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Albums Reviews

Panic! At the Disco

[Three stars]
Vices & Virtues
Decaydance/Fueled by Ramen

Jody Rosen Apr 05, 2011

Panic! At the Disco have invented a new genre: emo retropop. Vices & Virtues is the band’s first album since becoming a duo (singer Brendon Urie and drummer Spencer Smith), and it’s the closest emo has come to the sound of old-school pop and rock, with Beach Boys harmonies and even gypsy-style swing flavouring the usual hopped-up confessions. The group’s old lyricist, Ryan Ross, is gone; these songs are missing some of the hyper mall-rat poetry that made Panic’s first two albums such daffy fun. But the arrangements are tight, even when the songs get baroque: Check ”˜Nearly Witches,’ which mixes funk, Fifties horror-movie kitsch and a children’s choir to ridiculous ”“ and sublime ”“ effect.

Key Track: ”˜Ready to Go (Get Me Out of My Mind)’

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