#Review: Panic! At The Disco – Pray For The Wicked ūüôŹ


   

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Panic! At The Disco¬†is an American band notable for its combination of alternative rock, synth-pop and emo lyrics, creating a very unique sound. After the huge success of the band’s debut album,¬†A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out, back in 2005, they have had a string of albums, continuously kept their sound fresh and built up a very loyal following. Now, in 2018, and with only Brendon Urie¬†in the official line-up, the now-solo project is releasing a sixth studio album,¬†Pray For The Wicked. Here’s what we have to say about it…

Panic At The Disco - Pray For The Wicked

Let’s just start by saying that this album couldn’t be further from their 2005 debut but somehow still manages to have a distinctive Panic! At The Disco sound… mostly due to Brendon‘s instantly recognisable vocals!

Throughout the band’s life, they have had many incarnations, from the cabaret-infused emo-pop of their debut, A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out (2005), to their Beatles-inspired, Pretty. Odd (2008) and even their remarkably elaborate 2016 offering, Death Of A Bachelor. Well, Pray For The Wicked is no different…it’s another eccentric overhaul of the act and with that, brings a new and exciting sound.

It all opens with the show-stopper, ‘(Fuck A) Silver Lining’; an all-out, overly-extravagant anthem that oozes an air of success about the guy. The production is top-notch and unapologetic about its use of heavy drum fills and lavish symphony instrumentation. I particularly love the use of the one-off beep where a “fuck” should be – a great little production addition.

This is a theatrical record that doesn’t hold back in any way, shape or form!

As with any Panic! album, there is a great deal of sass behind the lyrics but this record also serves as an honest reflection on certain aspects of his life; his religious upbringing coupled with his rise to fame but rather than focusing on him living the high-life (as was the case on 2016’s Death Of A Bachelor), delves further into the journey to get there. This is a theatrical record that doesn’t hold back in any way, shape or form! It could easily be the soundtrack to a film like The Greatest Showman or feature on Broadway.

Some of key tracks to listen to on this record include, the quietly catchy, ‘Hey Look Ma, I Made It’; the pop-infused ‘High Hopes’ which you can’t help but sing at full pelt; the aptly-named ‘Dancing’s Not A Crime’ – which is a bloody good thing, as you’re unable to hear this without busting out some moves; and the beautifully heartfelt ‘Dying In LA’.

There is a real amalgamation of sounds on this album, from the superbly-integrated brass sections throughout (which add a certain class and almost seem to flaunt the budget that must have been spent making it), to the urban flourishes, such as gritty vinyl sounds, ballsy trap beats and even hip hop-tinted, high-pitched vocal samples. There’s no escaping the fact that Brendon sounds like he had a friggin’ great time making this record and at the same time, was not afraid to push some boundaries.

One thing’s for sure; fans of label-mates, Fall Out Boy‘s, newer sound, as well as die-hard Panic! fans, will undoubtedly love this record…but I have a feeling that with this new direction, he might well be picking up a whole new army of fans too! There are moments here and there that I could give or take, but on the whole, this is an outstanding, current and contemporary album that I would just LOVE to see performed live!

Rating


‘Pray For The Wicked’¬†is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/pray-for-the-wicked/1361152002


Pray For The Wicked on Spotify

Hey Look Ma, I Made It (Official Video)

Say Amen (Saturday Night) (Official Video)


We hope you’ve enjoyed our review! What do you think of this band’s sixth album? Are you a fan? What would you rate it? Please leave your thoughts in a comment below or via our social media.


Enjoyed this? Check out some of our other reviews here:

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Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#Review: Mayday Parade – Sunnyland ‚ėÄÔłŹ


   

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Mayday Parade are a relatively unique blend of pop punk but with a more mature, almost alternative rock sound than some other bands in the genre. They have had five albums, prior to this, but Sunnyland not only marks their sixth album release, but it’s their first with new label, Rise Records. Here are our thoughts…

Mayday Parade - Sunnyland.jpg

The album is launched into full swing by opening track, ‘Never Sure’; a fast-paced pop punk summer anthem that is begging for festival-goers to be jumping around like maniacs. This has surely got to be their set opener for their tours this year?!

Then there’s the band’s recent single, ‘It‚Äôs Hard To Be Religious When Certain People Are Never Incinerated By Bolts Of Lightning’, an angry anthem about feeling screwed over by someone. There are some stunning, echoey vocals in the last minute of the track where singer, Derek Sanders‘ voice really shines.

