Death of a Bachelor

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Death of a Bachelor
Death of a Bachelor.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedJanuary 15, 2016 (2016-01-15)
RecordedApril 2015
StudioUrielectric Studios
Genre
Length36:06
Label
Producer
Panic! at the Disco chronology
Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die!
(2013)
Death of a Bachelor
(2016)
All My Friends We're Glorious
(2017)
Singles from Death of a Bachelor
  1. "Hallelujah"
    Released: April 20, 2015
  2. "Victorious"
    Released: September 29, 2015
  3. "Emperor's New Clothes"
    Released: October 21, 2015
  4. "Death of a Bachelor"
    Released: December 9, 2016[9]

Death of a Bachelor is the fifth studio album by American pop rock band Panic! at the Disco, released January 15, 2016 on Fueled by Ramen and DCD2. It is the follow-up to the band's fourth studio album, Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die! (2013), with the entire album written and recorded by vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Brendon Urie, among external writers. It is the band's first album to not feature drummer Spencer Smith and also follows bassist Dallon Weekes' departure from the official line-up, subsequently becoming a touring member once again.[10][11]

Death of a Bachelor debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200, with 190,000 album units, earning the band its best sales week and first number one album.[12] The album has been certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for sales of at least 2,000,000 copies. It was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Rock Album at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards.[13]

Writing and composition[edit]

In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Urie stated that Death of a Bachelor was lyrically inspired by his wife Sarah Urie and his lifestyle, stating: "This whole album was written at my house where she and I live and it reflects very much the lifestyle I was living [while writing it], which is so different from who I used to be."[14] In an interview with Alt 98.7 mid-2015, he had to say about the album: "It's going to be a little bit different, it's this mix between Sinatra and Queen, if that makes any sense...Every time we do a new album, for me, it’s always evolving and changing—in the best way. There's going to be a new energy live."[15]

In April 2015, Urie began recording Death of a Bachelor.[16] A small studio had been built and a piano was bought specifically for the album's production.[16] Production was handled by Jake Sinclair[17] and Urie.[18] Sinclair, who is a friend of Urie's, helped him view the music in "different ways".[16] Urie said he "loved" working in the studio, often running between that and the piano.[16] He played every instrument minus the horns, which he also "love[d]".[16] His views had "all changed from [Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die!]", having "different things" he wanted to discuss.[16]

On October 22, 2015 Brendon Urie released a statement through the band's Facebook page on the background of the album:

When I was a little kid and I heard a song I liked on TV, I would jump up and run to the piano to try and figure it out by ear. When I was 10 or 11, I built myself a drum kit in the garage made out of empty laundry detergent buckets, old lawn chairs, paint cans, and old trash cans. Around that time, my parents got me my first guitar. A baby acoustic. I jumped between all of these instruments constantly to satisfy the ideas I heard in my head. At this young age, I realized that music would play a huge part in my life. I had no idea.

'Death of a Bachelor' is in honor of those times I spent alone as a kid. Allowing music to consume me. Playing everything myself just to get the idea right and out of my head. It's a beginning to a new era. And an homage to how it all began.

This album is me. Running to the piano. Building a drum kit. Strumming a guitar.

Some things never change.[19]

On January 6, 2016 in an interview with Mixdown Magazine, Urie commented on bassist Dallon Weekes' move from the official lineup.

