Vices & Virtues review by Panic! At the Disco

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Released: Mar 29, 2011
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 7.7 Good
  • Users' score: 8.8 (37 votes)
Panic! At the Disco: Vices & Virtues

Sound — 8
As the band's first album since the departure of guitarist Ryan Ross and bassist Jon Walker due to artistic contrasts, it's no small surprise that their new album, Vices & Virtues took a different direction than their last. The Beatles-esque arrangements from the bands sophomore album are more or less non-existent on this release. In their stead are a mash-up of several musical styles equating to what most would call theatrical pop-rock. They've basically gone back to the style of their debut release, and kept a little bit of the flamboyance and flair from their second album. Possibly the most impressive thing about the album is the production. There are several layers of sound in many of the tracks, including rhythm guitar, lead guitar, bass, synth, drums, orchestra, etc, and you can hear everything very well. While the instrumentals might not sound technically impressive, that's not what the album is going for. If you're looking for something fun to listen to, and you're into pop, pop-rock, or lighthearted music in general, it's likely you'll enjoy this album.

Lyrics — 7
The lyrics are fun and fulfill their purpose. They don't seem quite as imaginative as those found on their previous album, but they're easier to relate to and more practical. Overall, the lyrics generate feelings of love, lust, and a bit of regret. Lines like "I led the revolution in my bedroom", might come off as cheesy to most, but lines like that are few and far between. As for the singing itself, as usual, Brendan Urie's vocals are superb. Even with a few cheesy lines, he manages to sell it all quite convincingly. The album's last track references the first track, which is nice. It gives the album an almost "everything coming full circle" feel. It may not sound like a big deal, but it makes this feel more like an album as opposed to a collection of songs.

Overall Impression — 8
If you're a casual listener, and you like fun, lighthearted tunes you'll almost definitely enjoy something that this album has to offer. You should definitely give it a chance. The fact that the band didn't shatter under the pressure of two members leaving, and they managed to release a solid album is wonderful. The only issue I have is the fact that it's under 40 minutes long. That's a bit too short for my liking. However, it should be noted that with the bonus tracks, the album is about 55 minutes long. Key tracks include Sarah Smiles, Trade Mistakes, and Always. I hope this review was helpful. This is my first, and I wanted to review something no one else had reviewed yet. If you have any criticisms or advice, please comment. Thanks in advance.

10 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I might give this a miss. I absolutely hated A Fever You Can't Sweat Out: not a fan of that record at all. However, Pretty. Odd. was a good record and I love quite a few of the songs on there. Since reviews have been telling me that this album is more like their first, I'm pretty sure I won't like it. That's a little disappointing, but I'm not really surprised. I'll probably give the singles a listen, but if I'm not impressed I won't be bothering with this album.
    The first review of this album where the listener didn't flat-out slate Pretty. Odd, so this is the first review I've actually read: kudos on that. Had a listen to it as well, but I just feel it aint as 'out-there' as AFYCSO or their second release. Still a nice album, though
    Good review, and I agree. It steps back to the unique "circus/burlesque pop" of the first album while also taking in a handful of typical pop rock. The leaving out of the bonus tracks was a real bummer, especially knowing that one bonus track (Oh Glory) is just a demo (I felt it was the strongest of all the new songs). But all in all it's a very happy pop album that fans will love. I like to relate it to the happy version of A Fever You Can't Sweat Out.
    I think the best track on the album is Memories, but I like the songs you chose as well.
    Of course, everyone's entitled to their own opinion. Personally, I was very disappointed in this album. The reason I got interested in Panic! was because they struck the perfect balance. They were young and earnest, but they shared a love of modern music and classic rock, along with some very archaic vaudeville/burlesque theatricality. Pretty. Odd was a huge step in their musical maturation, and people started crying The Next Beatles! Then two of them went off to form The Young Veins and the other two hung onto the Panic! moniker. Both of these new daughter bands released lackluster albums (IMO), and I hope that it's just a matter of time before Ryan and Jon get back together with Brendon and Spencer, realizing that their diverse influences were what made them special in the first place. Now they fit solidly into the glut of similar bands that are decidedly in-the-moment, but lack whatever it is that could elevate them to higher status. To paraphrase their earlier work, Panic! at the Disco are losing the feeling of feeling unique.
    Bookworm_nai wrote: I think the best track on the album is Memories, but I like the songs you chose as well.
    Haha, to be perfectly honest, it was hard for me to pick only 3 songs, but on a 10 track album, I felt that putting more than three would be too much. Memories probably would have been my fourth and Hurricane my fifth. @the99thaisle I actually somewhat agree. I like P!ATD's new album, but Pretty. Odd. was something special, and it always will be to me. I've listened to it loads, and when I first got V&V, I was a bit disappointed as well, but it grew on me. I'm glad I didn't review it at the first listen like I planned because I really didn't get a chance to soak everything in. Thanks so much for the comments, guys. This is my first review, and I really tried to make it a good one, but I can already see several ways my review could have been better and more detailed. I'll probably write another one soon. Maybe an old album, just for practice.
    the only song i know by these guys is sins and tragedies but i might just check this one out
    You can appreciate it more if you go in without expecting an album as good as Fever. Still great though, definitely a step in the right direction for them.
    I enjoyed this album. I wasn't expecting A Fever You Can't Sweat Out. Instead I expected a return to their burlesque/carnival pop instead of The Beatles 2.0. I didn't like Pretty.Odd. that's just me but V&V did well and I agree Memories is great!
    Their first album came out and gave the impression that they were a "Emo" band. They Released pretty odd. to erase that rumor. This album has defenently reflected the first and some of the elements of the second.The album is called vices and virtues for a reason. Look them up. Over all I love how this album turned out, and was very anxious to see more when The Ballad of Mona Lisa came out as a single. My conclusion, one of their best albums ever!