Sound — 7
Disclaimer: The following review was written by a straight male listener, who did not, in fact, use intoxicants to get through this record, and was not paid by a little girl to give it a good' review. Anyone who heard I Write Sins, Not Tragedies one of the 18 million recorded times it was played on the airwaves knows Panic! At the Discoa pop/techno/emo/whatever else band whose actual talent was overshadowed by their adoring Twilight fangirls. Yes, they have some talent. Their first big success was 2005's A Fever You Can't Sweat Out, ' a record with so many genre specifications I'd be sued if I listen them, and 2008 gave us their latest effort, Pretty.Odd., ' a Beatles cover album which adds Baroque-pop and psychedelia to their growing list of styles. Okay, so you won't find Hello Goodbye or anything on here, and it's not ALL Beatles/Beach Boys/Byrds-soundalike, but, essentially, that's what the record's given us. Ironic, isn't it, that they started out a (Blink-182) cover band, and could only stand not being so for only one release? Despite fondness for the bands I've listed, I do have a few complaints. I love The Beatles, and always will, and having what is really just a cover band is almost like getting new Beatlesyou'd think I'd be satisfied that Baroque-pop was getting more attention, but I'm a little annoyed that Panic didn't make much of an effort to hide their influences. This all being said, there are a few non-Baroque tracks, those being I Have Friends in Holy Spaces, Northern Downpour, and Folkin Around. That's it. I'm satisfied with those and the rest of the tracks, however; I do think it's a brilliant step for the band to takeand, in all honesty, they don't sound EXACTLY like The Beatlesthey just sound like The Beatles Who Survived To Release A Record In 2008 With Fewer Harmonies. We don't see many releases of that sort these days, and, really, I'm pleased to see a return to this genre. Let's just hope that, if they continue going in this direction, it sounds a bit more original.
Lyrics — 6
The lyrics are Beatlesey as well! That's about all I have to say on the subject; these lyrics are about as close to Lucy In The Sky (God rest her soul) as you can get without actually being Julian (any competent person knows the LSD rumors were debunked). Clouds are marching along, singing a song, just like they do, His arms were the branches of a Christmas Tree, preached the devil in the belfry, Your eyes are the size of the moon, you could because you can, so you do, She held the world upon a string, but she didn't ever hold me, They all play along to marching drums, and boy, do they have fun behind the sea, the list goes on. The lyrics, of course, work very well with the musical style (they did when the Beatles wrote them, too), and the singer skills are fine, as usual. Panic at the Disco, meet my friend Originality. She's single and loves long walks on the beach, good books, and not thieving lyrics from John Lennon's diary.
Overall Impression — 8
Don't let my harsh judgement about the whole Beatles thing make any decisions quite yetthis is a good Beatles at the Disco record. It brings back some good sound, even if they're stylistic theives. The most blatant examples are Behind the Sea and Mad as Rabbits. I guess I'm so rough because no one else did anything like The Beatles did (well), especially the weird Yellow Submarine/Sergent Pepper/Lucy In The Sky/Walrus-era stuff. If it had become an indepentant genre the way Nirvana did (it did, to a degree), Panic at the Disco would be excused from the lawsuit's involving copyright infringement that I've frequently suggested to Paul McCartney and, when he still owned the songs, Michael Jackson, and, truthfully, none of it is so bad you'll forget it's not Paul, John, George, and the drummer. It's hard to compare this to the 2005 recordthey're both fine, but very, very different. At the same time, as the band insists in We're So Starving, Pretty.Odd.'s opening track, they're still the same band, and you have to admire them for that; not a lot of bands can completely change genres and still be the same. So, you can buy it, I suppose. I quite enjoyed itI think fans of the genre (or just fans of the band) will as well, though, as I said, fans of The Beatles and similar artists may be a little hesitant. It's alrightit's a modernized version of The Beatles that they pull off very nicely while still being Panicky and not sounding completely like a cover band. Still, let's see if this 2010 release will evolve the style. Or, perhaps they'll go for something more along the lines of, oh, I dunno, Elvis or Prince or something. God knows, it IS Panic at the Disco.