on October 17, 2005
I got this album after my sister played a couple of mp3s for me. As an architecture student, I often sit in front of my computer or drafting table for 10 or more hours at a time, and many times I just put one album on repeat and listen to it about 20 times. I did this with "A Fever You Can't Sweat Out" this weekend, and I am listening to it right now.
The word that I think sums the album up most accurately is: "compelling." After listening to the album over and over and over again, I have come to respect the achievement of this band and this album in a way that I respect the work of very few bands; the members of Panic! manage to absorb and, in a critical way, digest and re-produce many varied musical precedents into a strangely fresh form.
I am stunned that nobody in these reviews has mentioned the influence of the band Refused, specifically the album "The Shape of Punk to Come." The radio static fading in and out between techno fills, blending between songs, was done to amazing effect almost exactly seven years ago on "The Shape of Punk to Come," and in one sense one could say that Panic!'s album falls short of the promise of such an obvious influence, as Refused set the bar for all progressive punk/rock/rhythm/techno fusion forever, yet due to their obviously varied pool of influences, comparing Panic! and Refused is a bit like comparing apples and oranges. I think what Panic! has borrowed from Refused (complete variety through a mix of analog and digital musical techniques with an unrelenting, rhythmic energy) is completely effective in establishing a foundation upon which Panic! has succeeded in crafting an alarmingly listenable and compelling album.
2. In the first song, "The Only Difference Between Martyrdom And Suicide is Press Coverage," the plea: "Sit tight, I'm going to need you to keep time, come on just snap snap snap your fingers for me," is delivered over a simple acoustic guitar line and a thin electronic snare beat, which leads quickly into crunchy electronic guitar with live drums. This plea is a perfect one to open this album with, compelling the listening to follow closely, as just within this single song the music bounces back and forth between pop and darker punk influences, techno, and folk with an effortless grace.
3. The thing that stands out most starkly to me in the second song, "London Beckoned Songs About Money Written By Machines," is how the melody ("make us it, make us hit, make us scene...") of the chorus sounds exactly like a Coheed and Cambria melody, but I haven't been able to find the exact song it's reminding me of. Overall, I find the choice of topic and the content of the lyrics to expose a certain degree of immaturity, but I suppose that's to be expected from such a young band.
4. I love the opening synth/guitar (?) line of "Nails for Breakfast, Tacks for Snacks." It reminds me of NES games from fifteen years ago. Then the heavy vocals filter... so Cher!
5. The imagery and tone of "Camisado" strongly recalls Brand New's "The Quiet Things that No One Ever Knows"; a young and masculine lyricist waxing poetic about the violence native to living fast and loud and the inevitable pause the spectre of death presents to such a mind. Overall not as effective as Brand New's song in dealing with the subject matter, but, again a bit like comparing apples and oranges, as "The Quiet Things" is a classic, driving Brand New anthem and "Camisado" is more nuanced and painted with techno florishes. It's most successful moment is during the filtered drum breakdown beginning at 2:02, its abrupt transistion into its quiet, contemplative repetition and drumroll back into the chorus. But, again, the formula was also successful in "The Quiet Things," and several other Brand New (and Blink 182, for that matter) songs, with a contemplative bridge building up to an anthemic final chorus. Panic! could learn a bit about vocal harmony from Brand New.
6&7. "It's Time to Dance" and "Lying Is The Most Fun A Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off", though very different songs, make sort of a mini rock opera in the middle of the album for me, as the lyricist manages to arrange two different songs, one with estrogen and the other with testosterone as subjects of their respective choruses, next to one another in order on the album. Excellent, haha...
8. Ah, the Refused influence finally makes itself indisputable. However, radio static and techno aside, I must say that the piano solo on "Intermission" is quite remarkable for a pop/punk/whatever band to have pulled off; most of the bands that I have known personally or have listened to a good deal tend to stay quite close to the guitar & bass & drum arrangement, and for a baroque-ish waltz to spring up in the middle of this album is pretty rad. Not to mention the artful accellerando and sloppy notes towards the end which are eventually overpowered by a THX-ish digital flourish of noise... so interesting, if unpleasant to listen to. It's things like this, the creation a tension within the listener, a fretfulness caused between enjoying the intellectual operation within the song and the actual cacaphony of the sounds being made, in Panic!'s music that brings it closer to art than most bands would even understand.
