Pretty. Odd.

 
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Product Description

For Panic At The Disco's sophomore follow-up to their Decaydance/Fueled By Ramen break-through debut 2005's A Fever You Can't Sweat Out, the band holed up in a Las Vegas studio with renowned producer Rob Mathes. What they created is nothing short of a masterpiece, the 60's pop-inspired Pretty Odd. This time around, the band opted for real instruments and live tracking over Pro Tools software, citing influences as The Beach Boys, Bob Dylan, and The Beatles. Says guitarist Ryan Ross in an interview with Billboard, We want to make music [that is] simple and timeless and not too pretentious. The band also did additional tracking at the Abbey Road Studio in London, adding a Beatles-esque flavor to their usual Vegas flare. The song lyrics have moved away from the whole one-liner, sarcastic thing says Ross, in favor of more everyday things. Lead single, "Nine In The Afternoon" has the band showing a healthy dose of maturity, having grown as songwriters and instrumentalists.

The title gives it away instantly- Pretty.Odd. (don't forget the periods) is not exactly the album that affirmed admirers of Panic At The Disco will have expected. The quartet, then teenagers, hit big in 2005 when A Fever You Can't Sweat Out rode its hit single "I Write Sins Not Tragedies" and its striking video to huge sales, defining their niche bridging emo and theatrical art-rock. Three years later Panic (they've ditched the exclamation mark) return with an expansive album that shamelessly, and very skilfully, takes inspiration directly from the Beatles' bigger budget productions and the baroque classic rock that came in their wake. They must use every instrument in the orchestral palette. But this is hardly a trip to "guilty pleasures" territory, four minute pop tunes polished almost to sterility. Even the catchy, imposing opener "We're So Starving", where they protest "we're still the same band", is playful rather than predictable. "That Green Gentleman (Things Have Changed)" offers so many styles it defies categorisation, the darkly comic sixties pastiche "When the Day Met the Night" could wear the vague "sunshine pop" label comfortably and the likes of "Pas De Cheval" and nicely wistful first single "Nine in the Afternoon" stick in the head after a single hearing. Also the token acoustic strumalong is called "Folkin' Around". Whether their fanbase actively craved such a diverse display of ambition is moot, but Pretty.Odd. is an impressive and deservedly popular collection. For once it seems that the public agree with those critics who so often describe lovingly crafted, low-selling tributes to genres past as perfect pop. --Steve Jelbert

Customer Reviews:

  • Panic At The Disco - One Of The Best Albums Of 2008
    I always thought of Panic At The Disco as just another pop / rock wannabe band similar to Fallout Boy or a host of others. In other words, not a band to be taken seriously. Shortly after this album came out I kept hearing the single "Nine In The Afternoon" on my local music channel, and then caught a live concert broadcast of the band on HDTV. I ended up watching the whole show and something about these guys really captured my attention, so I took a chance on this album. I am certainly glad I did. "Pretty Odd" takes its main influence from The Beatles as there are many similarities to the "Sgt Pepper" era here. The diversity of the album also hearkens back to the days of Queen's more adventurous work like "A Night At The Opera". This is not to say that the album is a retro release. Although it takes influences from the past the band manages to stay modern and fresh. Fans of the band seem to give his album really mixed reviews. The level of maturity between their debut and this album is a giant leap, but some of the band's fans don't seem to be able to handle this. I like every track on this disc and it is right near the top of my best of 2008 list of albums. If you enjoy really well done pop / rock, with a bit of a retro psychedelic, experimental bent this album is a much purchase. With all of the generic bland crap being released these days, "Pretty Odd" is a breath of fresh air. I just hope that the general public can tolerate a popular band that is willing to step out on a limb musically and try something different from their peers. ...more info
  • PANIC's sophomore...switch?
    Okay, okay, I'm not going to say anything new, here. It's simple. Panic's "A Fever You Can't Sweat Out" was awesome. Great beats, great lyrics. I fell in love with the more punk-ish, rock-ish vibe and the way that Brendon sings (we love him, don't we!). People are absolutely right when they say the "Pretty. Odd." is pretty different. Honestly, at first when I previewed the songs online before it came out, I was kind of disappointed because I loved what I considered "classic Panic"...that upbeat, big band sound. However, I knew that I loved Panic as a band, even if their sound did change drastically on their sophomore album, so I bought it. After a few listens, it kind of grows on you.

