Panic! at the Disco
Pretty. Odd.


4.0
excellent

Review

by neekafat CONTRIBUTOR (59 Reviews)
July 11th, 2017 | 55 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Pretty. Underrated.

Written in a cabin deep in the mountains of Nevada, one might expect that Panic at the Disco's follow-up to their massively successful debut, A Fever You Can't Sweat Out, would be something a bit woodsier, a bit more mature. Largely influenced by earlier rock bands such as the Beatles and a wide variety of genres such as folk music and bluegrass, Pretty. Odd. dispenses with annoying pop hooks and their origins as a Fall Out Boy cover band for a far more interesting sound and a diverse musical palate.

The record is filled to the brim with lush instrumentals, and “Nine in the Afternoon” aptly encapsulates Panic at the Disco’s ability on this album to blend solid musicianship with pop, probably more than in any other they’ve put out. They manage to sound completely different but still close to A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out in a way that divided not only their fans, but many critics as well. Recently however, the album has been viewed in a more positive light.

The most impressive thing about the album is its ability to take the sounds of a generation before them and imbue them with a sense of their modern passion, constantly switching sounds and ideas without ever sounding out of place or pretentious. In fact, Pretty. Odd. is the most pleasant and humble album Panic has released, and when combined with its eclectic and expansive sound the fact becomes even more surprising.

“The Piano Knows Something I Don’t Know” perfectly encapsulates this, sounding at once familiar but strangely original. There’s something dangerous lurking right behind the sweet strings and strained vocals, something that subverts its influences and becomes its own. “Folkin’ Around” flawlessly merges Panic’s sound with classic sounds of Bob Dylan and bluegrass, creating an engaging listen.

Much of this stylistic change is due to the shifting tastes of the man in charge, Ryan Ross. He wrote every song from the previous album, and still wrote the majority of the songs here, albeit with this new direction. He would leave immediately after the album along with bassist Jon Walker in search of this folkier old-fashioned rock sound, as drummer Spencer Smith and singer Brendon Urie were determined to take the band closer to the “polished pop” sound that the original album was working towards.

Despite not writing all the songs singlehandedly this time around, Ross’s influence is even more dominating on this album than the previous, his vocals are present on all of the most gentle songs, such as “Northern Downpour,” “Behind the Sea,” and “She Had the World.” All three exhibit wonderful lyricism (particularly “Behind the Sea,” with the line “We’re all too small to talk to God” provoking thought without turning to pretension), and his voice features a more folky quality that contrasts nicely with Urie's on this style of music.

It still retains some faults of the original, such as the repetitive lyrics on “Do You Know What I’m Seeing?” and a bit-too-flashy pop-punk melodies. Urie’s solo writing spot “I Have Friends in Holy Spaces” only goes to prove why he wasn’t the lead songwriter during this era. The structure at the album is also greatly at fault; I’ve never seen a record so bottom heavy in my life. The latter half of the album is ridiculously better, and aside from the aforementioned “Nine in the Afternoon,” the first half is mostly unremarkable--if still a large improvement from their debut.

After the gorgeous ballad “Northern Downpour,” things take a turn for the better. We’re immediately brandished with the epic horn-laden “When the Day Met the Night.” It’s a propulsive song thanks to a mysterious guitar lick and shimmers with an extensive string section. It’s something to behold, and is easily one of Panic’s greatest achievements as a band. From then until the closer, we’re treated to their best streak of great songs to date.

While Pretty. Odd. might have just been a detour in the musical journey of Panic, it manages to be the most musically diverse and impressive album they’ve released yet.



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user ratings (1230)
3
good
other reviews of this album
DaveyBoy EMERITUS (2)
‘Pretty Odd’ indeed! Alternate album titles were ‘Very. Risky’, ‘Really. Different’, ‘...

Burning_October (3.5)
A fun piece of pop that shows that Panic may have more potential then they previously let on....

ilikemusicthatsucks (1.5)
Pretty poor effort....

thecatintheshoes (4.5)
Overall, i wouldn't recommend this album based solely on the fact that you liked A Fever You Can't S...


Comments:Add a Comment 
neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
July 11th 2017


17541 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Not gonna lie, I struggled with this one a lot.

