List: Ranking the Albums of Panic! at the Disco

By: Madyson McGill

If you haven’t heard the amazing news, Panic! At the Disco is releasing their sixth album! Fresh off of Broadway, Brendon Urie went back to L.A. and began creating the next Panic! At the Disco masterpiece, which will no doubt have his masterful vocals on full display. However, while there aren’t many details on when the album will be released, one thing is for certain: it’s going to be different than any Panic! Album before it, because if there’s one thing Panic! does, it’s create a unique album every single time. So, while we painfully wait for new music, I give you my ranking of the past five Panic! At the Disco albums.

5. Pretty. Odd. (2008)

At number five, I have the sophomore album, Pretty. Odd., which was the final installment with Ryan Ross and Jon Walker. This was the easiest choice on the list. Pretty. Odd.’s folk-like tunes are almost too far a step from their first album. In fact, the only way to describe this album is that it’s, well… pretty odd. It only has one redeeming song, “Nine in the Afternoon,” and even that’s a stretch. This album does nothing to showcase Urie’s vocals, as both his massive range and his strong tone are under appreciated here. He is held back rather than pushed forward. The same goes for the music quality: it takes a step back.

4. Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die! (2013)

Four is Too Weird to Live, Too Young to Die! This album has a number of fantastic songs like “Nicotine,” “Miss Jackson,” “Vegas Lights,” and one of my all time favorites, “This is Gospel,” which is a beautiful tribute to former drummer Spencer Smith and whose live performance is one of the band’s most amazing. Urie will leave you in awe. However, this isn’t enough to save this album from landing toward the bottom of this list. One aspect I love about Panic! is the variety of songs on their albums, but this record lacks that. The whole album has a very techno sound, which is not a bad thing, but I wanted and expected more when this album was released.

3. Vices & Virtues (2011)

Hitting right smack-dab in the middle is Vices & Virtues, which might be an unpopular opinion. In fact, I’m pretty sure most people forget this album exists. However, right after this album was released, I went to my first Panic! concert and it blew me away. At this point in time, Panic! had lost two key members and were down to Spencer and Brendon. In my opinion, this album was also the saving grace that pulled them from the aftermath of Pretty. Odd. Talk about a total 360 in music. They came back with a new sound and confidence, and Brendon really lets his vocals shine here. Every song has a unique quality to it: there are strings, acoustics, and what sounds like an accordion at one point. Creative differences aside, Panic! finally find their sound again on Vices & Virtues. There is emotion behind each song and a relatable realism. Want an album that never bores you? It’s this one right here. This album also has my personal favorite song, “Trade Mistakes.”

2. A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out (2005)

The order of the two top spots was the hardest decision on this list. It was a back-and-forth for days, but I have finally made my choice. At number two is A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out, the album that put Panic! At the Disco on the map. Before, they were four scrappy boys from Las Vegas, then they were signed and made this album. Soon after, they won Video of the Year at the VMAs and got interrupted on stage before Kanye West and Taylor Swift made it cool. A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out is Panic!’s roots. It is a creative masterpiece that shows what music could and should be. Back in 2005, there wasn’t anything else like it, plus there were the sentence-long titles that put Fall Out Boy to shame: “I Write Sins Not Tragedies,” “Lying is the Most Fun A Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off,” and “There’s a Good Reason These Tables Are Numbered Honey, You Just Haven’t Thought Of It Yet.” Talk about a mouthful. Long titles aside, these songs mark the defining point of the beginning of their career. The band come off as classy, suave, and catchy while singing about topics like lap dances, hospitals, and not closing doors. It’s an amazing album, and who doesn’t know “I Write Sins Not Tragedies,” which taught us how to face things with poise and rationality?

1. Death of a Bachelor (2016)

At number one, I decided to put Panic’s newest album, Death of a Bachelor. A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out defined Panic!, but Death of a Bachelor defined Brendon Urie. He created the whole album on his own, putting his vocals on full display. He resurfaced as the only member of Panic!, and he did so with class and style. Don’t threaten him with a good time, or he’ll create an album that blows your mind. What can I say, crazy=genius. For me, this album encompasses the evolution of Panic! It takes bits and pieces of previous records and comes together as a revitalization of Panic! Urie showcases his Sinatra tones, incredible range, and show-stopping confidence, and that’s just with his voice. Death of a Bachelor is Urie proving that even though everyone else has left, he can still come out victorious. It has everything you’d want from a Panic album: creative storytelling, soulful singing, and melodic sounds. It’s the perfect statement that Panic! isn’t slowing down, and the ultimate setup for the upcoming sixth album.

Urie made those high heels work straight to a Grammy nomination and Broadway, now he’s going to strut right back into the music scene with what will no-doubt be a masterful sixth album. I cannot wait.