9. "But It's Better When We Do"... What is this?? A ska song? WTF? More diversity, craziness...
10-13. "I Write Sins Not Tragedies" is a great song, as are the last three songs, as varied in their influences and as skillfully written as the rest of the tracks. I find the cello on "Build God, Then We'll Talk" particularly welcome, reprising the most recognizable melody from "The Sound Of Music" (????!!!!) to cap off the most diverse pop punk album ever written.
And in conclusion, I feel I need to emphasize part of the last point: in terms of overall content, tone and production, this ultimately comes across as a pop punk album, and this is the reason I have given it 4 stars and not 5. I feel that, while there is an obvious maturity to the skills that were necessary to create something that fuses so many musical influences so seamlessly, there is also a nagging immaturity to the overall feel of the album, a sort of ansty teenager feeling that I feel is only holding this talented band back from truly breaking new ground, musically. As Brand New really managed to mature as a band with Deja Entendu, I eagerly look foward to Panic!'s next album, when the product will hopefully fulfill the promise made so obvious with this exceptional debut.
on January 6, 2006
Panic! At the Disco is a new band full of Las Vegas scene kids clever enough to think of such clever, mature, maybe even funny if you read it without the music, lyrics. Brendon Urie's(Vocals, Guitar, Keyboard, Piano, Accordion, Organ) voice is very extraordinary and just makes this type of music more fun to listen to. Of course with Ryan Ross'(Lyrics, Guitar, Keyboard, Piano, Accordion, Organ) very clever lyrics nothing would be possible. But no one can forget Brent Wilson(Bass) and Spencer Smith(Drums, Percussion). Their music is great to dance to and is good for parties. If you actually got this far through my review and didnt switch to another one, Thanks. Now lets get to the main part.
01.Introduction- 10/10: It's an introduction. You cant really demand too much of it. I personally thought it was a good one too.
02.The Only Difference Between Martyrdom and Suicide is Press Coverage- 10/10: Great song. Catchy lyrics. Great beat and rythm. The acoustic guitar and the singer fuse well together in this song. Right away the song demands you to tap your toes and snap your fingers, and this song makes you do just that. You might even break into a dance.
03.London Beckoned Songs About Money Written by Machines- 10/10: Another Amazing song. Fast lyrics but not in your face. Greath rythm and beat that makes you want to bob your head and stomp your feet. The lyrics just hang onto you and dont let go, demanding you to sing along. Panic! At the Disco is the only band full of 19-year-olds that can say "We're are just a wet dream for the webzine" without sounding stupid.
04.Nails for Breakfast, Tacks for Snacks- 8/10: I'm sorry but this was one of my least favorite song on this cd. I still thought it was really good. I loved the chorus.
05.Camisado- 10/10: Really Really great song. This one grabs your attention, turns your rug into a dancefloor, and shoots a gun at your feet forcing you to dance. You just feel like dancing to this song. It really good.
06.Time to Dance- 10/10: GREAT dance song too. Good mix of Techno and the regular guitars and drums. Easy lyrics, but very strong ones, that makes you want to scream them out. I even found my self screaming "When I say Shotgun you say wedding! Shotgun, Wedding! Shotgun, Weddng!". Great explosive ending to this song also.
07. Lying is the Most Fun a Girl can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off- 10/10: A tone down of energy from the other songs, this song is a nice blend of maturity, lust, and great lyrics. Makes you want to dance, or even makeout with the person next to you...
08.Intermission- 9/10: Gives you a break from all the previous songs. I enjoyed it though, I liked the piano and thought it was a good way to split up the cd. I got scared at the end of the song haha.
09.But It's Better if You Do- 11/10: This is one of my Top 3 Favorite songs. Makes you want to dance, sing along, and even write the song all over your wall. Check it out for yourself, this is only my opinion. heh.