"Dallon has been playing with us for a long time, and I’m so grateful for that. Sometimes, you try working creatively with people, and it doesn’t always work out the way you think it will. In this case, it ended up just being better to have someone to tour with. It’s an oversight sometimes, but you have to have people that you connect with and get along with. Touring can be long and it can be intense – you need people that will see you through that. Dallon has been that for me."[20]

On the day of the titular track's premiere Brendon Urie said on social media:

"Frank Sinatra turns 100 this year. I attach his music to so many memories: Opening presents on Christmas day, my grandparents teaching the rest of the family to swing dance, watching “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” with my siblings (Sinatra makes a cameo in the form of a cartoon sword singing “Witchcraft”). His music has been a major player in the soundtrack of my life. So it’s only right that I return the favor and/or pay it forward. I wrote a new album this year and even in the few songs that don’t sound remotely similar to any of his music I still felt his influence in the writing and the need to relate so personally to each song. “Death Of A Bachelor” is very important to me. It expresses the bittersweet (but mostly sweet) end of an era. A look back at a part of my life now deceased. An “It’s A Wonderful Life”-esque look into a possibly different future. But mostly an appreciation for the present."[21]

Urie also stated in an interview with Upset Magazine that he feels that the song is "very jazzy, very Sinatra esque.. but then put it with this beat that sounds like Beyoncé's Drunk in Love".[22] The song is also where Urie got the album title from.[16]

Only one song was cut from the album, "Night Birds" described as a "...Driving arena-rocker with a flashy guitar solo". Urie described the song as "A little too early Butch Walker, but definitely not as good" in an interview with Alternative Press

Release[edit]

"Hallelujah" was released as the lead single on April 20, 2015 and serviced to alternative radio. A lyric video was uploaded on the same day and the official music video premiered on July 7, 2015.[23] "Death of a Bachelor" was premiered on Beats 1 on Apple Music by Pete Wentz on September 1, 2015.[24] "Victorious", co-written and produced by CJ Baran, was released for digital download on September 29, 2015 as the second single from the album[25] "Emperor's New Clothes" and its music video was released for digital download on October 21, 2015 as the third official single to coincide with the album's announcement.[26]

The official music video for "Death of a Bachelor" was released on YouTube on December 24, 2015.[27] On December 31, 2015, the band made "Don't Threaten Me with a Good Time" available for streaming.[28] On January 15, 2016, the band premiered the rest of its tracks on its YouTube channel at the same time the album was released. The band went on the Weezer & Panic! at the Disco Summer Tour 2016 with Weezer to promote both of their new albums. On September 22, 2016, the official music video for LA Devotee was released on the band's YouTube channel to coincide with the announcement of the Death of a Bachelor Tour.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
AnyDecentMusic?5.9/10[29]
Metacritic69/100[30]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[3]
Alternative Press4/5 stars[31]
The A.V. ClubB[5]
DIY4/5 stars[2]
Entertainment WeeklyB−[32]
The Guardian2/5 stars[33]
PopMatters7/10[34]
Q2/5 stars[35]
Rolling Stone3/5 stars[36]
USA Today2.5/4 stars[37]

Death of a Bachelor has received generally positive reviews from music critics. It holds an average score of 69/100 on Metacritic, indicating "generally favorable reviews."[30] In a positive review, The New York Times commented on the album's second single, "Victorious", writing that "[Urie] evokes both the flamboyant swagger of Queen and the mechanized gleam of Daft Punk".[38] Evan Lucy in Alternative Press writing, "For all of its precocious, borderline bratty moments, Death of a Bachelor is a remarkably nuanced affair...it's hard not to break out in goosebumps and marvel at the moving songwriting."[31]

Conversely, The Guardian called the album "hollow and shapeless", also stating that "Urie affects a Vegas croon, indicating a desire to reinvent himself as an edgy Michael Bublé", and how "it's unlikely to pay off".[33] Q wrote, "It's a confusing affair, where [Urie] foolishly tries to croon like Frank Sinatra on the title track and never quite nails down whatever the big idea was supposed to be. Still, there are moments to cherish."[35] AbsolutePunk writer Aaron Mook scored the album a 6/10, noting, "It’s been a while since I’ve heard an album that’s so divisive in its quality, so manic on one end and so lazy on the other."[39] Consequence of Sound panned the songs "Don't Threaten Me With a Good Time" and "Crazy=Genius", stating that "['Don't Threaten Me With a Good Time'] lazily squashes together a sample of the B-52s' "Rock Lobster" with lackluster lyrics ("Who are these people/ I just woke up in my underwear") out of tune with their surroundings" and that "'Crazy=Genius'...only serves to remind of how many days have gone by and stand in the way of any musical progress".[40]