Something just wasn't clicking with me but I did my best to make all my thoughts make sense, let me know how it turned out!

Green Baron
July 11th 2017


24928 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Pretty. Shit.

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
July 11th 2017


17541 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Pretty. Stfu.

Aerisavion
July 11th 2017


2768 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I probably should give this another try. When it first came out I was totally against it but been on a major Panic! high lately so should probably see if it's something I'll be into.



Also really enjoyed the review, have a pos

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
July 11th 2017


17541 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Cheers man, be sure to let me know how you feel about it!

SteakByrnes
July 11th 2017


16945 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice review my dude, I don't like this nearly as much as the debut but there's some pretty nice jams on this.

Digging: Novelists FR - C'est La Vie

butcherboy
July 11th 2017


9464 Comments


great review, neeka.. never actually listened to these guys, they don't seem like my brand of music, though at this point, I may well just be affected by the opinions of others.. have this pppppppppppos

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
July 11th 2017


17541 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks guys!

@Steak yeah I much prefer this one, idk the debut never did much for me

@Butcher I'd check them out sometime just for the hell of it, this is my favorite but otherwise they have some fun stuff. I feel like they're just a good band to have heard and have an opinion on yknow?

butcherboy
July 11th 2017


9464 Comments


you haven't stirred me wrong yet (out of 1 rec, haha),., I'll give them a go this week sometime..

ZombieToyDuck
July 11th 2017


7078 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice review man, probably would have given this a better chance if it weren't panic! releasing it so maybe I'll give it another go soon and try to be subjective.

ZombieToyDuck
July 11th 2017


7078 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

All three exhibit wonderful lyricism (particularly “Behind the Sea,” with the line “We’re all too small to talk to God” provoking thought without turning to pretension), and his



Also not sure what happened here but just kinda stopped mid sentence.

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
July 11th 2017


17541 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@butcher, oh no this isn't a quality rec, this is more of a "why not?" kind of thing lol

@Deadly oh fuck you right can't believe no one caught that haha, let me know what you think if you check it again!

Drifter
July 12th 2017


16377 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Fever >>>>>>>>>>>>

Green Baron
July 12th 2017


24928 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I only like Nine in the Afternoon, Green Gentleman, Northern Downpour, Mad as Rabbits and She Had the World

BlushfulHippocrene
Staff Reviewer
July 12th 2017


3159 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Sweet review as always, Neeka. Posss'd!



Some minor nitpicks as always. When you begin sentences with clauses like "Filled to the brim with lush instrumentals" and Written in a cabin deep in the mountains of Nevada," make sure that you make clear to the reader that the subject of the sentence is still the album. For example, "Written in a cabin deep in the mountains of Nevada, one might expect that Panic at the Disco's follow-up to their massively successful debut, A Fever You Can't Sweat Out, would be something a bit woodsier, a bit more mature." Does that make sense? Just so the "follow-up" is closer to the description of its creation, so there's no doubt it's what's being talked about.



In "take the sounds of a generation before them and imbue it with a sense of their modern passion," I think the "it" should be "them" since you're talking about multiple sounds. (Let's see how nitpicky my nitpicks can get.) And in the last sentence, get rid of the "while" or "but." ((:



Fantastic work as usual, though. Just reading the name "Nine in the Afternoon" brings back memories, so I'm going to have check this out soon.

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
July 12th 2017


17541 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

All solid tunes, no love for When the Day Met the Night?

@Drifter oh no bb y u do dis

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
July 12th 2017


17541 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks as always Blushful, they may be nitpicks but they're important and that's why I need them haha :] Yeah the way I write these reviews lately has been like assembling a frankenstein's monster of ideas and phrases so sometimes I don't combine them in the correct way grammatically. And like I said I was feeling a bit off while writing this lol

I really appreciate it man, hopefully I can pay more attention next time!

And be sure to let me know whatcha think of it if you give it a listen anytime soon

Gyromania
July 12th 2017


29476 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Fuck yes! Album is so good. To hell with the haters

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
July 12th 2017


17541 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Same here man! Is this your fave?

Drifter
July 12th 2017


16377 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This albums like a 2.5/3



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