Nearly thirteen years at the top and Panic! At The Disco frontman Brendon Urie shows no signs of slowing down. After releasing the band’s fifth album Death of a Bachelor, Urie has hit the ground running. Recently finishing up a worldwide tour and is now gracing the stage of Broadway in his role as Charlie Price in Kinky Boots (running until August 6th).
The AP Music Awards (Alternative Press) have recognised Urie’s achievements by naming the band Artist of the Year 2017. Out shining the other nominees such as fellow band Fall Out Boy – whose bassist discovered Panic back in 2004 – and Blink 182 – who the band would cover before writing their own music. Hosted by Black Veil Bride frontman, Andy Biersack, the event recognises the talents of artists belonging to the alternative side of music. Other bands such as Twenty One Pilots and The Pretty Reckless also going home with outstanding awards that were well deserved.
Now with five ground breaking albums in his musical arsenal as well as other multiple awards and recognition, Urie really earnt his place among the legends by writing, producing and recording the band’s most recent album Death of a Bachelor mostly solo. Released on January 15th 2016, on the label Fueled by Ramen, the entire album was written and recorded by multi-instrumentalist Brendon Urie and produced with the help of Jake Sinclair. It’s the band’s third album since the original line up (of Brendon Urie, Spencer Smith, Ryan Ross and Jon Walker) went their separate ways to leave the singer and drummer to write and release their third album Vices & Virtues. And the second album since the departure of drummer Spencer Smith, with bassist Dallon Weekes also having no contribution.
Death of a Bachelor hit number one on the US Billboard 200 after its debut earning the band its first number one album. It has since be nominated for a Grammy Award of Best Rock Album at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards but lost out to Tell Me I’m Pretty by Cage The Elephant. Apart from its musical achievement the album seems to show a personal growth for Urie as the songs don more maturity than those from Vegas party fuelled Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die. Expressing a nostalgia for the wild life he has lived with ‘Don’t Threaten Me with a Good Time’ and ‘Golden Days’ as well as the excitement of leaving that past behind to pursue a new life with his wife, Sarah Urie, through ‘Death of a Bachelor.’
Singles from the album like ‘Victorious’ encompass the flamboyant genius of Queen whilst ‘Death of a Bachelor’ could have been written for Frank Sinatra. These comparisons are hardly surprising when Urie himself has been quoted crediting inspirations to the previously mentioned artists. The album also provided fans with some continuation from the previous one (Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die) through the music video for ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’. Seemingly a visual sequel to ‘This is Gospel’ the music video is an oddly twisted story that sees Urie transforming into a demon in jagged, stop animation-like editing. Continuing the reputation the band have for memorable music videos. Urie has since said that he hopes to bring his experience on the Broadway stage to the next album leaving fans to wonder how previous theatrics will be topped.
Death of a Bachelor continues the band’s notorious habit of trying to reinvent themselves every album and only one of the reasons the Artist of the Year Award could not have gone to anyone else.
Watch the winning moment here as well as Brendon’s ‘thank you’ video:
Review By Skye W. Winwood