    I'd say the most similar song to "A Fever.."'s sound is "Nine in the Afternoon," so I liked that one right off the bat. Other ones I started liking were "The Piano Knows Something I Don't Know," "Pas de Cheval," "The Green Gentlemen (Things Have Changed)," "I Have Friends In Holy Spaces". The songs that stand out the most in terms of sounding unique are "Folkin' Around," which definitely has a twangy folk-vibe (which is cool 'cause I don't some country) and "Northern Downpour," which is a lot softer-sounding and slower(almost too slow for me, really). "Behind the Sea," "Do You Know What I'm Seeing?" and the instruments from "When the Day Met the Night" are the most Beatles-y tracks.

    Overall, a solid album, I think. It's a very different sound, definitely more Beatles-inspired, you can hear the Abbey Road studios influence. Not a bad thing, but I don't know if it'll grow on you as quickly as their first album. If you're dithering about it, just buy the album already, it's a good listen, and after a few rounds, you'll be glad you did, you Panic fan, you!...more info
  • A Break From Emo(tional) Output
    Honestly, I like emo. But I like that Panic didn't make a follow-up that sounded like a Fallout Boy twin. Everyone keys in on The Beatle's influence but good music is good music. If you're looking for another Fever album, look elsewhere. Track 4 is the standout for me. Solid lyrics, my hats off to poetic genius....more info
  • Musical Odyssey for Prety Odd
    Musical brilliance for the ear, a pure listenung pleasure. This CD takes you to a world of love from the minds of genius. Beatles timeless overtones make this music unique....more info
  • Pretty Crappy
    This album to me is such a disappointment to be honest. After building a fan base off of their first album you would think Panic would hold true to the style they portrayed on the first go around. All I could tolerate off this latest album was, "Nine In The Afternoon."

    Other than the lead singers vocal strength and quality (which by the way I thought he improved tremendously on this latest album) I loved everything about the first album. From the jumpy style of play to the song titles. I thought they were a great change of pace and solidified themselves as a fresh new act.

    But then I hear Pretty Odd and I think to myself, "are you trying to rid the fan base you have established with this?" I am a very open individual with a wide array of different tastes. But this was borderline garbage. Other than, "Nine In The Afternoon," I felt like slitting my wrists listening to them. Made me sad. I was expecting so much more.

    I hope they go back to what made them a success.

    -Eddie...more info
  • I changed my mind
    I originally wrote a semi-critical review of this album, because I was in such a shock at how it differed from the first album. I still say that it probably alienated younger fans (I'm 31, and maybe that's why I can try to be more objective about this) and that it's probably not wise for a band to completely change their style on a second album.

    However, I have grown to love this album and I listen to it often. It really is a good show, even if it displays an utterly opposite mood from the fist album.

    I originally said:

    "Pretty.Odd. is musically a good album. All prejudices aside, there are some great songs on this CD. Panic! At the Disco maintains their awesome musical talent.

    HOWEVER: THIS IS NOT PANIC! AT THE DISCO. WHAT IS THIS? IF I WANTED TO LISTEN TO MODEST MOUSE AND JIMMY EAT WORLD I WOULD DO JUST THAT. DO YOU FEEL ME?

    WHAT HAPPENED? Fantastic musical feats aside, the style is totally different. The second album completely misses the energy and edge of A Fever You Can't Sweat Out."

