Panic! at the Disco: Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die!

25 Dec

I couldn’t resist reviewing this album, purely because the title reads like something you scribbled in ballpoint on the instep of one of your Allstars when you were in grade 8 (the one toe-cap was covered with uneven hand-drawn checks; the other, you were saving for something, but you never figured out what). I mean, it even has an exclamation point at the end of it. Expecting to have a good laugh, I was instead bombarded by the sudden realization of exactly how depressing it is to outgrow (what used to be) one of your favorite bands.

And I don’t mean depressing in the I Don’t Wanna Grow up sense: to be honest, being liberated from high school and being able to drive and not worry about how the hell we’re going to get past the door people tonight are still some of the things I haven’t quite forgotten to enjoy yet. What I mean is that it’s incredibly saddening when the band who dragged you away from Green Day when you were thirteen and brought you so much comfort when you were fifteen and confused about everything (I love how I just put “confused about everything” in past tense); who made such massive leaps between their first and second albums that you, at the time, predicted a long and happy relationship with their discography, which, it logically followed, would develop alongside you (I mean, how hard can it be to keep up with a fifteen-year-old?); have just broken up and stayed where they were: a little further behind that, even.

Whilst Brendon Urie’s songwriting has (very arguably) improved since Vices & Virtues, I would still choose A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out over Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die! (It still makes me snicker a little bit to type out their album title), and not even because I  have a sentimental connection with the former, but because if I had to make a choice between two collections of raw adolescent angst, I would choose the instrumental outpouring of vitriol about the deceit of the Mormon church above a collection of whiny electronic love songs five times in a row.

And to make matters worse, even Ryan Ross has reverted to Rebel Teen pop now (no matter how heavily he tries to conceal it behind acid rock textures), after such an alluring debut album with The Young Veins.

It’s just so hard to believe that these guys are nearly 30 now, and they might’ve reached their musical peak when they were my age; that I was dancing to “I write Sins not Tragedies” at my friend’s 13th birthday party, and now my own music appeals to a generally older audience than theirs does (at least, I certainly hope it does).

I feel so confused about the world now. I think I need to stop writing reviews out of schadenfreude.

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