I think I was 12 years old the first time I heard “I Write Sins Not Tragedies.” I don’t know exactly how long it took me to get the whole CD, but I do know that as soon as I had it I was hooked. Panic! at the Disco’s A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out was a stroke of musical genius that suddenly descended upon the world of punk music. And for many of the other young’ns like myself, it was this album that threw the door to the genre wide open. Without exaggeration, it is genuinely difficult for me to explain the impact this CD, and Panic! at the Disco in general, had on me. The first real concert I went to was Panic!’s first tour with Plain White Tees and Jack’s Mannequin, and after falling in love with Panic! it did not take long for me to find my musical home in other punk bands as well.
And then the greatest tragedy in my little music loving life happened: Panic! released Pretty Odd.
Don’t get me wrong, as a CD on its own without any context whatsoever, it isn’t terrible. But as a Panic! CD following the genius that was A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out, it was, for me, nothing short of traumatic. In one CD my favorite band went from releasing one of the single most unique albums on the airwaves to just plane boring. “Nine in the Afternoon” was just another song you wait to end on the radio hoping something better came on next. And it was heartbreaking.
I stopped paying much attention to Panic! after that. I moved on to Fall Out Boy and 3oh!3 and went on pretending A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out was the only album they had ever released. There were a few songs on later albums that caught my attention- I am always down for “Mona Lisa Smile” and “Miss Jackson,” but nothing ever struck me the way that first CD did.
And then. AND THEN.
A few weeks ago Joe and I went to Art Prize (post maybe coming later?) and on the way home he said he found I song I needed to hear. He refused to tell me who it was, but the second I heard the voice I knew. And I legitimately almost cried, because after 10 years Panic! finally released another song that was worthy of their name and Brenden Urie’s voice.
To be fair, I think “Miss Jackson” could have had this impact on me had I been paying more attention when it came out, but I was in one of my “not listening to punk” phases, and was long past hoping for another good Panic! CD. The more I listen to that song, and that CD in general, the more I do really love them, and I’m starting to realize I’m probably the only one surprised with how fantastic Victorious is. But what’re you gonna do. At this point all I can do is download the CD like I should have years ago and do what I can to make up for lost time.
The point is, the band that introduced me to punk music- which despite my phases remains extraordinarily important to my life- is making an honest to god come back ya’ll. “Victorious” is fantastic, as is Hallelujah (which I discovered after I decided to start paying attention again), and I might just die from happiness. I do not think they will ever release anything quite as fantastic as Fever- I honestly don’t know if they could with Ryan Ross- but for the first time in 10 years I am genuinely excited for them to release their new CD. Cough it up, Urie!
You can listen to the glory that is Panic!’s return to my heart below. And let me know if any of you have ever had an experience like this. Who’s (or what’s) big come back gave you all the feels?