Panic! At The Disco Return With “Miss Jackson” and Upcoming Album


Something that I’ve always loved about Panic! At The Disco is the fact that you never know exactly which direction the band is going to go. The band’s first album,  A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out (2005) was highlighted by a little hit by the name of “I Write Sins Not 1004649-panic-at-the-disco-portrait-617-409Tragedies” whose hook still shines eight years later: “I chime in, ‘Haven’t you people ever heard of / closing the g**damn door?’ / No, it’s much better to face these kinds of things / with a sense of poise and rationality”. Odd chorus right? Yep, but it was the delivery and the oddness that truly endeared the song to listeners everywhere…I suppose. There was also the lengthily titled “Lying Is The Most Fun A Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off” in which Urie sings “I’ve got more with, a better kiss, a hotter touch, a better f**k / than any boy you’ll ever meet, sweetie you had me” before he dives into a hook comprised of lyrics “So testosterone boys and harlequin girls / will you dance to this beat, and hold a lover close?”

Second album Pretty. Odd. Was indeed pretty odd, but from my perspective in a good way. Not everyone felt that way, but to be fair, it was a completely different, more eclectic and ambitious album compared to the band’s debut. Still, I was onboard for tunes including  “Nine in the Afternoon”, “That Green Gentlemen (Things Have Changed)”, and “When The Day Met The Night”.  And honestly, tracks like  “She’s A Handsome Woman” and “The Piano Knows Something I Don’t Know” were just great titles, don’t you think? It at least grasps your interest.

b23e9083-e114-407f-9e75-8073939378d4Prior to Vices & Virtues, Ryan Ross and Jon Walker would exit, something Ross would cite as creative differences with frontman Brendon Urie. Divisive sophomore album much? Even though Panic! At The Disco was reduced in number,  Brendon Urie and Spencer Smith carried on, delivering a solid third album.  Still eclectic, Vices & Virtues was another contrast for the band. It didn’t quite receive the attention of previous efforts, but I was digging it as Brendon Urie was singing “let’s kill tonight” over Butch Walkers bombastic production.  This year, Panic! At The Disco return with their fourth studio album, Too Weird to Live, Too Rare To Die, due October 8.

Every Panic! At The Disco album may be different, but listeners always anticipate awesome vocals courtesy of Brendon Urie, who can flat out blow. Something about the jubilant tenor is nothing short of alluring.  One problem the band has and may always have is being in the shadow of another emo, pop-punk outfit by the name of um Fall Out Boy.  Should they be compared to Fall Out Boy? If everything were fair, the answer would be no, but everything isn’t fair.  Panic arrived on the scene after Fall Out Boy when FOB were really establishing themselves as the face of punk-pop at the time.  And as much as I love new single “Miss Jackson” (I literally can’t get it unstuck in my head), isn’t their a lot of soulful Patrick Stump influence on this cut in particular?

Screen-shot-2013-07-15-at-10.45.36-AM-300x207Regardless, “Miss Jackson” is different from other singles from Panic! At The Disco, which keeps that contrasting edge alive and well, regardless of FOB comparisons.  The biggest similarity the single has to “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” is that Urie manages to muster the same expletive once more, specifically in the chorus (“He-eyy / Where will you be waking up tomorrow morning? / He-ey / out the back door / g**damn / but I love her anyway…”). I dunno, I suppose that was a point of emphasis back in 2005 – maybe they’re going for similar results?  Intensifying curses aside, I personally enjoy the musical cultural allusion back to panic-2013-400Nasty” by Janet Jackson (“Miss Jackson,  Miss Jackson, Miss Jackson, are you nasty?”).  And the fact that this has a soulful, poppy edge and percolates to a boil on a manic chorus? All the better.

Ultimately, this little ‘pop’ song makes me further anticipate an album I would’ve anticipated regardless.  The music video is definitely a plus, particularly as Brendon Urie slits Miss Jackson’s throat and goes on to sing “…I love her anyway”… Cray cray, but in a good way, sorta.

Verdict (Single): ✰✰✰✰

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