouncy, piano-driven song with some stream-of-consciousness lyrics that make me smile every time I hear it.
The opening track is a great example of what an intro SHOULD be for an album. "We're so sorry we've been gone/we've been busy writing songs for...YOU". It's hilarious and the way that the acoustic guitars mix with the electric, which itself mixes with the amount of orchestration (which is all over the album) is a beautiful, beautiful thing.
Long gone are the dark undertones and loud guitars. (Though the loud guitars are still here.) And long gone are the depressing, incredibly long song titles. "Folkin' Around" is an acoustic number which sounds like a Bob Dylan outtake. My favorite song off the album "The Piano Knows Something I Don't Know" is laced with saxophones, pianos, and jangly guitars which add more to the band's maturity.
So, yes, the scene kids hate it. Good example: buying this at Best Buy with a They Might Be Giants shirt on got me angry, evil, I-shall-set-fire-to-your-testicles looks from the emo crowd. Then again, they hate the album and some hate the band for "selling out" or "losing what made them good". I disagree. It's the way Panic At The Disco matured and opened their hearts and minds to bigger and better things that make this album a winner. Though they might lose half of the demographic, this album is a more accessible and emotional which will even bring in some of my indie-hipster friends (God willing).
So go piss off a whiny emo kid today and buy this great album! And no, I was not paid to plug this album in any way....*shifty eyes*