Panic! At the Disco is the stage name of Las Vegas native; Brendon Urie, and Pray For The Wicked is Urie’s sixth record under this moniker. On this album, Brendon Urie seems to take more of his Las Vegas panache in his stride, making for an over the top selection of stadium ready hits.
(Fuck A) Silver Lining explodes out of the gate into an ambitious pop powered chorus, with few chances for Urie to catch his breath. Even though PATD have thrown everything including the kitchen sink at this track, it fits the sparky showmanship attitude and this over the top-ness has come to be expected by fans at this stage. Again with the brackets, Say Amen (Saturday Night) is more of a throwback to I Write Sins… era PATD. The stadium sized chorus is again unable to be contained, Urie’s voice is able to rip holes in the sky with how far it can reach.
There are a few cringe-worthy song titles on this record; with Roaring 20s and Dancing’s Not A Crime a little too twee on the name front. The latter is one of Panic’s more mainstream stylised songs, and although it’s a decent pop track – it lacks the same level of depth that PATD had become known for including. There is so much clear enjoyment coming from Urie on this album, a great guy having an amazing time doing the best job in the world – a vibe that is infectious!
Dying In LA is quite the antithesis as it brings the record to a close. The piano led ode to the excess and problems with the City of Angels, by doing away with the theatrics Urie is able to show off the real star of the show – his voice. Earlier in the album it felt as though there was not enough depth, but this track has managed to restore that by the bucketload. It’s not an odd choice to finish with, because it feels like the post-party loneliness has finally kicked in.
Overall, Pray For The Wicked is a confident and spectacular album that isn’t to be taken too seriously. It has a lot of highs that have enough sincere joy to power a city, and it’s utterly impossible to resist the charm of Brendon Urie. As an addition, Urie recently donated a significant amount to support LGBTQ+ centres in America, which although not directly associated with this album – is something that needs applauding.