10.I Write Sins Not Tragedies- 11/10: Lovely song. The beginning politely asks you to pay attention, but in 30 seconds they demand your attention. I fell in love with this song, this one the first song I heard from them.
11.I Constantly Thank Esteban- 15/10: My Most Favorite Song ever! I had to learn the lyrics right away. It made my knees move while a was sitting, even standing. I love this song, but its up to YOU so check it out.
12. There's a Good Reason These Tables are Numbered Honey, You Just Havent Thought of it Yet- 15/10: Very Interesting song. Makes you want to listen through the whole song wondering what they will say. This song makes you want to throw on a hot outfit, grab your lover, and dance all around the floor with a rose in your mouth.
13. Build God, Then We'll Talk- 20/10: The best song on this cd to me. Catchy lyrics. This song turns you into a bobble head, flicking over and over again, making your head bob side to side. I dont really know how you would dance to this song though. I had fun singing it though.
I hope this review was helpful for you at all. I've said things over and over again in this review, like that this cd makes you dance, and makes you sing. But it does, great cd to play at parties. It does have 2 bad words so this might be recommended for "PG-13" kiddies and not the "PG" kids. This isn't emo. It's, in my opinion, Dance Punk or Dance Rock, because it is. This cd has a classy touch to it, using elegent words, clever ryhmes, things like that. This cd will make you tired and sore, but asks to be played once more. Great cd, preview it, buy it, love it.
on October 4, 2005
Never was the timing more correct then now to breathe a breath of air into the dying lugs of the current music scene. Emo is dead and everything else is bubblegum wanna bee's with coporate influence dragging down all creative potential, lyrically, and musically. This is the first record in a long time that is art, with out being a guy hitting a snare drum for five minutes and moaning, with "ambient" music creeping in the background. This is unpretentious art. It not only achieves this status but is also fun to listen too, and not intented to take that seriously. The lyrics remain stellar through out almost reading like a lost Keroauc novel, and the music will leave you tapping your feet and humming the choruses. Lyrically, this album laughs in the face of traditional song writing structure. The vocals are what Patrick Stump from FallOutBoy wishes he could sound like without Protools. The singers voice soars high, then hides almost to a wish keeping the listener on edge and creating a tention not seen in music today. So please take notice of Panic! At The Disco now because they are what our scenes future is, just a few years in advance and better.
on November 26, 2005
Panic! At the Disco is a refreshingly different band in a day full of copycat rubbish. While they do sound *familiar* to some other acts out, there is one thing that separates them from the rest - dance beats. "A Fever You Can't Sweat Out" is an album of pure dance/rock energy belted out by a bunch of guys who are still too young to even drink.
A definite buy for fans of Fall Out Boy, Motion City Soundtrack, and the like simply because it offers something that is really unique to the whole emo/pop/rock scene.
on December 11, 2005
Okay, so I heard of Panic! at the Disco from Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz. I listened to some of their demos and fell in love. The day "A Fever You Can't Sweat Out" was released, I ran to the store and bought it, and now Panic! is one of my all time favorite bands.
1. Introduction- Pretty cool track. Nice way to open things up. 7/10
2. The Only Difference Between Martyrdom and Suicide is Press Coverage- My favorite track when it first came out, but trust me, it can get a little old after a while. Still love it though. 8.5/10
3. London Beckoned Songs About Money Written by Machines- Love this song. I swear, Ryan Ross really knows how to write a great song. 9.5/10
4. Nails for Breakfast, Tacks for Snacks- The demo to this song is the first Panic! song I ever heard. I was disappointed when I bought AFYCSO because this track is so much different than the demo, and personally, I prefer the demo. 7/10
5. Camisado- A great, mellow song about the hospital. Love it. 9/10
6. Time to Dance- This was also another demo I heard before buying the album, but this one is better than the demo and is one of my all time favorite songs!!! 9.5/10
7. Lying is the Most Fun a Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off- Good song, good guitars, good everything. 8.5/10
