Behind a veil of pep and high notes sits the truth of Panic! At The Disco’s newest album Viva Las Vengeance


The cover of Panic! At The Disco’s newest album: Viva Las Vengeance.

My brother, being a tremendous Panic! At The Disco fan, was the first person to mention that the band had recently released a new album. After four years of waiting for additional music from them, my brother and I were both excited to see what direction they were going to take it in. 

Unfortunately, I was crestfallen when I finished listening. To be honest, my preferred music is Taylor Swift and Harry Styles; however, this isn’t to say that I dislike all other music. Panic! At The Disco is one of the only bands that my whole family has a fondness for. 

When “Viva Las Vengeance”—the first track on the album—started playing, I was enraptured. You could say I had high hopes. However, when Brendon Urie—the lead singer—began singing oodles of raspy high notes, I slowly lost interest. The song was as rough as sandpaper with its rocky transitions to separate rhythms. It ends with a piercing high note that forced me to turn down my volume.

The song was as rough as sandpaper with its rocky transitions to separate rhythms. It ends with a piercing high note that forced me to turn down my volume.”

The second track on Viva Las Vengeance is called “Middle of a Breakup.” I was hopeful that “Viva Las Vengeance” was just one sloppy song that the rest of the album would make up for; this, however, was not the case. “Middle of a Breakup” is surprisingly similar to the first track in that it changes tempos without considering the flow. The song ends abruptly, confusing me as to whether the next song was a continuation or if it had truly concluded.

Track nine, “Something About Maggie,” is probably my favorite song on the album. While it is riddled with acute high notes, the chorus is particularly catchy. The dominating appeal to me is the beat; it has an exciting rhythm that enticed me to continue listening. However, if I were to rate it out of ten, I would probably only give it a six. 

I have always thought that Panic! At The Disco could be a modern Queen. Previous to their latest album, they had a way of making their music feel almost familiar. I do not get that same emotion from their newest music. Although it continues to have a similar feel to Queen, it is no longer endearing, but rather more perturbing.

Urie has consistently had a large vocal range throughout his musical career. There are multiple songs where he sings both too low and too high for me to duet with him, such as “Death of a Bachelor.” Until recently, there has not been a problem with this. Unfortunately, he takes it too far in Viva Las Vengeance. I can almost hear his voice getting raspier and raspier with each song and note. If he didn’t cause a ringing in my ears after every high note—which is practically every other verse—then perhaps my opinions would differ. 

Panic! At The Disco vastly disgruntled me with their latest album. Viva Las Vengeance has a completely different feel than their previous music. While change isn’t always an atrocious thing, it was the erroneous choice here.