The American rock band, Panic! at the Disco that formed in 2004 released their sixth studio album on June 22 titled Pray for the Wicked. The band consisted of Brendon Urie, Ryan Ross, Spencer Smith, and Brent Wilson when it started off but Urie has remained the only constant member through the band’s journey and is now the sole member of the band. As a follow up to Death of a Bachelor, the new album was introduced by the singles, ‘Say Amen (Saturday Night)’, ‘High Hopes’, and ‘King of the Clouds’ that very accurately set the stage for the rest of the album.
The 11-track album starts with ‘Silver Lining’ where he turns the common phrases ‘Every cloud has a silver lining’ and ‘cherry on top’ around completely in the sense that he doesn’t want to look at the silver lining of every bad situation and even endless cherries are not going to stop him from always striving to be better and achieve more. It’s also a wink at his preference to gold over silver. In ‘Say Amen’ he sings about praying for the wicked on the weekend but follows it up with “Swear to God, I ain’t ever gonna repent” and concludes the slightly sad undertone of the song with “Oh, it’s Saturday night”. Brendon goes on to celebrate his success after overcoming the struggles in the music industry with ‘Hey Look Ma, I Made It’. Brendon talks about how he had always aimed high, despite the challenges and numerous changes the band had to go through, “Didn’t have a dime but I always had a vision” in the up-beat ‘High Hopes’. ‘Roaring 20s’ is easily the catchiest track on the album with a repetitive chorus that is designed to sing along to. Although the lyric might have a slightly angsty vibe, it’s still fairly relatable.
‘Dancing’s Not A Crime’ is possibly the most light-hearted and fun song on the album that’s all about letting your hair down and dancing. A sharp turn from here, Urie talks about the party lifestyle and its downfalls in the next track, ‘One Of The Drunks’, ironically mentioning “dancing with the demons”. Urie goes on to describe an estranged love and a longing to meet them at ‘The Overpass’ and then delves into the scattered, intergalactic musings of his intoxicated mind with picturesque lyrics like “And when I fall to rise with stardust in my eyes, in the backbone of night, I'm combustible” in ‘King Of The Clouds’. The nostalgic ‘Old Fashioned’ describes Urie’s youth and sends us all on a trip down memory lane, raising our glasses to “the best of times”. The album ends with ‘Dying In LA’, a stark contrast to the rest of the album; this morose track with its poignant lyric describes the death of a dreamer in the city of glamour and opportunities.
Pray for the Wicked is certainly a new sound for P!ATD, a long way from their punk-emo days. Brendon Urie has transformed the vibe of the band single-handedly with the upbeat music, inspirational (and sometimes ironic) lyric, not to mention his unparalleled vocal range. The album is wicked, in the best sense of the word! -Tanya