    ...more info
  • Dont Panic! It really is the same band.
    I dug "Fever you cant sweat out" . I thought it was fun and catchy and slightly different. It seems like they threw a lot of what they liked in the first record. They used big band themes, dance themes, punk themes. They didn't hold back. But unfortunately its also kind of forgettable at times. Don't get me wrong, i liked it but wasn't overly excited about their next record. Kind of thought they were going to go the way of rehashing the same sound and and really going more of the way of the catchy radio friendly stuff; cause lets face it, it sold really well. Then someone told me pretty odd came out. I went and checked it out and was completely surprised.
    I was floored to hear songs that didn't sound like anything going on right now. They have crafted an album, that in my head is mature and honest. They grew up. Its not the same catchy pop they used to do. They explored a different side of music that isnt hidden behind loud guitars and thumping drums. They went or true songwriting. There is definitely a Beatlesesque tone to the record but who cares. Who hasn't gone that way at one point? In a lot of ways Panic! has reminded me that music is an art and not a business. Going in the direction they did is more punk rock than putting out "Fever you can't sweat out 2".
    In a lot of ways this reminds me of my experience with the get up kids. I'm 29, so when the GUK announced that they were going to release their longly anticipated album "On a wire" i couldn't wait ( i was 22 at the time.) I had (and still am) a huge GUK fan. I loved everything they did. I got up early the day it came out, picked it up and put it on and got a band that i didn't recognize. It was folky. It was slow, it wasn't up beat. It wasn't even the GUK. I hated it. I swore it off. About a 2 years later i put it on and loved it. So all i'm saying is don't hate on the record. Put it away for a year or so then go back to it. It really will surprise you....more info
  • AWESOME album!!!
    I know that this album is pretty unexpected for all you hardcore Panic fans...but it's fan-frickin-tastic! It's got a kind of retro feel. The guitar riffs are extremely catchy and the horn section fits quite nicely. It's very Beatles-esque. I have been a fan of Panic for a long time and even though in this album they divert from their signature style, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised :)...more info
  • Beatles references are warranted
    Disclaimers: I do not own their first album, and this is my first amazon review.

    This album is really good. I heard Nine in the Afternoon and bought the album on a whim. I'm a big Beatles fan, and this album is a worthy successor. It fades a little with the last few tracks, but all in all a good listen. The creativity plus production is very solid. I recommend picking it up....more info
  • A drastic change in sound from previous album
    If you get this album expecting more of the Fall-Out-Boy-esque sounds of the debut album, you will be sorely disappointed.

    It appears the band was trying for something different, to break away from the style that got them popular in the first place. The horns and the strings gave it a whimsical sound that fans of Rock and Alternative will have a hard time appreciating.

    I'm glad I listened through the whole thing before purchasing it, because I would be pretty mad if I had spent the money. ...more info
  • Pretty. Awesome!
    Pretty Odd is Pretty Different and Fresh. If your comparing it to the previous album, its completely different, first album was more energetic and high-beat, whereas this album is more mello, easy-listening and entertaining, as well as beatiful arranged with a full orchestra. I do think that songs from the first album such as " I write sins not tragedies" were more memorable, however songs like "That Green Gentleman" and "She had the world" are masterfully aranged and well done. 5/5 stars...more info
  • Completely New Direction
    Panic! has completely blown my mind with this album. Gone is the pop-filled punk sound that brought this group onto the scene. Pretty.Odd. lives up to its name as the guys went with a much more mellow sound that is less Fall Out Boy and more Guster. Since I'm also a huge Guster fan, this change is a welcome one, but not at all what I expected when I pre-ordered this one. Delightful new sound....more info
  • Fantastic New Feel
    This album is even better than "A Fever You Can't Sweat Out." Pretty. Odd. has an amazing new sound, sort of like combining their earlier stuff with The Beatles. The result is different, but it definitely works. Buy this CD if you like great music....more info
  • Great Album
    I thought this album was really good. It had a real Beatles feel to many of the songs but still kept the individuality of Panic. I really recommend this....more info
  • Save yourself the trouble and don't purchase it, just DL the singles on iTunes
    The CD came in great condition and all, played well, original packaging, so the retailer did well, but the actual product? EH. If you like Pop music in general then fine, this is Pop. If you were a die-hard lover of the dark yet fun and super creative lyrics and music of the first album, like me! then you WILL be disappointed. I love the first album and I feel like I lost a friend in P!ATD in this album. If this is the direction they're taking, it's good Pop and all, but it's not the band we came to know. Save yourself the trouble and just get the singles you like on iTunes. ...more info
  • Pretty Awful
    I can't understand the thinking behind this crap. There are maybe three decent songs on the entire album. I liked PATD's last album; this was a total disappointment. The good songs, Nine in the Afternoon, She's a Handsome Woman and That Green Gentleman, are really good songs. Through the first 4 tracks, I had high hopes. This cd belongs in some stupid musical...I can't get Mary Poppins out of my head when I listen to it....more info
  • Tough to determine whether they are paying homage to Sgt. Peppers or poking fun at it
    The Good
    "We're So Starving" opens the album in grand fashion as it is more or less welcoming you to the show that's about to begin. It's a little tongue-and-cheek in its delivery, and as you will soon hear, thematic like a classic seventies album. "Nine in the Afternoon" has a steady rhythm to it, while "She's a Handsome Woman" employs a fuzzy riff that recalls rock's early days. The chorus is enhanced by multi-part harmonies. It's not hard to tell by now that Panic at the Disco is drawing a lot of influence from The Beatles Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Band. "Do You Know What I'm Seeing" has a rhythmic ebb and flow that ranges from sad to upbeat. The string section is a nice touch. Acoustic guitars and steady piano set the emotional range for Northern Downpour. Twangy guitar comes in a just the right places.

