From A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out to Death of A Bachelor: The Evolution of Panic! At The Disco

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On January 15th, Panic at the Disco, aka Panic! released their fifth album, Death of A Bachelor. The album was both a critical and commercial success, debuting at number one on the US Billboard Chart, which was a first for the indie pop punk band. Later, it reached number one on the US Top Rock Albums Chart, and US Top Alternative Albums Chart. I thought it would be only fitting to look through Panic!’s music and looks throughout the past decade.

In 2005, Brendon Urie, Ryan Ross, Spencer Smith and Brent Wilson released A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out. The album was a perfect representation of the band’s emo and angsty image at the time, with long-titled singles like, “I Write Sins Not Tragedies,” and “Lying Is the Most Fun A Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off.” A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out later went on to go double platinum and inspire many Tumblr spoofs of songs (and their annoyingly long titles). This Internet fame further solidified Panic! as one of the top emo pop punk bands during that time, joining the ranks with bands like Fall Out Boy, in all of their emo pop glory.

Three years and one new band member replacement later (founding member and bassist Brent Wilson was replaced by Jon Walker during the band’s first world tour), the band released their second studio album, Pretty. Odd. The hit single “Nine in the Afternoon,” from the album did commercially well, going gold later that year. However, the album itself was not as critically or commercially acclaimed, due to its drastic change from its emo pop punk roots to a more psychedelic pop sound. This musical change ultimately led to the departure of guitarist and principal songwriter Ryan Ross, as well as bassist Jon Walker. This left Brendon Urie and Spencer Smith as the only original and remaining members of Panic! at the Disco.

Later that year, Urie and Smith released a new single, “New Perspective”, a song from the Jennifer’s Body movie soundtrack. The duo then recruited bassist Dallon Weekes and lead guitarist Ian Crawford to accompany the band during live shows. Weekes later became a full-time member of Panic! in 2010which was right around the time when Panic! was recording the band’s third studio album, Vices & Virtues, which was released in the spring of 2011. The album gave audiences their long-standing wish for Panic! to return to their original pop punk sound and was the only album of the band’s to be completely recorded by only Urie and Spencer.

The 3-man band then went on create and release their fourth studio album, Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die!, on October 8, 2013. While this album kept true to the band’s original sound, like Vices & Virtues, singles such as “Miss Jackson,” and “This Is Gospel,” had a more hip-hop and dance vibe. It even spawned Brendon Urie’s tribute to R&B artist D’Angelo in his music video for “Girls / Girls / Boys”.

Now in 2016, Brendon is the only remaining original member of Panic!, seeing as how founding member Spencer Smith officially left the band in 2015 and bassist Dallon Weekes was also downgraded to a touring member. The band released “Hallelujah,” as the first single from their fifth album in April of 2015 The album, Death of a Bachelor, retains the band’s pop punk roots but adds levels of both jazz and funk to their music, creating an almost classical feeling. This evolution of music shows just how much Brendon Urie and the revolving door that is Panic! at the Disco has grown.

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