I know I’ve said that I don’t do album reviews anymore, but the new Panic! At the Disco album, Pray For The Wicked, is just so life-altering that I can’t help it. And by life-altering, I mean that it just might end up nudging its way onto my Top 20 Albums of All-Time list. Of course, it takes time and dozens of plays before you can know if an album is right for your “best of” list, but I’ve been playing this one non-stop and damn if I don’t love it more every time. My favorite song keeps changing, too. First, it was “Hey Look Ma, I Made It,” a song anyone would love to be able to sing for their mother. Then it was “High Hopes,” the song you have to sing before you’ll ever be able to say “hey look ma, I made it,” so it’s no surprise that “mama said” appears in the lyrics over a half-dozen times. It’s hardly preachy, however, as it’s about when you, “have to have high hopes for a living.” The lyric that follows is, “shooting for the stars when I couldn’t make a killing.” If the album has a theme — besides making you want to dance and sing along — it’s definitely gratitude, something Urie shows all over the record. In a sense, this album is his big thank you to the universe. It’s also a fine thank you to the people who’ve bought his previous albums because he takes everything you loved about them and amplifies them times ten.
Another favorite is “(Fuck a) Silver Lining.” Everything about it is addictive. The soaring vocals, the sweeping horns, the intense chorus… Clocking in at 2:48, it’s practically an advertising jingle, urging you to go out and buy something it promises to be the next big thing. In a sense, that’s what it is, being that it was a “pre-single,” as they’re now dubbing singles released ahead of albums, issued with the intention of making you buy the record. Well, the album’s release date is today, Friday, June 22, 2018, and the album is as unofficially advertised: irresistible. So, I highly suggest you run out and buy it today. And excuse me if I sound overly enthusiastic. I’m just a bigtime music junkie and when an album that’s as satisfying as Pray For the Wicked comes along I find it a reason to celebrate!