There are many things you could knock Panic! At the a Disco for; one of them is NOT their consistent inconsistencies. Each of their first three albums gave a different style and mood, showing just how diverse Brendon Urie and Co. can be. That may be why Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die didn’t sit well with me after my first listen; it flirts around with generic pop so much that it might need genre reclassification. But much like other Fueled by Ramen releases this year, it grew on me in all the right places.
The two opening singles “This Is Gospel” and “Miss Jackson” kicked the album off in the right direction. The former didn’t sit well with me when it first came out, mainly because of the unoriginal chorus, but the verses and overall tone of the song definitely grew on me overtime. “Vegas Lights” and “Nicotine” are both great dance songs which definitely gives the album a really positive, infectious feel to it. The closer “The End Of All Things” closed this album perfectly; almost feeling like the sunrise over Vegas after an all nighter in the city of lights. It’s not as impactful or as lyrically creative as some of their past ballads, but definitely works within the context of the album.
From production to the song choice, Too Weird To Live definitely has a Vegas feel to it, and that’s not just because the band is based out of there. Multiple songs on the album, including “Far Too Young To Die” and “Girl That You Love,” give off an Old Vegas kind of feel, almost harkening back to Kavinsky’s last album. The rest of the album is as bright and as lively as the city itself. It’s fun, uptempo, and an experience I’d want to revisit.
The biggest problem with the album, however, is its length. With ten tracks and clocking in at just under 33 minutes, Too Weird To Live literally breezed by me on my first listen. Besides the singles that came before it, the album never grabbed me and forced me to take a closer look. Granted, their last album Vices and Virtues hit me the same way, and it took a more focused, deeper listen to really get what I got out of the album. And nothing the name Panic! At the Disco has released reached the impact of their debut (and arguably Pretty. Odd.) gave us way back when. Maybe comparing this album to their past catalog is unfair, but that comparison will always haunt Panic!.
Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die is not Panic’s best album. Some might say that it’s their worst album yet. But where the inconsistencies of their albums shine, the consistency of the musicians is what makes Panic! such a fun act to listen to. Even at their “worst,” Panic! At The Disco still can put together a fun, energetic, and enjoyable listening experience that is as welcoming as the city from where they reside. I just wish that this trip lasted a tad but longer.
Final Grade: B
Go Download: “Nicotine”