Panic! at the Disco
Pray for the Wicked


2.5
average

Review

by tmagistrelli USER (20 Reviews)
June 22nd, 2018 | 32 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Mama, Can I get another hit?

It is always interesting to watch entertainment professionals navigate a rebirth of popularity. Many of the late 2000s Panic! At the Disco fan base has faded away over the years after numerous lineup changes and sound disparity between studio albums. Now the band is simply a vehicle for lead vocalist Brendon Urie to get his music out into the world with a household name behind it. These changes have resulted in a much younger fan base. 2016’s Death of a Bachelor catapulted the solo act to new heights, going from selling out clubs to selling out arenas off the double platinum effort. The one thing it lacked though was a top 40 hit.

Two and a half years down the road we have 6th Studio effort Pray For The Wicked. An album described by Urie as an album that he “surprised got made”. Maybe that would have been for the best.

Compared to even their last record, Pray For The Wicked is a drop in quality. There is nothing here overly offensive to the longtime or casual fans but there is some glaring weaknesses to behold. One of the biggest issues with Wicked is Brendon Urie’s dynamic vocals are no longer at the forefront of the music. Throughout the career of the pop outfit, and most prevalent over the last 5 years, Urie’s vocal chops typically stole the show. While this record still shows some signs of that, it is mostly Urie attempting to wail over an obnoxiously loud instrumental. A good example of this is album opener “(*** A) Silver Lining” which I would liken to the equivalent of “So if we play loud, people might think we are good”. The song is just a complete mishmash of instrumental ideas that fails to turn into anything.

Another issue with this album is Urie’s incredibly juvenile lyrics. While it is true that lyrics have never been his strong point, this album reaches a new low.

”Roll me up a blunt because I wanna go home” – “Roarin 20s”

“Everything is cherries and cherries, everything is cherries on top” - “(*** A) Silver Lining”

”Mama said….” – “High Hopes”

“Mama can I get another amen!” – “Say Amen (Saturday Night”


Matriarchal fascinations aside, the single biggest flaw in Wicked is how every damn track wants to swing for the fences to get that illustrious top 40 hit. Throughout the entire record tracks with incredibly promising starts are bogged down by loud, cliché filled choruses. “High Hopes” is a standout track that is ultimately foiled by repetitive lyricism and an attempt to be overly upbeat. “Roarin’ 20’s” was also incredibly promising until the chorus starts, and then it becomes a poor man’s version of “Mambo No. 5”. “King of the Clouds” is the biggest victim of this, with an incredible opening and lyrics foiled by a chorus of seven total words.

However despite the mediocre two thirds of the album there is a few examples that the group still has the refined flair for the dramatic that we have seen since their inception. Lead single “Say Amen (Saturday Night)” is just too damn catchy to be overlooked. This is an otherwise run of the mill pop song brought to life by the vocalists satisfying croon. The featuring brass on this track is also well placed and not overly pompous. In closing track “Dying In LA” the elements are stripped away leaving it just to a piano and Urie’s voice. And while it is hard to take this seriously for the third album in a row, it comes off sincere. The best work to be found here is “Overpass”, this is where all these over eccentricities come together to create an incredibly solid power pop romp.

All in all Pray For The Wicked is an inoffensive, rushed, mediocre, giant bag of missed potential. There is a lot to love as a longtime fan of the band, but Brendon Urie needs to learn that part of what made Panic! At The Disco so endearing is the willingness to push the envelope. It feels like here he is settling to make something quick and easy. Hopefully mama has some advice to get past this one.



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user ratings (238)
Chart.
2.4
average
other reviews of this album
Simon STAFF (2)
I had high, high hopes....

Christopher Y. (2.5)
Um, I better chime “out”, and close the god damn door....



Comments:Add a Comment 
tmagistrelli
June 22nd 2018


800 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

i have been a long time fan of the band



they are never gonna come close to "Vices & Virtues" again are they?

RadioheadIsOverrated
June 22nd 2018


505 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Good review dude, this one disappointed me tbh. I personally found TWTLTRTD to be worse than this, but other than that this is easily P!ATD's weakest, most underwhelming effort.

tmagistrelli
June 22nd 2018


800 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

thanks man,



yeah not gonna lie I kinda saw this coming. DOAB was actually pretty solid but I couldn't see them following that up without really going for a hit.

NorwichScene
June 22nd 2018


2894 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Can tell this was released early. It’s so boring

Snake.
June 22nd 2018


21750 Comments


"it just proves that this user only re-appears when shit music is released"


i said this the last time OP reviewed an album and i feel shitty about it now


this is probably really terrible tho

oisincoleman64
June 22nd 2018


2307 Comments


Well I liked it

tmagistrelli
June 22nd 2018


800 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Hey snake! yeah i went AWOL for awhile. might be gone again. but i'm always here rating albums.

TheLongShot
June 22nd 2018


832 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

This is DOAB but with less energy, worse songs and a much flatter production

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
June 22nd 2018


16431 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Too Weird to Live is a masterpiece compared to this

tmagistrelli
June 22nd 2018


800 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

[2]

ZombieToyDuck
June 22nd 2018


7076 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

god every track makes me feel like I'm stuck in closet with a bunch of overblown horns, generic melodies and a man either making terrible puns or bragging about himself in the most pretentious way possible...



besides like The Overpass

NorwichScene
June 22nd 2018


2894 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Too Weird was great. This sucks

tmagistrelli
June 22nd 2018


800 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Too weird at least dared to be different even if it didn't age well for me. This is definitely their worst.

tmagistrelli
June 22nd 2018


800 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Vices the best

Ebola
June 22nd 2018


3609 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

DOAB is a really solid pop record, so I guess I'll check this one out. Not expecting too much.

SteakByrnes
June 22nd 2018


15151 Comments


The debut is still one of my favorite albums, but I bet this sucks hard

Digging: Auras - Binary Garden

bloc
June 22nd 2018


56577 Comments


This probably sucks. And no, I will not be taking this album with a sense of poise and rationality.

Digging: UNKLE - Psyence Fiction

SteakByrnes
June 22nd 2018


15151 Comments


It's alright bloc, we'll always have the debut m/

Lucman
June 22nd 2018


2912 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

The debut is their worst. I'd even take this and DOAB over that one anyday.

SteakByrnes
June 22nd 2018


15151 Comments


nah



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