Tag Archives: music

Panic! At the Disco delights with upcoming album

Panic! At the Disco’s anticipated album, “Death of a Bachelor,” is set to release January 15. Lead singer Brendon Urie began to release individual songs off of the record in April of 2015, and each one has provided a different sound that leaves one to wonder what the album will sound like as whole.

In 2013, Urie released “Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die!” which consisted of a blend of alternative, pop and heavily autotuned music. The songs “This is Gospel” and “Miss Jackson” indirectly set the precedent for the album to come in 2016 with their amazing sound and consistent popularity. Other songs, such as “Casual Affair” and “Girl That You Love,” left me hoping whatever was to come would not sound as heavily auto tuned and lazy.

When the first single, “Hallelujah,” was released on April 20, 2015, the sound was similar to that of the alternative ballads on the previous album, which made my fear of a stereotypical pop sound dwindle down. At the time of the release, Urie and the rest of the band acknowledged the song very little. In comparison to the other songs released later, “Hallelujah” barely received any promotion or advertisement, and I cannot understand why.

“Hallelujah” possesses some of my favorite lyrics off the album so far, such as “I’m sitting pretty in my brand new scars, and you’ll never know if you don’t ever try again, so let’s try,” and the beats behind the lyrics instantly makes me want to dance. Urie presents the meaningful words in a way that makes the ballad sound more like a party song than a song to which you would ponder life, which is why I love this song so much.

“Death of a Bachelor” was the second song Urie choose to debut on Sept. 1, 2015. Although the release was not official as it was broadcasted on Beats 1 Radio and then not available on iTunes, Urie encouraged the download of the song even after the audio tracks on YouTube were removed for copyright reasons.

While “Hallelujah” provides me with some of my favorite lyrics, “Death of a Bachelor” possesses my favorite sound. Urie has stated he is heavily influenced by Frank Sinatra and wrote the song as a tribute to him as 2015 was the year of Sinatra’s 100th birthday. The background music, as well as Urie’s voice, has a definite Sinatra-type sound, and because I am also a fan of Sinatra’s music, I fell in love with the song.

A music video for “Death of a Bachelor” was released on Dec. 24, 2015 and also possesses the same vintage feeling the song does as the microphone looks like something out of the 1950s along with Urie’s outfit. The video consists solely of Urie singing on stage to an empty crowd in completely black and white, and the simplicity of the music video allows the music to be completely on the lyrics and sound, which is how this song deserves to be presented.

The third single, “Victorious,” was released shortly after “Death of a Bachelor” on Sept. 29, 2015, and initially, I was not sure how I felt about this song. The opening seconds consist of what sounds like children singing the chorus and then immediately jumps into fast paced lyrics filled with weird metaphors, such as “I’m a killing spree in white with eyes like broken Christmas lights.”

“Victorious” possesses a sound more alike songs played on the radio currently of which I am not an overly big fan. Really appreciating and getting into this song took me an insanely long time, and I mainly use it as a song to pump myself up or dance to while I struggle to understand the point of the metaphors.

Next in line was the Oct. 21, 2015 release of “Emperor’s New Clothes,” which came accompanied by the album announcement of which everyone was waiting, along with a really cool music video. Since the album release date came along with the song, the ballad definitely received the most promotion out of all of the singles released so far and rightfully so.

In juxtaposition with “Hallelujah,” the music video for “Emperor’s New Clothes” focused heavily on the underworld as viewers watched Urie change from a human being to a demon throughout the short song. The effects in the video were well put together, and the beginning included an interesting continuation of the “This is Gospel” video released Aug. 11, 2013.

“Emperor’s New Clothes” is the shortest on the album at a run time of 2:38, and I wish it was way longer. The lyrics in this song are amazing, and Urie’s normal experiments with his vocal range are extremely evident and really make this song pop. With words like “If it feels good, tastes good, it must be mine” and “I’m taking back the crown. I’m all dressed up and naked. I see what is mine and take it,” I immediately fell for this song almost as hard as I fell for “Hallelujah” six months prior. 

