Panic! at the Disco has always been known to change up their sounds and emotions from album to album to always maintain a fresh face. Their sixth studio album, Pray for the Wicked, is no different. Following lead singer Brandon Urie’s Broadway ambitions in Kinky Boots this past year, it seems those experiences have manifested into style, sass and finesse in a way that has allowed the band to reach new heights.
Pray for the Wicked never leaves a moment dry. Urie kicks the album off with two of some of the most charged and vocally-impressive tracks to have come out thus far this year. “(Fuck a) Silver Lining” and “Pray for the Wicked” are punchy, slamming tracks where Urie is at his best. This is not to say that the following tracks lack in comparison, as they are all uniquely singular and distinguishable. Recurring in nearly every song on this album are an array of golden, blazing horns that give each song an epic and grandiose feel. This combined with Urie’s stunning voice and sharp high notes give an out-of-this world feeling. What is additionally impressive are the tight and clangy instrumentals also provided by Urie in production. Although the production all across this album is constantly exciting and impressive, it does leave one asking for more, emotionally-speaking
The messaging of this album is fairly monotone with lyricism pertaining to a life of success, riches, partying, alcohol and sex. There are a few hints of the downsides of what a life like this can look like in tracks like “Roaring 20’s” and “One of the Drunks,” but these are only lightly explored. Though the tone of the album is unchanging, the album does finally allow you to come up for air from the excitement with the concluding track “Dying in LA” with a soothing yet large and full piano ballad again accompanied by Urie’s flawless vocals.
If you are looking for the next greatest album that features rollercoasters of emotion and tracks that will live on for eternity, perhaps you will not find that here, but if you are looking for a fun, loud, exciting, and a great sing-along car-ride album, then this is it. Pray for the Wicked is a concise album tied neatly with a bow that most certainly deserves some awards for production and vocals next Grammy season and leaves fans eagerly awaiting for what could come in the future.