Record Label: Fueled by Ramen
Panic At the Disco subverted the potential for a sophomore slump by taking a sharp left turn from the emo-fused pop-punk of their debut, A FEVER YOU CAN'T SWEAT OUT. Rather than retracing the footsteps that brought them popularity, Panic At the Disco made PRETTY. ODD., a headlong dive into pure 1960s pop psychedelia. From the floral print cover-art (framed by a vintage photo album-style border) to the artfully constructed retro symphonic pop inside, PRETTY. ODD. will surprise fans and stump naysayers.
Both the self-referential opener, "We're So Starving," and the lead single, "Nine in the Afternoon," with its soaring chorus and echoing horn lines, channel SGT. PEPPERS-era Beatles. The drowsy, lovely "Northern Downpour" and the music hall send-up (complete with added vinyl crackle), "I Have Friends in Holy Spaces," suggest the band has also been listening to the Beatles' WHITE ALBUM. But although PRETTY. ODD. is indebted to the Fab Four, it also has a contemporary feel, and no shortage of guitar-charged rock. Most surprising is that this unlikely experiment succeeds on the merit of its ambition, wit, and fine melodic songwriting.