The tempo drops for the album’s lead single, ‘Piece Of Your Heart’, which certainly wasn’t an obvious choice to launch the album, but nevertheless it is a dreamy and romantic ballad that features some stadium-filling instrumentation and stunning gang vocals.

In fact, a large portion of the album feels self-reflective and relatively mellow in comparison to some of their previous releases but perhaps this is a maturing of the band’s musical direction? It can at times, feel a little stop-start due to the number of mellower tracks, but it’s definitely got a late summer/early autumn feel to it. ‘Take My Breath Away’ (almost sounds like something byThe Barr Brothers) and ‘Where You Are’ see the full band sound swapped for a more unplugged feel.

The highs are powerful and stratospheric, whilst the lows are both beautiful, vulnerable and unapologetic.

However, tracks such as ‘Is Nowhere’ and ‘How Do You Like Me Now’ showcase a much heavier, maybe even angrier, side to the band.

Favourite tracks have to be:¬†‘How Do You Like Me Now’ for its no holds barred lyrics and progressively chaotic instrumentation;¬†‘If I Were You’¬†as it’s just a fun, classic pop punk mosh anthem about getting away from it all and¬†‘Satellite’ that is a truly remarkable song with harmonic guitars and euphoric vocals that excite and induce a rush of ecstasy from start to finish.

There is something very similar to the likes of You Me At Six (like on ‘It’s Hard To Be Religious…’ and ‘Is Nowhere’) and Funeral For A Friend about this record; the highs are powerful and stratospheric, whilst the lows are both beautiful, vulnerable and unapologetic.

This is very much an album that weaves its way through calm, reflective tracks and punchy pop punk thrash anthems to target a mixed audience – and it is packed full of emotions too. This is mainly one for the fans, but I’m sure will pick up a few new listeners along the way.

Rating
4


‘Sunnyland’¬†is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/sunnyland/1375751341


Sunnyland on Spotify

It’s Hard To Be Religious When Certain People Are Never Incinerate By Bolts Of Lightning¬†(Official Music Video)

Piece Of Your Heart (Official Music Video)


We hope you’ve enjoyed our review! What do you think of the band’s sixth album? Are they headed in a direction you like? What would you rate it? Please leave your thoughts in a comment below or via our social media.


Enjoyed this? Check out some of our other reviews here:

Muzik Speaks Album Reviews


Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#WildCardWednesday: Good Charlotte – ‘Actual Pain’


   

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Good Charlotte are back and damn are we excited!

Their sixth studio album, Youth Authority (2016), saw the band rise back to the success of their fourth album, Good Morning Revival (2007), both peaking at Number 13 in the UK Charts. Now, with their seventh album, Generation Rx, due out in September 2018, we hope to see them replicate or even surpass this.

Certainly, if new single, ‘Actual Pain’, is anything to go by, that shouldn’t be a problem.

The new single has managed to strike a perfect balance between some of their more synth-driven, pop-rock songs like ‘Dance Floor Anthem’ and ‘Misery’ and earlier, guitar-infused and more sincere tracks like ‘Hold On’ and ‘We Believe’.

This type of combination of their sounds is driving the band into a new era and is sure to please both old fans as well as capture new ones. It’s a really strong single that’s got me excited to hear the rest of the new album! I wonder if they’ll have one of their epic, atmospheric intro tracks, like they used to?!

The music video for this track is emotive, depicting a boy reminiscing about the good times he shared with his mother, during his childhood and how that changed over time. It appears is a narrative-driven music video, interspersed with GC performance – a great, new video from the band!

What are your thoughts of the band’s latest single? Are you excited about their new album, Generation Rx? Do you have a #WildCardWednesday track to recommend us? Please leave your thoughts or song suggestions in a comment or via social media.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Actual Pain’¬†can be downloaded off¬†iTunes now –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/actual-pain-single/1384922354


#ThrowbackThursday: Lenny Kravitz – ‘Fly Away’


   

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Lenny Kravitz is well-known for his retro vibes and fusion of various genres, from rock to reggae, folk to funk and soul to psychedelic.

Back in 1998, Kravitz released ‘Fly Away’, one of his most successful singles to date, reaching Number 1 in the UK Charts.

