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Urie’s sudden departure marks unfortunate end to Panic! At The Disco

Urie’s sudden departure marks unfortunate end to Panic! At The Disco

Urie’s sudden departure marks unfortunate end to Panic! At The Disco
February 10
14:00 2023

Brendon Urie, the only member remaining in Panic! At The Disco, announced the group’s disbandment on Jan. 24. The artist stated his decision to leave is because he and his wife are starting a family.

Urie’s final album, “Viva Las Vengeance,” prompted fans to wonder what happened to the “old” Panic! At the Disco, and if Urie is merely riding off the band’s outdated fame.

Since Panic!’s 2005 debut album, “A Fear You Can’t Sweat Out,” they have experimented with several genres, ranging from electropop to alternative rock. Two years later, longtime fans were disappointed to hear about Dallon Weekes’ departure from the band. Still, listeners remained optimistic to see what Urie had to offer as a soloist and if he could maintain Panic!’s reputation

Considering Panic!’s transformation across numerous styles, it was unclear what Urie would challenge next. Following the uncertainty of the band’s direction in 2016, Urie released “Death of a Bachelor” as his first solo project under Panic!.

Even though “Death of a Bachelor” resembled more of a pop outlook, the majority the album integrated an upbeat rock style. This can be seen through tracks like “Death of a Bachelor,” “Crazy = Genius” and “The Good, the Bad, and the Dirty.”

Panic!’s uniqueness remained prominent, which longtime fans adored. No single song sounded the same despite being of the same genre. Older fans also appreciated how each track told a story, even though the narrative centered on Urie’s lifestyle before marriage.

While more pop-y songs, like “Victorious,” skyrocketed in popularity, each individual track was appreciated by casual and dedicated listeners alike. With the unexpected popularity, most listeners assumed “Death of a Bachelor” would be the peak of Urie’s solo career under Panic! However, Urie’s mix of alternative and pop rock in 2018’s “Pray for the Wicked” sparked surprise worldwide.

Despite various tracks, such as “High Hopes” and “Hey Look Ma, I Made It,” ranking on the Billboard Hot 100, disappointment resonated throughout the alternative rock community. It seemed Urie was attempting to produce solely pop music.

Distinctions between tracks remained, with “Roaring 20s” maintaining a jazzy appeal and “Old Fashioned” entailing more brass instruments. However, they lacked consistent story-telling, aside from Urie’s reminiscent undertones.

While Urie was reeling in casual listeners, longtime fans hoped Panic!’s sound would return to its former, unique glory. As a result, Urie began to gradually lose touch with his dedicated fanbase. Instead, the artist fixated on appealing to the general public, as highlighted by the release of “Viva Las Vengeance” in August 2022.

While Urie focused on catering to general audiences, he integrated more pop sounds and attempted to provide upbeat indie pop appeal. “Viva Las Vengeance” and “Don’t Let The Light Go Out” made mediocre impact on the music scene. Overall, they caught the attention of casual listeners, but fell short for fans holding onto the last strand of hope for originality. 

Everyone has their music preferences, so it’s unfair to claim that pop music is intolerable. However, fans were exhausted from hearing the same rinse-and-repeat genre occur for nearly two albums and through overplayed modern music on local radios.

To rub salt in the wound, every “Viva Las Vengeance” song has a similar chorus and instrumentals. The lyrics also fail to maintain a coherent, enjoyable rhythm.

While Urie vocalizes his personal struggles in the album, this has already been seen in his other solo releases. His repetitive narrative combined with identical-sounding composition solidified Panic!’s downfall.

Between 2016 and 2019, Urie successfully upheld Panic!’s highly-regarded reputation. He reshaped the band by centering his albums around his experiences, but originality slowly slipped from his grasp when fame came into play.

Urie then fully capitalized his style and immersed his music in the pop genre formula. As a result, it cost him Panic!’s older, loyal fanbase.

Since Urie officially departed from Panic! At the Disco, a mixture of emotions surfaced. Dedicated fans are left discontent while newer listeners are now met with a bittersweet conclusion.

Urie’s decisions buried the band’s legacy in the rubble of possibilities, left untouched since his 2019 career peak. Meanwhile, longtime fans itch with dissatisfaction and are left to wonder if “Viva Las Vengeance” was even meant to be an attempt at redemption.

Featured Illustration by Jazmine Garcia

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Ally Brown

Ally Brown

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