The first time I heard Panic! at the Disco’s “A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out,” I thought to myself, “Well, if you didn’t want to wait for Fall Out Boy’s next CD, you could just buy this album and you would never know the difference.”
Then, after looking at the CD case, listening more carefully to the music and noticing some of the album’s obvious quirks, it hit me that Panic! At The Disco is not as much trying to copy Fall Out Boy as they are acting as a real life parody.
The similarities between the two groups are astounding to the point that it would take a lot of effort not to notice. The lead vocalists of the two groups, Brendon Urie of Panic! and Patrick Stumph, sound exactly alike, and the song titles from both groups take three lines each to write down.
Even beyond the surface similarities, the songs are structured in exactly the same way. Both groups revolve their sound around the notion that springy half-beats and clever lyrics make good music. Also, both groups have a knack for repeating themselves. In the first single from Panic! at the Disco’s album, “I Write Sins, Not Tragedies,” the chorus is repeated about 10 times, one of those a drawn out version of the same words acting as the song’s only bridge. It seems that instead of writing more than six lines of music for their introduction into pop culture, they thought they would just write one provocative set of phrases and stick with that. What saves the single is how clearly it shows through the music that the band actually enjoys playing and singing the song.
The album has a few songs that are really fun to listen to and some that have the potential to attract attention. After I lost interest in the single, both “Camisado” and “Time to Dance” were close runners-up for the best, most catchy songs on the album. “Lying is the Most Fun a Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off,” has a dark, cynical sound to it which I actually enjoyed.
One of the only interesting aspects of this group is the fact that they somehow manage to integrate electronica-style backgrounds into their songs, as though they found a way to make their guitars blend perfectly with the music you would hear at, wait for it, a disco. Panic! at the Disco must have written their music based around what would happen if a bunch of punk kids walked into Studio 54 and started playing in rhythm with the music.
All in all, I would be lying if I said I absolutely hated this CD. It is repetitive and predictable, but their unique sound and some of their down-to-earth writing makes the album almost mysterious. Simply put, even if all Panic! at the Disco did was add their own spin to the style that made Fall Out Boy popular, the music is still catchy and hard to resist, no matter how much I may have wanted to at first.