The third album from Panic! At The Disco, Vices & Virtues, released just two days ago. After listening to the single "Ballad of Mona Lisa", I knew I had to check it out. I've never been big into Panic!'s material, but that song alone really drew me in. This album seems to take the electronic/pop-y drive from A Fever You Can't Sweat Out and the motivation/passion from Pretty. Odd. It's a good balance.
"Ballad of Mona Lisa" is one of those songs that get stuck in your brain. It has good lyrics and great instrumentation. It also has a good story behind it (which honestly, I just found out about yesterday). Apparently, it's about a prostitute. I mean, who can deny a good song about prostitutes?
The next few songs seem to carry that same energy. Gives us theatrics and then some. Gives us lyrics like "You won't find me perching here again" and "I led the revolution in my bedroom and I set all the zippers free."
The high energy seems to dwindle as the album goes along. We are hit with more heartfelt lyrics and slower beats with "Memories" and "Always." I'm not a big fan of slower music, so I tend to not pay full attention to the slower stuff.
Then I got side-swiped/kicked in the face with "Sarah Smiles." This song is a diamond. It's a very fun, old fashioned sounding song. It sounds very Frank Sinatra yet it reminds of Mariachi music yet it ties up like a typical Panic! song. It sounds completely different from any of the other songs on the album.
The last song, "Nearly Witches" was a great song to end with. Had this song not existed, I would've said that "Sarah Smiles" would've been perfect to end with. I really have no idea how to explain this song; it's ten shades of awesome. It mixes all of the things I love most about music. It has the best dynamics I've heard in a song in quite some time. It sounds like something I'd hear at the end of a Broadway musical. It wraps up this gem of an album perfectly.
To me, this album was pretty damn impressive. It gives us a new perspective on Panic! At The Disco while accenting each song with their unique flair. I think I will be following this band from now on. They've definitely impressed me. Their next single, "Ready To Go (Get Me Out Of My Mind), is supposed to drop sometime in April.
They are also going on a European tour April-May 2011 and they also announced that their tour in North America will follow in May with the bands Fun (or fun.), Foxy Shazam, and Funeral Party. I'll keep you posted.