8. Intermission- The only song I skip. It draagss.
9. But It's Better If You Do- Ah, the wonders of peppy strip club songs. 9/10
10. I Write Sins, Not Tragedies- The intro is amazing! It sounds really neat. The song... it just kind of repeats itself. I like it a lot though. 8.5/10
11. I Constantly Thank God for Esteban- I like this song, but I do have to say it's down there with Nails for Breakfast. Its a good one though. 7.5/10
12. There's a Good Reason These Tables Are Numbered Honey, You Just Haven't Thought of It Yet- BEST SONG ON THE WHOLE ALBUMM!!!! Never gets old. It's GREAT. 100000000000000000/10
13. Build God, Then We'll Talk- Another one of my favorites. It's a great way to end this amazing album. 9/10
So I wouldn't necessarily recommend this to Fall Out Boy fans, but if you're a fan of prog rock or indie, this is for you.
on December 19, 2005
Chicago is an interesting city nowadays. They seem to be training these kids to live and breathe hooks, high pitched vocals, and randomly non-conventional music. Fall Out Boy put out their pop masterpiece with From Under the Cork Tree. The Academy Is... put out a debut that easily equals the pop princesses and princes with double the amount of talent. OK Go took the more rock-pop approach. And now this. Now before you all go and start to say I am not helpful and that i am a poser who has succumbed to pop-punk as my favorite music. Its not true. now please read on
after the intro, the album starts out with a kick. from the first notes i knew i had found a new guilty pleasure. little did i know, that this album never falters. their slightly unnecesarily long, yet occasionally witty, titles are part of the new fad. like most of what Panic does, however, they do it almost better than anyone. the next song has a little bit of a bite to it, but retains the hooks that you will grow to love. Nails for Breakfast, Tacks for Snacks is one of the most synthy of the songs, and is also relatively slow. The following track is my least favorite song on the album, but it certainly has its high points. but these first few songs are simply to get you ready for their style. now for the real good songs
Starting with Time to Dance, the album truly picks up. Time to Dance is an aptly named song with memorable lines (When I say shotgun you say wedding), danceable beats in tune with lyrical hooks, and intelligently designed instrumentation. This is my favorite track on the album. Lying is the Most Fun a Girl Can Have really caught my eye on the cd because it is a wonderful allusion to the movie Closer, which is one of my favorite movies of all time. It starts out tantalizingly low, with the singer having all of the bravado and arrogance of musicians with much more experience that he. Yelling "lets get these teen hearts beating faster, faster", you believe the yearning to get people dancing. Intermission is a lyricless, electronica-based powerhouse showing off that the techno beats aren't just a whim
But It Better If You Do (a continuation of the line from Closer), is a funny, fast paced song that truly showcases the singer's voice. I Write Sins Not Tragedies is a lyrically out of place, but catchy as hell, track that swoops and swoons like any good pop-punk should. I Constantly Thank God for Esteban is admittedly a low point at this part of the album, but i have a large amount of affection for it. It attempts to soar, but finds itself falling flat
There's a Good Reason These Tables are Numbered, You Just Haven't Though of It Yet is my second favorite track on the album. It draws upon a type of jazz, and a breakup bitterness at a formal event. "I'm the new cancer, never lookeded better and you can't stand it, because you say so under your breath. You're reading lips when did he get all confident?" the singer spits at his ex, and it is very much believable. Great song. The final song has some noticeable differences. It is just as catchy, just as good, but takes part more in rock-pop than pop-punk. definitely a good sound for them.
one last note about these guys. they have only been a band for about 6 months or so, and they are all 18 and 19. talent from people so young can either spell early flashes in the pan or musical legends in the making. lets hope for the latter. one way or another, this debut is going to be looked on with much affection from this fan
on May 21, 2006
I've tried to ignore it. I've tried to make fun of it. I've even tried hiding it from my jaded friends. But I am afraid I can no longer do any of these things: I am openly declaring my allegiance to Panic! at the Disco and their fun, c'mon-sing-along-now debut album, A FEVER YOU CAN'T SWEAT OUT.
