“Pray For The Wicked” review

Album art for Panic! At The Disco’s sixth studio album.

Courtesy of Fueled by Ramen

Album art for Panic! At The Disco’s sixth studio album.

Nell Jaskowiak, Opinions editor

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Panic! At The Disco’s latest album “Pray For The Wicked” needs some prayers itself. The album was lackluster, choppy and while the messages that the band was trying to convey about their journey through the music industry were fairly clear, their method of deliverance felt rather empty. This album definitely throws some curveballs, both pleasant and awkward, and listening to it all at once was quite a rollercoaster.

While Panic! has always been rather eccentric and emo, they have pulled off that sound with confidence and with smooth rises, falls and transitions within their songs and their larger albums. “Pray For The Wicked” fell flat in that regard, with incredibly abrupt musical mood shifts clashing against an unchanging feel in the lyrics— the album left me more disconcerted than entertained. That being said, the mood of the album wasn’t a total disaster, as one mood in every song always felt spot on—typically swagger; the other moods that Panic! presented in each track just made me wait impatiently to get the good one back.

Now, about those lyrics. Some were the kind of creative that makes you feel cool listening to it, and some were the kind of creative that make you feel embarrassed to have anyone know you’re actually listening to that. There were a few diamonds in the rough, some passages in “Dancing’s Not A Crime” and “Old Fashioned,” especially, but I can’t ignore the fact that I actually heard the words “roll me like a blunt ‘cause I wanna go home.” Humor is great and all, but lines like that went way past laughs into pure cringe territory.

Well placed allusions, a message of confident swagger and a rolling flow defined the three best songs on the album: “High Hopes,” “King Of The Clouds” and “Old Fashioned.” These were a breath of fresh air from the chaos that surrounded it, and they were more of the caliber that I expected out of Panic! in this album. The rest felt way too out there to be enjoyed, regardless of what message it was trying to send, it either missed the mark on confidence and sounded like the musical version of “fake it till you make it” or was just too disjointed to be a song you can relax to.

“Pray For The Wicked” had solid commentary on L.A. and the band’s journey and status, but their typical odd style went a little too far out to be good music this time around. Every song had sections that were stellar, but the rest was too much of a mess to be glossed over; the few solid songs were enjoyable but again couldn’t overpower what the rest of the album was. “Pray For The Wicked” is worth checking out if for nothing but the messages that the band sends, but don’t expect a smooth ride.

The Pathfinder gives “Pray For The Wicked” a 6.5/10.

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