The song was in fact the fourth single to be taken from his fifth album, 5, and due to the huge success of it, not only boosted sales of the album but also earned him a Grammy Award in 1999 for Best Male Rock Performance.

The track is incredibly catchy with its funk bass line and gritty vocals – it’s no wonder it rocketed to the top of the charts.

The music video was directed by Paul Hunter (Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake and more) and features Kravitz and his band performing in a club, surrounded by a crowd, dancing and getting frisky. It’s a very iconic video for the artist and shows a real passion in his performance…something he definitely pours into his live shows!

What are your thoughts of this wonderfully unique artist? Did you love this track first time around? Do you still love it now? What’s your favourite Lenny Kravitz track? Please leave your thoughts or song suggestions in a comment or via social media.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Fly Away’¬†can be downloaded off¬†iTunes now –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/fly-away/723338099?i=723338326


#Two4Tunesday: Dappy – ‘Oh My’ featuring Ay Em & OneRepublic – ‘Start Again’ featuring Logic


   

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Dappy – ‘Oh My’ featuring Ay Em

Dappy is finally back with the epic new tune, ‘Oh My’ featuring Ay Em. The track has a distinct afrobeat vibe to it.

The tune is less obviously catchy than some of his previous hits, but it’s still a superb track; a real urban, summer song! Hopefully this will signal the upcoming release of his second album, tentatively titled Miracles.

The music video is based in London and sees Dappy and Ay Em performing on the streets, with some quirky animations weaving their way throughout.


‘Oh My’¬†is¬†on¬†iTunes for downloading now! –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/oh-my-feat-ay-em-single/1380654873



OneRepublic – ‘Start Again’ featuring Logic

Take from the soundtrack to the second season of Netflix series, 13 Reasons Why, Colorado pop rock back, OneRepublic, have teamed up with American rapper, Logic, to create an incredibly fitting track.

The band’s latest single features¬†Ryan Tedder‘s stunning and passionate vocals, on top of a thumping, almost¬†empowering beat, accompanied by a verse about suicide, by mental health advocate,¬†Logic. It’s the perfect accompaniment to the latest series of the mysterious teen drama.

OneRepublic¬†have released a string of new singles now, but no album has been announced…hopefully these are all signs of one to come!

No music video has been released, as yet, but the audio video can be seen below. If one is released, we’ll be sure to keep you updated.


‘Start Again’¬†can also be downloaded from iTunes now! –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/start-again-feat-logic/1381914023?i=1381916994


Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#ThrowbackThursday: The All-American Rejects – ‘Gives You Hell’


   

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The All-American Rejects released their monster hit, ‘Gives You Hell’, back in 2008, which went on to become their most successful single, to date.

It reached Number 18 in the UK Charts and received regular rotation on radio and music video channels. It was also the first single to be taken from their third studio album, When The World Comes Down. Since then, the band have released another album and recently a single; we’re just waiting for the announcement of their fifth album!

‘Gives You Hell’ is certainly and in-your-face break-up anthem but the chorus can also apply to many other situations; it’s just an all-round good belter to let off some steam and what’s amazing is it’s timeless.

The music video is pretty original too and damn funny; it’s well worth a watch!

What are your thoughts of this awesome 2008 track? Doesn’t it still sound sick?! Do you still love it as much as you did back then? Have you got a #ThrowbackThursday track to recommend us? Please leave your thoughts or song suggestions in a comment or via social media.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Gives You Hell’¬†can be downloaded off¬†iTunes now –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/gives-you-hell/304613492?i=304613499


#FeelGoodFriday: Marianas Trench – ‘Rhythm Of Your Heart’


   

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Marianas Trench (Brighton show review here) are a pop rock band from Canada, who formed in 2001 and is fronted by the multi-instrumentalist and songwriter, Josh Ramsay.

To date, the band have released four full-length albums and in 2017, the band released this incredibly catchy, pop-infused, synth-driven anthem, ‘Rhythm Of Your Heart’. No details of a new album have been mentioned as yet, but with a strong single like this, surely one must be in the pipeline?!

The video (below) is pretty funky with all its neon-ness too.

What are your thoughts of this funky pop rock band’s latest single? Have you got a #FeelGoodFriday track to recommend us? Please leave your thoughts or song suggestions in a comment or via social media.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Rhythm Of Your Heart’¬†can be downloaded off¬†iTunes now –¬†https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/rhythm-of-your-heart/1318994448?i=1318994466