Panic! started out as a Las Vegas-based quartet, fresh out of high school and gaining popularity by sheer word of mouth. Despite their undoubted similarities to Fall Out Boy (a band I despise) and subsequent mainstream recognition, I have, from my first listen of "I Write Sins Not Tragedies," knew there was something going on here. What surprised me most was that I liked it. The lyrics are unendingly clever ("Well she's not bleeding on the ballroom floor just for the attention / 'Cause that's just ridiculous...ly on") and lead singer Brendon Urie preaches with such fast-paced enthusiasm that you have no choice but to hold on as he blazes through all twelve tracks. But Urie is really just a figurehead for the band, despite the fact his high-pitched, Wentz-esque voice isn't exactly enchanting. The real brains behind Panic! at the Disco is songwriter/guitarist Ryan Ross, who pens the pop-culture sermons but keeps it zipped.
The songs range from your typical cliched we're-some-20-year-olds-trying-to-make-a-difference ("London Beckoned Songs About Money Written By Machines") to touchy, real-life experiences (Ross writes about his father's alcoholism in "Camisado") to berating immoral preachers ("I Constantly Thank God For Esteban") with fluid transition. And then there's the song titles themselves (which may be paying homage to Sufjan Stevens as much as Fall Out Boy), with lengths that make my iPod cry, like "There's A Good Reason These Tables Are Numbered Honey, You Just Haven't Thought of it Yet" and "The Only Difference Between Martyrdom and Suicide is Press Coverage," which obviously reflect the feelings of Ross if not the band as a whole.
I do harbor a certain resentment for Panic!, however, since they are headlining a tour in which the Dresden Dolls (one of my very favorite bands) are merely opening for them. This is heartbreaking, because Panic! garnered fame for their Fall Out Boy-friendly sound, which isn't anything new, and the Dresden Dolls have actually brought something to the table that you don't see everyday (which of course means that America holds bands like the Pussycat Dolls in higher esteem... shudder).
Either way, expect to see great things from Panic! at the Disco in the future, if not for their literary genius than for their upbeat technopop, which not only gathers thousands of shallow teenagers who just wanna have fun, but hundreds of people who examine the words behind the music - and try to pick out the real message within.
on November 8, 2005
I have to admit that am guilty of judging this book by its cover. I heard the name, made a funny face and never gave it a chance.
Fast forward a month or two to the middle of this fall semester and my roommate is playing these really catchy tunes that sound like a car crash between Fall Out Boy and The Newsies.
"Who is that?"
"Panic at the disco." and I blush in embarassment. Look what I have missed!
Now, there are a few things you must know about Panic! before you go constructing an opinion about them. The whole disco thing is part of the intention. I read an interview on their website where they said time and again that they were trying to make rock music that you can dance to. Good job guys. Another interesting little fact I picked up by reading some other reviews here is that their songs borrow lines from Mr. Chuck Palahniuk himself. I knew I heard that line somewhere before . . . (for example, the first song, "The Only Difference Between Martyrdom and Suicide in Press Coverage is straight out of Fight Club.) These guys are ridiculously catchy, and sound a hell of a lot like Fall Out Boy, but are not musical clones that tend to pop up in the image of successful bands. If you like these guys, and haven't heard FOB, check them out. You'll also like The Academy Is . . ., who I missed in concert and regret the decision to see The Offspring instead to this day.
My favorites on the album, if you don't feel like fishing through my ratings, are the first song and the last five songs (but all the rest is good stuff too as well). Here's a rundown of it.