    The Bad
    "I Have Friends in Holy Places" has a ragtime feel that is just so far out, it ruins the flow of the album. Despite the great press coverage for their debut, Panic at the Disco still has a singer that can barely carry a tune, outside of the typical emo whine.

    The Verdict
    For their sophomore effort, Panic at the Disco break away from the up-beat standards of emo rock, for an attempt at a more mature, pop-oriented sound. It's tough to determine whether they are paying homage to Sgt. Peppers or poking fun at it. Granted, Pretty Odd has the feel and sound of a classic concept album, but vocally the group can't even hold a candle to The Beatles....more info
  • Panic! > Panic
    What happened? You can't help but think this if you've listened to Panic at the Disco's first album before hearing this one. The high-energy of the previous effort has been completely lost. In its place we are left with track after track attempting to out-retro the last one with dull, uninteresting, and repetitive sound. At times it seems as if the band is trying to be something they aren't.

    Pretty. Odd. has taken the momentum created by A Fever You Can't Sweat Out and fumbled it. I fear the group may not recover from this episode of bland mediocrity. I'd steer clear of this offering....more info
  • Pretty Odd, but getting better by the day...
    I just realized today that I am falling in love with this album.

    I am a Panic! fan, so I was eagerly awaiting their new album. When I heard the first single, Nine In The Afternoon, I liked it, but thought it didn't sound like any of their other songs. The more I heard it, the more I liked it, and wanted more, wanted to hear the whole album. It was like having a "crush" on the song...

    Got the album, listened to it through the first time...whoa. It was all so different, so new, and yet so familiar (if you know anything at all about the Beatles). At first, I was disappointed. But then I picked up a few gems- the aforementioned "Nine In The Afternoon," of course, and the catchy, upbeat melody and harmony of "When The Day Met The Night," in addition to the refreshing vocals of Ryan Ross on "Behind The Sea."

    But the more I listen, the deeper in love I fall. I love the Ravi-Shankar-esque harmonies of "She's a Handsome Woman," and I am sure that as each song works its way into my brain that I will be more and more glad that I gave this album a chance....more info
  • Thankfully, Urie's Annoying Vibrato is Somewhat Toned Down this Time
    Someone must have told Brandon Urie that his awful, constant, and way-over-the-top vibrato sounded good, and he took it to heart. Thankfully, that vibrato is (slightly) less prominent on this album than on their previous one.

    The album is fine, and it's better than a awful lot of the junk out there, but the fact that reviewers are fawning over it makes me sad about the state of the music industry. Perhaps these reviewers need to hear more really GOOD music.

    I saw these guys at a festival, and I was very impressed by their energy. I was also very happy to see a fairly popular young band doing a nice job playing real instruments and not screaming about how awful their lives were. Unfortunately, I was kinda bummed when I got the actual album....more info
  • Awesome
    Great retro sound. Great variety. Great composers and performers. Can't wait for the next album....more info
  • hmmmm...
    This Panic At The Disco album was disappointing. And definitely boring (probably why they took the ! out of their name). Everyone for months were saying how creative it was going to be, but it sounds so Beatlesque. That's not creative, that's copying someone else's sound. ...more info
  • Bad timing
    It took me a while to let Pretty. Odd. grow on me, and still some songs just don't do it. Their debut album was perfect, and this just wasn't what I was expecting. I think that people would have accepted this album with a lot more love if it had come out a year ago, before Across the Universe. The whole Beatles vibe had been done for the year, and that's a shame because this is a great album. Better timing could have gotten them a lot more kudos, but still a great album!...more info
  • Nothing Like "A Fever You Can't Sweat Out", It's Better!
    I have to admit, the first couple of times I listened to "Pretty Odd" I wasn't sure where the guys were going with their latest disc. It wasn't until I paid less attention to the music and started focusing in on the lyrics that the two came together. As a fan of many different styles of music, you hope that the artists you enjoy don't continue to make the same record over and over just because it sold well the first time. "Pretty Odd" is nothing like "A Fever You Can't Sweat Out", it's BETTER! Take a listen to "Behind the Sea". If the lyrics "A daydream spills from my corked head breaks free of my wooden neck left a nod over sleeping waves like bobbing bait for bathing cod floating flocks of candled swans slowly drift across wax ponds" doesn't peek your interest to hear more, lets face it, you're dead! "Pretty Odd" will definitely rank in my top 10 list for a long time to come! Great job you guys!
    ...more info
  • Pretty Crappy
    This album to me is such a disappointment to be honest. After building a fan base off of their first album you would think Panic would hold true to the style they portrayed on the first go around. All I could tolerate off this latest album was, "Nine In The Afternoon."

