‘Pray For The Wicked’ is the latest offering from Las Vegas rock band Panic! At The Disco. It’s an 11 track rollercoaster of rock and pop infused with strings that gives the whole record a ‘big band’ feel. The record was written almost solely by Brendon Urie, the sole member of Panic! At The Disco.
(Fuck A) Silver Lining is the opening track and is one of two tracks that were released when ‘Pray For The Wicked’ was announced back in March. The track opens as if it’s being played through a radio on a late night show because the music and lyrics come in with ‘f***’ being the first word out of Urie’s mouth. The track sets the tone for the record in terms of what it’s going to be musically with all the typical instruments – drums, guitars, and bass, as well as a string section.
Next up is Say Amen (Saturday Night), the second leading single on ‘Pray For The Wicked’ and the first with a music video. The video for this track serves as a prequel to This Is Gospel from 2013s ‘To Weird To Live, To Rare Too Die!, and The Emperors New Clothes from 2016s Grammy-nominated ‘Death Of A Bachelor’ and follows Urie getting ready for a dinner date while men dressed all in black attempt to retrieve ‘the Devils key’ which is on a necklace around Urie’s neck. When his date arrives they begin to undress each other throughout the carnage, with a clever kick to the groin from Urie’s date coinciding with his incredible vocal high note. The track welcomes in the ‘Pray For The Wicked’ era and is one of the many stand out tracks on the album.
Track three is Hey Look Ma, I Made It, is a slower track than the first two on the album and is mostly vocal focused, rather than being musically focused, at least in the start. “Hey Look Ma, I Made It” is the focus lyric in the chorus and is an ode to everything that Urie has so far achieved in his music career.
It’s followed by High Hopes, which lyrically is about having aspirations and ‘high hopes’ of being ‘that one in a million’. A track most likely addressed towards Urie’s younger self. The song is about not giving up on your dreams, no matter how hard they might be to achieve and doing everything you can to make sure that you get what you want in life. It’s a track that musically has a lot of orchestra instruments with some drums and bass.
Roaring 20s is track five and it’s a rock-infused jazz dance track that has Great Gatsby vibes all the way through, as well as calling back to 2016s ‘Death Of A Bachelor’. There’s a slow breakdown about halfway through the track where there’s a heavy jazz band influence coming through. Definitely a stand out track!
Track six is Dancing’s Not A Crime has a few more electronic sounds in this one as well, and it’s a big production song that will find its way to wedding and party dancefloors in no time. It’s a track that is going to be a big party song when played live and will have everyone up and off their feet.
One Of The Drunks is up next and is a vastly different track from the rest of the album. It’s the first slower ballad type song while still keeping with the rock theme set by the previous tracks. Urie really shows his versatility as not only a vocalist in this track, but as a lyricist and musician. It’s a different kind of vibe than Panic! At The Disco fans may be used to, but it still keeps the classic sound.
The Overpass is next and it opens with what sounds like trumpets and saxophones before the fast-paced drum beat kicks in with the vocals. Compared to the previous track One Of The Drunks, this track is considerably faster. The drum beat stays the same almost the whole way through the track and is the backbone to the song. This is an incredibly impressive track musically, with all the instruments working in perfect harmony – the rock drums in with the orchestra.
Track nine is King Of The Clouds, the final single released from the album on Monday, June 18th. The only way to describe this track is ‘weird’, both musically and lyrically but is still a really great track. It’s the only one on the album that left me sort of scratching my head, but it’s still really enjoyable.
Second to last is Old Fashioned, which is the most ‘emo’ era Panic! song on the album. This track could have been placed on ‘Death Of A Bachelor’, ‘To Rare To Live, Too Rare To Die’ but fits well on ‘Pray For The Wicked’ in terms of the jazz influences that Brendon is so fond of.
Dying In LA is the final track on the album and is the only ballad on the album, and it starts off really stripped back and raw with just Urie’s vocals and piano, with strings coming in later on as well. It’s a beautiful track and a great way to round out the record. A stand out track, especially vocally with Urie showing off his skill and versatility.
Get your copy of ‘Pray For The Wicked’, out now via Fueled By Ramen and DCD2 HERE!