On Friday, Rolling Stone caught a sneak preview of Panic at the Disco’s second album, Pretty. Odd., due on March 25th. The hyper-sexualized lyrics and synth-heavy beats from 2005’s A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out are gone, replaced by a sound that’s directly influenced by Sgt. Pepper’s-era Beatles. Guitarist Ryan Ross, who picks up singing duties for the first time, takes on the role of Lennon to frontman Brendon Urie’s McCartney.
When Panic isn’t paying homage to the Beatles with the horns, strings and vocal harmonies on the first single “Nine in the Afternoon” and the driving drumbeat and infectious hook of “Pas De Cheval,” the mood is more dreamy, and consequently slower, than the songs fans are used to hearing.
This time around, the words (once again primarily penned by Ross) address two main themes: becoming a different band and, more prominently, finding, keeping and reflecting on love. On the short, country-tinged “The Piano Knows Something I Don’t Know,” Urie sings, “You’ve never been more divine in accepting your defeat and I’ve never been more scared to be alone” and on “She Had the World” Ross laments, “Who can love me? I’m out of my mind throwing a line out to sea to see if I can catch a dream.”
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