    Other than the lead singers vocal strength and quality (which by the way I thought he improved tremendously on this latest album) I loved everything about the first album. From the jumpy style of play to the song titles. I thought they were a great change of pace and solidified themselves as a fresh new act.

    But then I hear Pretty Odd and I think to myself, "are you trying to rid the fan base you have established with this?" I am a very open individual with a wide array of different tastes. But this was borderline garbage. Other than, "Nine In The Afternoon," I felt like slitting my wrists listening to them. Made me sad. I was expecting so much more.

    I hope they go back to what made them a success.

    -Eddie...more info
  • Excellent progression.
    This is an excellent CD. It has great melodies, clever lyrics, and a feel of total integration. Yes, you can hear the influence of giants from the past - this is a GOOD thing. Upon the shoulders of giants comes original musical adventures like this. The negative remarks remind me of those who booed Dylan for having the nerve to plug in his guitar back in the 60's. Great groups move on, and don't collect moss from standing still....more info
  • I LOVE THIS CD!!
    I used to hate PATD music, but then I could not get Nine in the Afternoon out of my head. Hesitated to buy the CD because....I have enough CDs with only one song I like. But finally caved. It is different from their first CD, which I have since bought also. Pretty. Odd. is a whimsical,happy accomplishment. And isn't that a great form of escapism?...more info
  • Good, Pretty Good, Great
    Buying this album I went in with a mindset of that catchy tune I was use too in a Panic At the Disco album. This was certainly not the case, with the emergence of a sound reminiscent of the 60's. At first I found this to be quite strange hearing the vocals used in such a way, and was put off originally by such a unique sound for the current trend of music. That experience will most likely happen to every person familiar with the band, yet it did not put me off from finishing the album. After getting a good listening from me the album itself seems to be compose quite carefully with songs like "Northern Downpour", and "She had the World" taking center stage with dual vocals.
    This album in itself is refreshing in the music scene saturated with songs with the only mindset being to be catchy enough for a ringtone download, and a fling on itunes. I cannot recommend this album enough to anyone who is willing to try something new....more info
  • Wow! Hats off to these guys for taking a different step in their music.
    You can tell these guys actually know what they're doing in their music. I love how in their 4th song they find use for a tritone and it actually sounds awesome. I don't own their first cd cause it always seemed like it was just the "popular" kind of music, but my friend showed me this cd and I bought it the next day. The closest band I could probably relate this to is the Beatles, but it's all original music! I listen to all types of music except country and I've been listening to this cd a lot!...more info
  • wow....
    i wasnt really expecting anything great from them but GOD. this blows beyond any new album that has been released within the past year and a half (w/ a few exceptions). i loved the old CD no matter what anyone said, and i always will. but how did they get so sucky so fast?? like, yeah, w/e i dont mind if they have a few mellow slow songs, that always cool, but why is EVERY song like that?!?!? ewww. i hate this cd....more info
  • Tough to determine whether they are paying homage to Sgt. Peppers or poking fun at it
    The Good
    "We're So Starving" opens the album in grand fashion as it is more or less welcoming you to the show that's about to begin. It's a little tongue-and-cheek in its delivery, and as you will soon hear, thematic like a classic seventies album. "Nine in the Afternoon" has a steady rhythm to it, while "She's a Handsome Woman" employs a fuzzy riff that recalls rock's early days. The chorus is enhanced by multi-part harmonies. It's not hard to tell by now that Panic at the Disco is drawing a lot of influence from The Beatles Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Band. "Do You Know What I'm Seeing" has a rhythmic ebb and flow that ranges from sad to upbeat. The string section is a nice touch. Acoustic guitars and steady piano set the emotional range for Northern Downpour. Twangy guitar comes in a just the right places.