1. The Only Difference Between Martyrdom and Suicide is Press Coverage - I wish it was an emo trend to make really short, precise titles. Saves typing time. Despite the mouthful of a title, this is a great song. The leader singer has a great voice, and plays with vocals like a twelve year old on a pogo stick - up, down, and every other way possible. The techno-ish breakdown near the end of the song is pretty neat, and the main chorus is something anyone can rock out to. 10/10
2. London Beckons Songs About Money Written by Machines - Not exactly my favorite on the album, but it has the image of a good song. This song has my favorite lyrics of the album in it "Just for the record, The weather today is slightly sarcastic with a good chance of: A. Indifference or B. Disinterest in what the critics say." 9/10
3. Nails For Breakfast, Tacks For Snacks - The techno-ish beginning is interesting (takes me way back to the days of Eiffel 65) and it revisits the funky little synthesizer bit throughout the song. Not quite as catchy as the others. 8/10
4. Camisado - I like the beginning, it's pretty spiffy. This ones a little more fun than the last, but still not as good as what is to come. 9/10
5. Time to Dance - I think this is the one they are advertising (at least on Purevolume they are, I don't listen to the radio). It definitely picks up the beat a little more from the last one, and gains a little more of an edge. 9/10
6. Lying is the Most Fun a Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off - This is a good song. It has a catchy chorus with some wicked shifts in the beat of the song. Keeps you on your toes and has little haunting verses before launching into the chorus, "Let's get these two hearts beating faster, faster!" 9/10
7. But It's Better When We Do - This is a really catchy song that plays off of some jazzy piano and instrumental pauses. A real shady tone. It is connected to the next song at the end. 9/10
8. I Write Sins Not Tragedies - My favorite song off the album, and the beginning is brilliant. Listen to it closely the first time you hear it and you'll laugh. The main chorus is easily the catchiest thing on the album (meaning it'll be stuck in your head for the rest of the day). The whole distortion part is a little iffy, but it doesn't ruin the song. This one, more than anything reminds me of The Newsies (if you don't know what it is, you're on Amazon, for godsake, look it up) 10/10
9. I Constantly Thank God for Esteban - Strike up the band! Nice little song with pretty little lyrics. 9/10
10. There's a Good Reason Why These Tables Are Numbered, Honey, You Just Haven't Thought of It Yet - Holy emo title, Batman. Catchy, old style song with not a whole lot of rockin out in it, but you will definitely find yourself tapping your toes with the swingy tune. "I'm the new cancer, never looked better and you can't stand it." Ska influence? Maybe. No matter what it's good. 10/10
11. Build God, Then We'll Talk - Ah, more Palahniuk fun. There's a return to rock in this song, but keeps the creepy swing backdrop. The song, like a lot before it, let the singer play with his voice. 10/10
So, go buy it. Or pay a friend for it. Or purchase it off the internet. Whatever, don't tell us how you get it. We probably don't want to know. Bottom line is that you should go get it. If you're concerned about the title of "emo" music, then just forget the whole concept and just listen to the tunes. A song is a song.
What a wonderful caricature of intimacy.
on November 25, 2005
This cd is absolutely amazing. These young guys (the oldest is 19) have talent. The first half is mixed with a sound board and techno-ish sounds, and the last half with piano and violen. This makes for a great fresh sound. I love every song, but my favorites are 'Camisado' and 'Build God, Then We'll Talk'. These guys are amazing writers for being so young, and are worth listening to! I'd buy this if i were you, they are worth the money and your time. In my top three bands.
on September 5, 2006
I bought this CD a couple days ago after hearing "I Write Sins Not Tragedies." I am amazed at how the rest of the album actually makes that song seem somewhat mediocre. If you like their song on the radio right now, you will most likely love the rest of the album. The whole thing has a theatrical/circus theme with a bit of techno mixed in, but it's mainly just good old alternative rock. The lyrics really are great and you'll find yourself laughing when you finally realize what he just said. There are some people on here that hate the album and act like Panic is just a Fallout Boy wannabe band. I've listened to Fallout Boy, and I grew tired of them quickly. I think Brendon Urie has a much better voice than the lead singer of Fallout Boy and that he really knows how to use it. He mixes it up so much and never lets the listener get comfortable with a song (that goes for the band as a whole). Most of their songs defy the typical song style, not following the verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, chorus style that listeners get so used to. I won't actually rate the songs because I think my opinion will change over time (I always end up liking songs more over time or if I really love them at first, I'll listen to em too much and get tired of them). What's crazy is that with most CDs you buy for one song (at first), you have to listen to that song so many times to get it through your system before you really want to listen to the rest of the album. That's not the case with this one. I Write Sins is an awesome song, but it really doesn't give the band credit compared to a lot of the other stuff and I think people will realize that as they keep releasing stuff.
If you're tryin to decide on the CD, all of the songs are good but you should really listen to the samples of #2, 3, 4, 5, and 9. They're not really much better (if at all) than the other songs, but I think they've got better hooks and will make you want to buy the album to listen to the rest.