I knew sitting down and trying to rank Panic! at the Disco’s albums would be hard. All of their albums are so different. With each album, the band created almost an entirely new and different sound. If someone was unfamiliar with the band, it would be hard for them to know that Pretty. Odd. and A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out came from the same people. Not to mention, the band has had many lineup changes, with the only constant being the lead singer, Brendon Urie, which also has an effect on the differentiation of these albums.
So here’s my ranking of Panic! at the Disco’s discography…
1. A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out
I chose this as my favorite for numerous reasons. A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out is the debut album from Panic, and in my opinion, one of the most complex and creative. They make so many references to author Chuck Palahniuk, who happens to be one of my favorite authors. The song “Time To Dance” is entirely based on his novel, “Invisible Monsters,” which I love. Knowing what the basis for a lot of their inspiration is makes this album special for me. This album also contains some of the longest, but best song titles and the catchiest lyrics. I can’t help but sing-scream these songs when they come on. No matter where I am I get excited. My favorite songs from this album are “There’s a Good Reason These Tables Are Numbered Honey, You Just Haven’t Thought of It Yet,” “Time to Dance,” “But It’s Better If You Do,” and “Build God, Then We’ll Talk,” although I really do love all the songs on this album.
2. Pretty. Odd.
Pretty. Odd. was Panic! at the Disco’s second album to be released. If you’ve read one of my first articles about my music related tattoos, you know I love this album. It was hard for me to decide to put this second, but I chose to do that because ultimately I could listen to more songs on A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out than this one, but nonetheless, I LOVE this album. I love the Beatles vibe. I love the softer sounds. I love “That Green Gentlemen,” “Nine in the Afternoon,” and “Northern Downpour.” It gives an optimistic vibe that is less sinister than its predecessor. I think Panic really took a risk putting out this album as an aspiring rock band and it paid off. The sound is so different than the first album, but still just as catchy.
3. Vices and Virtues
I’ve seen a lot of mixed reviews about Panic’s third album, Vices and Virtues, but I personally don’t understand because I love it. It’s closer to their old sound with songs like “The Ballad of Mona Lisa,” but is still different enough to not be a repeat Every. Single. song on this album is good in my opinion, which is hard to come by. This one is only ranked lower for me because of all the albums, the sound is the least distinct. It’s there, but when you hear a song from Pretty. Odd. or A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out, you definitely know what album it’s from. Overall though I think Vices and Virtues was a success and gave some of my favorite songs from the band including “Nearly Witches (Ever Since We Met),” “Sarah Smiles,” (which was written about Urie’s wife and I think is adorable) “Always,” and the previously mentioned “The Ballad of Mona Lisa.”
4. Death of a Bachelor
This is Panic’s fifth and newest album, but the first to be made with Brendon Urie as the only remaining official member. You can tell through this album that it is more of a reflection of Urie himself and gets more personal than some of the other albums. I was hesitant about new music from this “band,” because I knew it was going to be different and a lot of the old bands I love haven’t been making the best new music (cough FOB cough). Death of a Bachelor exceeded my expectations though. The sound is different once again, and is very Frank Sinatra-esque which you can obviously hear in the title track. Urie delivered an excitement that comes close to what I get when listening to A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out with “Don’t Threaten Me With a Good Time,” and “Hallelujah.” This album gave me hope for the future of Panic! At The Disco and where it is headed musically. My favorites are “LA Devotee,” “House of Memories,” and “Golden Days.”
5. Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die!
I used to really not get this album, and that is one reason it is ranked last. I definitely think more effort could have been put in, and the more electropop sounds aren’t exactly my cup of tea. I have grown to appreciate this album though because I think that a lot of the songs are good, but the songs that aren’t, really aren’t. “This is Gospel,” “Miss Jackson,” “Girls/Girls/Boys,” “Vegas Lights,” “Far Too Young to Die,” and “Collar Full” give this album redemption. They are fun to listen to, and even more fun to hear in concert. “Girls/Girls/Boys” has become a special song, which Brendon usually plays and associates with the idea of loving whoever you want to love. You can tell the songwriting for this album wasn’t as thought out, and it could be because of the band’s struggle with so many members leaving and going in and out around this time. Urie’s performance of this album in concert makes up for what may be lacking when you just listen to it through headphones, although I still jam extra hard to the songs I mentioned above.