Pretty. Odd.

Pretty. Odd.

by Panic! At the DiscoPanic! At the Disco


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Tempting as it may be, don't read the dropping of the exclamation point from Panic at the Disco's name as a sign that the emo quartet is in a rush to be taken seriously. Don't even take their blatant aping of Sgt. Pepper's on Pretty. Odd as indication that Panic at the Disco wants to be taken seriously. There doesn't seem to be a serious bone within the bodies of any of the four members, but the wondrous thing about Pretty. Odd is that it's impossible to discern what silliness is intentional and what is accidental, the product of a band discovering the Beatles long after their 2005 debut A Fever You Can't Sweat Out turned into a hit. There's a startling naïveté to PATD's sudden immersion in symphonic psychedelic pop; the band is either too young or dumb to not realize that they're putting together familiar elements wrong, or that they shouldn't be attempting the baroque ballads and vaudeville shuffles that pepper this album...but they're smart enough to send-up the opening of Pepper's, twisting the Beatles' declaration that they were now Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band around, claiming that they're they same band they always were. Of course this is a bald-faced lie, as the only clear remnants from PATD's debut are the overly complicated song titles and fussy lyrics, but few will complain as the group retain their theatrical ridiculousness while unveiling a newfound panache for pop, all derived from their desire to pattern themselves after the Beatles. Panic at the Disco are hardly the first modern rock band to slavishly follow the example of their peers -- My Chemical Romance copied every one of Queen's exaggerated moves for The Black Parade, while the Killers treated Sam's Town as if it was a Springsteen coloring book -- but PATD's clueless, audacious thievery of the Beatles pays back far greater dividends, partially because stealing from the Fab Four guarantees an emphasis on melody over style, but also because PATD shows far more humor than MCR or the Killers. That humor -- and it's possible to laugh at and laugh along with the band in equal measure here -- makes Pretty. Odd a giddy absurdity, as Panic at the Disco is determined to have it both ways: to make grand, pompous music while retaining their identity as pranksters. The album is so out of control, it's hard to tell whether the group planned Pretty. Odd to be a kaleidoscopic mess, or if occurred by happenstance, but that raggedness will appeal to the teens who loved A Fever You Can't Sweat Out, but this bafflingly blurred Brit-pop could hook in older listeners, too, either through its genuine tunefulness or through pop junkies who will marvel at how "Folkin' Around" comes startlingly close to re-creating the sound of the Byrds circa Sweetheart of the Rodeo, or how "Do You Know What I'm Seeing" is equal parts Morrissey parody and homage. It all adds up to a pretty and odd record and it erases no suspicions that the band aren't quite sure of what they're doing, but the glorious thing about Pretty. Odd is that the album works in spite of this...or perhaps because of it. Either way, this is a deliriously jumbled, left-field delight.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/25/2008
Label: Fueled By Ramen
UPC: 0075678995088
catalogNumber: 430524
Rank: 3944

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Panic! At the Disco   Primary Artist
Tony Kadleck   Trumpet
Chris Laurence   Double Bass
Rob Mathes   Guitar,Mandolin,Piano,Conductor,Keyboards
Sandra Park   Concert Master
Roger Rosenberg   Baritone Saxophone
Andy Snitzer   Tenor Saxophone
Peter Lale   Viola
Tony Pleeth   Cello
Jeff Kievit   Trumpet,Flugelhorn,Piccolo Trumpet
Warren Zielinski   Violin
Michael Davis   Trombone
Brendon Urie   Group Member
David Andrew Mann   Clarinet,Alto Saxophone
Ryan Ross   Group Member
Spencer Smith   Group Member
Perry Montague-Mason   Violin
Jon Walker   Group Member
Rick Romick   Wurlitzer

Technical Credits

Rob Mathes   Producer,Orchestral Arrangements
Sandra Park   String Contractor
Wayne Warnecke   Engineer
Claudius Mittendorfer   Engineer
Alex Kirzhner   Art Direction,Illustrations
Ilene Budin   Packaging Manager
Tanapan "Bang" Puangpakdee   Illustrations
Brendon Urie   Composer
Jonathan Allen   Engineer
Alex Venguer   Engineer
Panic! At the Disco   Composer
Ryan Ross   Composer
Spencer Smith   Composer
Jon Walker   Composer
Damon Chesse   Prop Design
Connie Makita   Illustrations
Hearth Rob Mathes   Producer

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