The fifth song released was “LA Devotee” on Nov. 26, 2015, and is about the love someone feels about moving to Los Angeles. Although not accompanied by an actual music video, the song came with a visualette featuring the bright and intricate colors of various places in California.

Urie sings the lyrics just as rapidly as he does in “Victorious,” but the imagery and comparisons in “LA Devotee” are way easier to understand and appreciate. The song sounds like a mixture of their 2013 album along with various other songs from albums released in the early 2000s, which hold some of the best songs of Panic! At the Disco’s entire career.

My favorite part of the song is definitely the way the lyrics, “I wouldn’t change you. I wouldn’t ever try to make you leave,” sound all around. The background music changes to a pleasing deep trombone/tuba sound that immediately puts me in a better mood. In fact, the entire song is a mood-lifter and every time it appears on my Spotify or phone shuffle, I want to stop everything I am doing and just lose myself in the music.

“Don’t Threaten Me With a Good Time” was the sixth song released on Dec. 31, 2015 and is probably the song that sounds the most different compared to the others. Fast-paced lyrics seem to be the way Urie wants to present the words because yet again, I am left trying to figure out what the entire verse said in 45 seconds.

Unlike the others on the album, this song does not have a music video or a visualette to go along with it. This makes sense to me as I am not completely sure how you could design a video for this song, considering it holds the same type of message as “Victorious,” which already has a music video. I do like this song more than I liked “Victorious,” though as it holds more of a rock type sound I am not used to hearing from Panic! At the Disco.

Lyrics, “I’m not as think as you drunk I am,” define the song completely and have become the most popular set of words I have seen edited onto pictures or used in “memes” on social media the past week and a half. They also define the partying lifestyle Urie portrays himself living quite often along with bringing up past events he has broadcasted such as the “Drunk History of Fall Out Boy” video that debuted on YouTube in 2013.

Panic! At the Disco has managed to release six of the 11 songs on the new album coming out next week, leaving many to believe the album may debut a few days earlier than Jan. 15. The sound and subject of lyrics coming from Urie and the rest of the band is changing slowly but surely, and I am excited to see what is to come for the remaining five songs and any records to come.

Bon Iver fills the room with poetic melodies

Few bands or solo artists today can make listeners feel as if they are the steady snowfall on Christmas Eve. Bon Iver; however, has this technique mastered

DeYarmond was the name of the band that lead singer and songwriter Justin Vernon played in before Bon Iver. Vernon played with high school friends, but after they relocated to North Carolina, everything had fallen apart.

Altmusic.com said Vernon felt out of place, so he broke up with his band, broke up with his girlfriend and headed back to his hometown of Eau Claire, Wisconsin. While searching for himself, naturally, he found haven in a log cabin in the woods where he wrote songs for months.

When Vernon left the cabin, he emerged with his first album called “For Emma, Forever Ago.” The album was released in 2008 and is filled with soft, haunting sounds.

“I crouch like a crow contrast with the snow for the agony I would rather know,” Vernon, in his song “Blindsided”, wrote.

His voice throughout the entirety of the album is beautiful. Vernon has a calm, yet powerful tone that can put anyone to sleep, but still make them think about their life at the same time.

“For Emma, Forever Ago” is full of heartbreak, which makes the album even more significant. Vernon puts his heart on the line for every song he writes and the extreme poetic words of his writing flow perfectly together.

“I was full by your count. Lost, but your fool. Was a long visit wrong?” Vernon sang in “Creature Fear.”

Most people, at least teenagers, are familiar of the song “Skinny Love” covered by Birdy. The cover of the song is beautiful, but the original is written by Bon Iver and comes packed with a sound no other artist can produce.

“Tell my love to wreck it all. Cut out all the ropes and let me fall,” Vernon hauntingly sings in “Skinny Love.”

The second album released is called “Blood Bank.” Released in 2009, the album is shorter and follows “For Emma, Forever Ago” almost perfectly.

Vernon competes with his own lyrics, writing the songs in “Blood Bank” even more powerfully than before. Some songs are open for any interpretation, but others are very black and white.

“When you are out, tell your lucky one to know that you will leave. Don’t you look when you’re fleeing. I’d like not to hear keys,” Vernon sang in “Beach Baby.”