    The Bad
    "I Have Friends in Holy Places" has a ragtime feel that is just so far out, it ruins the flow of the album. Despite the great press coverage for their debut, Panic at the Disco still has a singer that can barely carry a tune, outside of the typical emo whine.

    The Verdict
    For their sophomore effort, Panic at the Disco break away from the up-beat standards of emo rock, for an attempt at a more mature, pop-oriented sound. It's tough to determine whether they are paying homage to Sgt. Peppers or poking fun at it. Granted, Pretty Odd has the feel and sound of a classic concept album, but vocally the group can't even hold a candle to The Beatles....more info
  • Pretty. Amazing.
    If what you enjoyed most about Panic was their techno fast beats, you will not like this album. The only carry-over element is their level of bizarre, in example: their lyrics. The majority of their lyrics need a Rosetta Stone for translation but after listening to the album, it's understood that its not about the lyrics. Pretty. Odd. has a deeper, more full sound than "Fever" and overall musicianship is greater. Each track is deliciously layered with harmonies, guitars, and a sweet strings and brass section courtesy of infamous Abbey Road. A great sample track would be track 5, 'That Green Gentleman'. This album transcends their flashy digital past and send listeners into a deliciously happier place. Listen to this album at least three times and go into it with no pretenses of it sounding like it's predecessor. Forget the punctuation change and welcome the Pretty Amazing, Pretty. Odd....more info
  • Good, Pretty Good, Great
    Buying this album I went in with a mindset of that catchy tune I was use too in a Panic At the Disco album. This was certainly not the case, with the emergence of a sound reminiscent of the 60's. At first I found this to be quite strange hearing the vocals used in such a way, and was put off originally by such a unique sound for the current trend of music. That experience will most likely happen to every person familiar with the band, yet it did not put me off from finishing the album. After getting a good listening from me the album itself seems to be compose quite carefully with songs like "Northern Downpour", and "She had the World" taking center stage with dual vocals.
    This album in itself is refreshing in the music scene saturated with songs with the only mindset being to be catchy enough for a ringtone download, and a fling on itunes. I cannot recommend this album enough to anyone who is willing to try something new....more info
  • this is what's wrong with music today.
    This ain't alt. rock! It's as bad as nickleback but in its own unique horrible way....more info
  • Very disappointing.
    "A Fever You Can't Sweat Out" was a loud, energetic, fun album to listen to. Everytime I listen to one of the songs, it's a fun experience. It's upbeat and fun to blast and move your head back and forth to and tap your feat.

    "Pretty. Odd." is definitely not like that. I bought this album expecting a good time, and it really disappointed me. Admittedly, if I had known this is the direction the band was going, I likely would not have bought it at all. But I bought the album expecting that energy and personality that I had the first time around.

    Unfortunately, I was very disappointed....more info
  • Meh
    I love Panic at the Disco... but this CD doesn't fly too well with me. There's a couple songs I love, but most of it is just 'meh.' They didn't quite hit the nail on the head with this CD. I'd suggest checking out each song and just buying only the songs you like. Even if you're a die-hard fan, you may regret buying this CD full-price and brand new....more info
  • Amazing CD.
    It's amazing.

    Good condition.
    Amazing band.

    Amazing CD....more info
  • It's the Greatest Thing to Ever Have Happened (to Panic at the Disco)
    The first time I heard Panic at the Disco's freshman effort, A FEVER YOU CAN'T SWEAT OUT, was when I borrowed it from my younger sister last fall in jokey preparation for a homecoming week stunt that involved my friends and I dressing up in tight pants, My Chemical Romance t-shirts, and black fingernail polish and pretending to be "emos". This should give you an idea of my attitude toward emo music and fashion in general. So unsurprisingly, I was entirely unimpressed by the band's run-of-the-mill punk/pop debut, and when the follow-up PRETTY. ODD. came out earlier this year, I never intended to give it even a first look.

