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Thursday, 25 August 2011

Panic at the Disco - Pretty Odd LP 2008

Rarely do I dip my toe into any music attached to an affected genre or subculture such as Emo, however 2005's 'A Fever You Can't Sweat Out' was such a stonker of an album that I just had to go with the flow. The first album showcased a talent above and beyond any genre loyalties and it was in some ways unfortunate that the Panic boys got tarred with the 'emo' label in the first place as this undoubtedly prejudiced a large section of their potentional listeners.

So it was with great delight that I read the outraged reviews of the Panic fans at the release of 'Pretty Odd', describing the new sound as a 'tragedy', 'quirky', 'a cross between the Beatles and country music' and 'pretty bad.' It seems the band's only crime was to do something a bit different, producing a more melodic and folk driven selection of songs, but of at least equal in quality to 'A Fever...'

It's hard to say what their influences were in the writing 'Pretty Odd' but I picked up a certain sixties feel to the cocktail, incorporating the Beatles and the Beach Boys, mix in a splash of Elvis Costello, a slurp or Squeeze, some chunks of slide guitar and a sprinkling of 'Hup' by the Wonderstuff. Shake it together in the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland's hat and decorate with copious amounts of jazz hands. Delicious! It also sounds nothing like Fall Out Boy which can only be a good thing.

In short this is pure quality, with every single track a honed little bundle of pop perfection. My personal favourite is 'That Green Gentleman' but there's nothing in it really. It's different, quirky and great fun, and even Daughter of Doccortex loves it!

You've got to hand it to Panic; they turn their backs on 5 million emo-kids, shun global superstardom and guaranteed riches beyond their wildest dreams. But no, they make 'Pretty Odd' and end up sitting shoulder to shoulder with Olivia Tremor Control and Circle takes the Square on 'Into the Valley of the Obscure.'  Panic at the Disco we salute you!

The new album is out now and up for review early in the new year. Keep your fingers crossed for more of the same. 

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