On Jan. 24, Brendon Urie of Panic! At The Disco officially announced the band’s breakup on their social media platforms. It was surprising to most fans, as they had recently released a record merely five months prior but not completely out of the left field for others. There were rumors circling the Internet of Urie having a child (thanks to Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy who accidentally posted a picture of their baby announcement on Instagram), which he announced as his reasoning for bringing the band to a close.
Nevertheless, it has been a hell of a ride for Panic! At The Disco, and to commemorate their success, here is a ranking of their seven studio albums. In this list, all of their albums are included except for their two live records that have been released on streaming platforms.
Anyways, here is an official ranking of Panic! At The Disco albums:
Kicking the list off in last place is their most recent record, “Viva Las Vengeance,” released last year. Although this album has a few high points like their title track and “Local God,” the rest of the album is hardly worth listening to. Even the “high points” are not very high — just the tracks that one can get through without needing to skip the whole record. Urie’s vocals are arguably at their worst with his squeaky high notes in places where there doesn’t need to be a high note. The lyrics fail in comparison to how well the other albums’ lyrics were crafted and flowed as a whole. The instrumentals carry the album, but they sound too close to completely ripping off a Queen record for them to hold up as anything “new” or “inspiring.” Overall, the listenability of “Viva Las Vengeance” is close to zero.
Next on the list is “Pray For The Wicked,” released in 2018. Personally, I would have this ranked higher for nostalgic purposes (I saw them live twice during this era), but I want to give each record a basis for how I judge them; therefore, I shall rank each record based on their musical and lyrical content and not factor in nostalgia levels. Nevertheless, “Pray For The Wicked” is the record that put Panic! At The Disco at the top of the pop charts with its catchy melodies and optimistic lyrics. Singles “High Hopes” and “Hey Look Ma, I Made It” helped push the album to number one on the US Billboard 200. Although the record received relatively positive reviews from critics, their fans had mixed reviews about it. There are several tracks on the record that make it stand out like “King of the Clouds” and “The Overpass,” but the main singles seem to bring the album down a bit. The lyrics are comparable to “Viva Las Vengeance,” but they’re more coherent as a whole. Moreover, “Pray For The Wicked” is an alright record, but it’s far from their best.
The next album on this list is Panic! At The Disco’s last record as a rock band, “Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die!,” released in 2013. With sparkling synths and almost-robotic vocals, the album leans more into the “electropop” that flourished during that era of pop music. “This Is Gospel” and “Vegas Lights” help showcase the band’s turn from their previous steam-punk record, “Vices & Virtues” (2011) to a brighter, poppier tune that followed the band into their later albums. Although it’s not my favorite album of theirs, “Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die!” is an experimental record with many memorable hits and favorable qualities.
Speaking of their steam-punk album, next on this list is “Vices & Virtues,” released in 2011. After the departure of bandmates Ryan Ross and Jon Walker, Brendon Urie and drummer Spencer Smith take a dark, more theatrical turn with Panic! At The Disco’s music. Songs like “Let’s Kill Tonight” and “Nearly Witches (Ever Since We Met…)” are great examples that show off the album’s dark nature while also adding a more “techno” sound that they will heavily explore later on their next album. The lyrics are arguably some of the best-crafted lyrics on any of their albums. Some give credit to the work of Fall Out Boy’s lyricist, Pete Wentz, who helped craft the lyrics on this record. Although the album seems like a great contender to be placed higher on this list, there are still many songs that I consider “skips.” Nevertheless, “Vices & Virtues” is still a wonderful album as a whole and is considered a favorite by many.
This next album might come as a surprise to some, but I believe it deserves to be placed as number three on this list. “Death of a Bachelor” is Panic! At The Disco’s fifth studio album and was released on Jan. 15, 2016. The album is inspired by a mix of Frank Sinatra and Queen, which can be heard clearly on tracks like “Death of a Bachelor” and “Victorious.” The album is full of vivacious songs with drilling drums and bouncing basslines. On the other hand, the album contains somber tracks with melancholy piano and crooning horns. Overall, “Death of a Bachelor” is a cohesive album that continues to hold up after seven years.
In second place on this list is Panic! At The Disco’s 2008 record, “Pretty. Odd.” This is the band’s second studio album, which was released four years after their first record, “A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out.” The sound of this album is considerably different from their first record as it includes more of a whimsical, Beatles-type sound to it. “That Green Gentleman (Things Have Changed)” and “Nine in the Afternoon” highlight this change to their sound with the inclusion of a wind orchestra, folk guitar, bright brass accompaniment and chipper piano. The lyrics are certainly “pretty odd” as they speak of strange, fairy-tale-like metaphors and weird euphemisms. However, the “strangeness” of the lyrics doesn’t take away from the album as a whole; if anything, it adds to its concept of wonder and whimsy. Moreover, “Pretty. Odd.” is a strange addition to Panic! At The Disco’s discography, but it’s different in an extraordinary way.
Finally, the best record of Panic! At The Disco’s discography is their first studio album, “A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out,” released in 2005. Upon this record’s release, it became a commercial success with its second single, “I Write Sins Not Tragedies,” helping the album boost sales. As for the record’s sound, the first half of the record is majority pop-punk while the latter half is described as “baroque pop,” which is a fusion of rock and classical music. Tracks like “But It’s Better If You Do” and “Camisado” help bridge the record together to create a holistic cacophony of loud guitar, hyper synthesizers and rumbling drums. The lyrics on this record – who are attributed to past guitarist, Ryan Ross – speak of jealousy, affairs and other stories based on novels such as “Invisible Monsters” and “Survivor,” both written by Chuck Palahniuk. Overall, “A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out” is an amazing, stand-out record and Panic! At The Disco’s greatest album.
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