Wednesday, in an effort to expand my contemporary music horizons, I decided to buy Panic At The Disco's new album Pretty.Odd. I declare this as one of the few albums that has only taken me one listen to adore. I've been reading some random reviews on amazon.com (only the best) that a lot of people were appalled at the change in direction of the band (apparently you can be too much like the Beatles). I don't really know their first album that well (I did just order it, so I can compare albums when I get it), but I absolutely loved this album.
1. The old timey cover and photos of the band members. And the fact that Spencer (pictured below with a box of Famous Amos cookies), the drummer, and Jon, the bassist, rock some beards.
2. The songs are mostly upbeat and feature gorgeous melodies with some lush harmonies. Usually I find songs that are just "meh" on an album that I always skip, but each song on Pretty.Odd. has some hook/chorus/bridge/harmony that I love about it.
3. Brendon's distinct voice. It's pure but powerful.
4. The lyrics are crazy in a great way. "Mad as Rabbits" is like a combination of the Beatles' druggy "I am the Walrus" and the spoofy Flight of the Conchords' "Prince of Parties". It's very self aware, but not obnoxiously so.
5. Horns! Nothing makes me happier than a horn section. It just sounds more genuine and gives a retro feel that I love.
6. Track 13 "She Had the World". Harpsichord, orchestra, harmony, and unrequited love from the point of view of the loved. My favorite line, "I swear I didn't ruin her/I just made her more interesting", exemplifies the fluffy, nonchalant tone of the song. Plus we get to hear Ryan's very young sounding voice on part of this song; whenever he sings it reminds me of System of a Down's Daron Malakian singing lead on "Lonely Day".
7. These guys are my age (20-22 years old). For some reason that gives me an instant connection with them and a stake in their musical future and I like it.
Anyway, I'm obsessed with this album at this point. You should check it out.
I'll leave you with a video of the band performing one of my favorite songs "When the Day Met the Night" live. It's hilariously crappy footage, but you can hear really well. You can tell they're pretty decent live, which give them exponential bonus points.
Just imagine it it with a horn section...