Pray for the Wicked
Theatricality has long been a part of Panic! At the Disco’s DNA. But following a 10-week run playing entrepreneur Charlie Price in Kinky Boots on Broadway, Panic!’s lone full-time member, Brendon Urie, has infused his unique brand of emo-pop with renewed song-and-dance-man vigor. Each track feels humongous, swirling with strings and shiny horns and topped with Urie’s now theater-tested voice. “Say Amen (Saturday Night)” and “(Fuck A) Silver Lining” are on par with PATD’s most grandiose hits, while “High Hopes” and “Hey Look Ma, I Made It” take inspiration for their brassiness from Urie's mother (“Mama said, ‘It’s uphill for oddities/Stranger crusaders ain’t ever wannabes’” goes one memorable line). Even the piano-and-strings ballad “Dying in LA” radiates enough charisma to reach the top deck.