Upon first hearing that Panic! At The Disco had released the second instalment to their new album “Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die!”, my initial reaction was less than enthusiastic, to say the least.
I felt wary and rather uninterested when approaching the time when I would have to sit down, press play and listen to the latest Panic! song. Why, you ask? Well from what ‘Miss Jackson’ (the band’s previous single) had to offer, I was ready to wash my hands with Panic! altogether and call it a day.
After hearing ‘This Is Gospel’ however, I’m sort of glad I didn’t. I say sort of, because I like the song – genuinely, I do. However, in a way there’s a part of me that wishes this whole phase of Panic! At The Disco’s career was simply all just a bad dream. I’m still one of those annoying fans who pines after the days of old where the colourful cabaret of Panic!’s debut album ‘A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out’ was one of the most exciting releases in music at the time. In comparison, these new additions are simply mediocre.
You must pay special attention to the phrase “in comparison” there, because as a song ‘This Is Gospel’ stands head and shoulders above a lot of the drivel you come across these days. From the quirky Imogen Heap-esque auto tune (which at first made me incredibly nervous), to the chanting vocals that are beautifully similar to something you’d find on Fall Out Boy records from throughout their catalogue, this song is a little bit edgy and quite frankly better than ‘Miss Jackson’ by a country mile.
There’s the essence of Panic! At The Disco with a little bit of a modern twist, which I like, but I find that what Panic! are lacking most of all of late is their lyrical eloquence. The thing I loved most about Panic! when I first heard them was the intricacy of their lyrics and how carefully selected each lyric and phrase was. I don’t see that anymore, and while the lyrics to this aren’t bad, they aren’t exactly what I’d call memorable either.
And while many would put this down to the lack of writing influence from previous band member Ryan Ross, I don’t. The band’s last album ‘Vices and Virtues’ was written without Ross (not including ‘Nearly Witches (Ever Since We Met)’, which was the only song credited to Ryan Ross) and it still had the same sort of lyrical chaos. I miss it, and wish for it to return on their upcoming album.
Now, while I have you all here, I’d like to mention that in case you’ve read my previous single review for Panic! At The Disco’s ‘Miss Jackson’, I believe I made a few unfair remarks about Spencer’s absence from the video. It was revealed by Spencer after I wrote the review that he is currently undergoing rehabilitation from an addiction, and it can therefore be deduced that this is perhaps why his presence is less than dominant these days. I fully retract any negative comments I made in regards to this and wish Spencer a speedy recovery and hope for him to return to Panic! At The Disco when he is good and ready.
And now that my faith has been partly restored in Panic!’s future, I look forward to the release of their upcoming album ‘Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die!’, available worldwide on October 8.