The way he writes brings imagination to the listener, making them feel like they are in the situation or forcing them to relive a past experience all over again.

“And I said I knew it well, the secret that you know but don’t know how to tell,” Vernon sings in “Blood Bank.”
Sadly, the most recent album released by Bon Iver was “Bon Iver” in 2011. This album, thankfully, is much longer than the other two.

Vernon, again, does not disappoint listeners as he belts out ballads with the same, if not more, amount of power and relaxation. He writes songs about truth, but delivers them in such a way no other artist can.

“At once I knew I was not magnificent,” Vernon, in “Holocene”, sang. “High above the highway aisle, jagged vacance and thick with ice, I could see for miles, miles, miles.”

When listening to all three of the albums, the feeling of sorrow and happiness hits listeners like a tidal wave. If there was an award for most poetic song filled with powerful music in the background, Bon Iver, without question, would win.

Vernon sings in “Towers,” “Open ears and open eyes, wake up to your starboard bride who goes in and then stays inside. Oh the demons, they can subside.”

Sleeping at Last provides loud messages, quietly

“Sleeping at Last” is one of those artists who has the power to soothe and relax with a voice.

The powerful albums and EPs are packed with great sounds and only the occasional “skippable” song.

“Though my hands are prone to trial and error, I’m crossing my fingers for something to hold,” Ryan O’Neal sang in his song “Outlines.” O’Neal did indeed find something to hold.

“Sleeping at Last” was created in Chicago in 1999. The band originally had three members: lead singer Ryan O’Neal, drummer Chad O’Neal and bassist Dan Purdue. Purdue and O’Neal later left the band in 2011 to pursue other careers.

Ryan O’Neal; however, never gave up on the band. He adjusted to being the only member, becoming the singer and instrumentalist.

The first album released was called “Capture” in 2000, but it does not exist on iTunes, the band’s website or any popular radio apps such as Spotify or Soundcloud.

At the beginning of their career, while the band still had Chad and Dan, they often opened for other bands, such as “Kill Hannah” and the “Plain White T’s.” They did not seal a record deal until 2002 when Interscope Records’ Billy Corgan signed them.

Their second album, “Ghosts,” was released in 2003 and is considered the band’s first major label debut.

“Say what you really want to say and the truest forms will show. Finally, you will find your soul,” O’Neal, in his song “Say”, sang.

The release of “Ghosts” introduced the sound and focus of the band. O’Neal writes about life and love, while playing calm, indie music in the background.

In 2006, “Sleeping at Last” released a third album titled “Keep No Score.” On this album, O’Neal expanded his songwriting abilities by using powerful imagery. The musical arrangements in the majority of the songs is definitely a highlight of this album.

“They say this place has changed, but strip away all of the technology and you will see that we are all hunters, hunting for something that will make us okay,” O’Neal sang in “Needle and Thread.”

“Storyboards” was released in 2009 with a beautiful water color painting of an owl as the album cover. The painting fit perfectly to the soft and elegant sound of the album.

“As the wrist of an artist pulls the foreground into frame, we must learn to focus all the same,” O’Neal wrote in the song “Timelapse.”

Never failing to impress, O’Neal proceeded to create the Yearbook series in 2011. The series consisted of two or three songs released every month for an entire year. At the end, all of the EPs were compiled into one massive collection filled with beautiful melodies and poetic lyrics.

“Concentration breaks under frivolous weight. If the right words exist, may they find our lips,” O’Neal sang in “Resolve.”

The final albums released were the Atlas series consisting of “Space,” “Land,” “Darkness” and “Light”. The songs on each of the albums hit every aspect of all things happy, intense and curious. Songs on “Space” left listeners with a universe-like feeling and clever lyrics.

“I dig until my shovel tells a secret,” O’Neal wrote in “Earth” from the “Space” album. “I swear to the Earth that I will keep it. Brush off the dirt, and let the change of heart occur,”

 Ryan O’Neal is an artist who has been through a lot, but never gave up on his dream of making music and allowing listeners to feel something more than heavy bass behind useless lyrics.

To take his career even farther, O’Neal has plans of releasing the “Atlas: Year Two” series sometimes this spring.