    Then I started to hear read snatches of reviews, rumors that Panic at the Disco had performed a perfect 180, abandoning their shoegazing for classic pop. I smiled knowingly to myself, suspecting the usual overwrought praise, but all the same, I was intrigued. At last a friend, a close friend, one whose tastes mirrored mine, one with whom I had lampooned Panic at the Disco and their ilk, began extolling the album's virtues to me. I couldn't believe my ears: I had to hear this record. And once I had, I could believe my ears even less, because this is an amazing record.

    Bandmember Ryan Ross was quoted by Rolling Stone as saying, "[The album] is influenced by the music our parents listened to like the Beach Boys, the Kinks, and the Beatles." That's putting it mildly; on PRETTY. ODD., the band takes Oscar Wilde at his word and shamelessly beg, borrow, and steal from everyone from John Lennon to Jeff Lynne, from Graham Nash to Graham Gouldman. But the giddy enthusiasm with which they do so keeps us from dwelling on the fact that this has all been done before, and simply enjoy the music. And from the faux-SGT. PEPPER opening two-fer "We're So Starving" and "Nine in the Afternoon", past the galloping rock of "Pas de Cheval" by way of the music-hall romp "I Have Friends in Holy Places", through to the baroque pop of "From a Mountain in the Middle of the Cabins", it's one hell of a ride, positively awash in swooping strings, shimmering harmonies, and supremely buoyant songcraft straight of the Lennon-McCartney playbook. And if that's not a recommendation, I don't know what is, because though the piano may have known something Panic at the Disco didn't know, it wasn't how to make a great pop record, because they've got that one down pat....more info
  • Panic at the Disco
    My introduction to the group was "Nine in the Afternoon" which I really identified with, so I bought the CD and it is still fresh and uplifting!...more info
  • Was the old sound really so wrong?
    You have to respect the band for going off in such a radical direction, and pulling it off decently. The songs are well done, with the first half of the album being catchy and pleasant. I have to say, actually, that when the album first came out, I listened to it once through and hated it. Didn't listen to it again until tonight. And I actually enjoyed the first half alright(Northern Downpour and When The Day Met The Night being my favorites), but I have to say that as a Panic at the Disco fan, I feel betrayed. I appreciate the desire to branch out because doing the exact same thing over and over does not make great music, but to completely leave behind the lightning fast lyrics and dance beats that made me fall in love with this band feels disrespectful to the great music they put out in their first album. Pretty. Odd. says to me, "That first album was what we thought we needed to play to get popular, we didn't actually like any of it. This is what we really want to sound like." The second half of the CD was incredibly disappointing, since I found their Beatles' "influence" to border on plagarism(especially Behind the Sea, which ties for worst song on the album with Folkin' Around, in my AFYCSO-loving opinion).

    Is this the worst album I ever heard? No, definitely not. Their musicianship is lovely, and the first half the album is an interesting departure from what we've come to know as solid Panic style. But there was no Panic in this album. No Passion. And definitely no Disco. Try thinly-veiled rip-off with a side of country, with a few good tunes in spite of it all. Regardless, I can't wait for a third album to see if they temper the two styles into a happy medium that pleases us all(since this new style has brought many new fans into the fold)....more info
  • Pleasantly surprised
    I never heard Panic's allegedly mainstream previous release. Picked up this album on a record store sweep earlier this month, and a few of the tracks have worked their way into heavy rotation on my player, particularly "Mad as Rabbits". Modern sensibility combined with pop/rock vibe, while the horns and harmonies broaden the sound without taking away too much from the catchy nature of many songs on this album. Some of the songs are still a bit too meandering and theatrical for my taste, and I could definitely do without the strings and piano flourishes but overall I am enjoying quite a few of the tracks. While taking a page out of the Beatles playbook isn't anything new, that doesn't make it a bad idea....more info
  • So basically the title couldnt be more perfect
    This album sounds nothing like you would expect. It probably sounds like the complete opposite of anything you would expect to hear from a former psuedocabaret band. It definately takes some getting used to but Pretty. Odd is Pretty. Golden once you get to listen to it about four times over. Only two of the songs i think are completely trippy(lyrically) and give off the vibe that they were "up to no good" up in the mountains for four months. But the album is definately one any fan should own, and one every FBR and Decaydance alum should have in their collection. And for the rest of you, just buy it, very Beetles, very different for our time, very odd....more info

 

 
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