Sound — 9
The CD kicks off with vague sounding radio frequencies and it transitions right into the first song, "The Only Difference Between Martyrdom and Suicide Is Press Coverage," as if someone had finally found the right station. The first half of the album is a mix between punk rock music with a fair share of electronica/techno that seems to work very well together, though some listeners may be thrown off by this twist. After the single "Lying Is The Most Fun A Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off," the CD is interrupted by more radio frequencies and Panic! turns the other direction by replacing the synths with vaudevillian piano and accordians. Again, some people might be turned off by this at first, but they'll soon realize how great it sounds. In my opinion, Panic! At The Disco has a very good handle on their style of music, and this CD is Indie rock at it's best.
Lyrics — 9
Ryan Ross's dark sense of humor and almost cynical outlook on love, relationships, and heartbreak blends perfectly with the music, and in my opinion, the best part of the album. He knows how to create poetry just by twisting words, which is a much more effective technique than simple rhyme and rhythm. Some listeners, however, may find the lyrics too cryptic to understand, but more intelligent listeners won't be able to help but smirk as the read along with the music. As for Brendon Urie, he conveys the emotion of the album with every line. Whether it's despair or cynicism, he sings the lyrics as they should be sung.
Overall Impression — 9
This is a great album. It challenges people who only listen to the more conventional bands where all you hear is guitar, drums, and whining singers. Lots of songs stand out, such as the song "There's A Good Reason These Tables Are Numbered Honey, You Just Haven't Thought Of It Yet", stunning me and other listeners, by it's style alone, not to mention Brendon Urie's jazzy voice. As a guitar player, though, this isn't my favorite album, as there are minimal guitar parts throughout the album making songs like "I write Sins Not Tragedies," near impossible to play. If this album was stolen from me, I'd buy it again. Heck I might by two just in case.