Commercial performance[edit]

The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, with 190,000 album-equivalent units. It also earned Panic! at the Disco its best sales week yet for an album, as it sold 169,000 in pure album sales.[41] In its second week, the album fell to number 5 on the Billboard 200 while selling 39,000 equivalent album units (down 79 percent).[42] It was the twelfth best-selling album of 2016 with 506,000 copies sold,[43] which also made it the second best selling rock album of 2016. Including streams and tracks sales, the album has totaled 845,000 units in the United States in 2016.[44] The album was also certified 2x platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for combined sales and album-equivalent units of over two million units in the United States.

Track listing[edit]

Songwriting credits per booklet.[45]

No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."Victorious"
2:58
2."Don't Threaten Me with a Good Time"
  • Rotem
  • Sinclair
3:33
3."Hallelujah"
  • Royal
  • Sinclair
3:00
4."Emperor's New Clothes"Sinclair2:38
5."Death of a Bachelor"
  • Urie
  • Pritchard
  • Sinclair
  • Sinclair
  • Shinn[a]
3:23
6."Crazy=Genius"
  • Urie
  • Hollander
  • Sinclair
  • Sinclair
  • Shinn[a]
3:18
7."LA Devotee"
  • Urie
  • White Sea
  • Sinclair
  • Sinclair
  • Shinn[a]
  • White Sea[a]
3:16
8."Golden Days"
  • Urie
  • Hollander
  • Sinclair
  • Sinclair
  • Shinn[a]
4:14
9."The Good, the Bad and the Dirty"
  • Urie
  • Pritchard
  • Sinclair
  • Sinclair
  • Shinn[a]
2:50
10."House of Memories"
  • Urie
  • White Sea
  • Sinclair
  • Sinclair
  • White Sea[a]
3:28
11."Impossible Year"
  • Urie
  • Hollander
  • Sinclair
Sinclair3:22
Total length:36:06

Notes

  • ^[a] signifies an additional producer.

Personnel[edit]

Adapted from the album booklet.[45]

Panic! at the Disco

  • Brendon Urie – vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards, drums except for "Hallelujah", background vocals on "Hallelujah", creative and art direction

Additional musicians and production

  • Rob Mathes – horn arrangement, conductor
  • Andy Snitzer – tenor saxophone
  • Dave Mann – tenor saxophone
  • Aaron Heick – alto saxophone
  • Dave Riekenberg – baritone saxophone
  • Mike Davis – tenor trombone
  • Randy Andos – bass trombone
  • Jeff Kievit – trumpet
  • Tony Kadleck – trumpet on "Death of a Bachelor", "Crazy=Genius", "LA Devotee", "Golden Days" and "Impossible Year"; flugelhorn
  • Dylan Schwab – trumpet on "Victorious", "The Good, the Bad and the Dirty" and "House of Memories"
  • White Sea – background vocals on "Victorious", "Hallelujah", additional production on "LA Devotee" and "House of Memories"
  • Mark Stepro – drums on "Hallelujah"
  • Nicole Guice – creative and art direction
  • Zack Cloud Hall – cover photography
  • Shervin Lainez – portrait photography
  • The Visual Strategist – layout
  • Jake Sinclair – producer on all tracks, background vocals on "Victorious", "Hallelujah"
  • JR Rotem – producer on "Don't Threaten Me with a Good Time"
  • Imad Royal – producer on "Hallelujah"
  • Suzy Shinn – additional production on "Victorious", "Death of a Bachelor", "Crazy=Genius", "LA Devotee", "Golden Days" and "The Good, the Bad and the Dirty", engineer, background vocals on "Victorious", "Death of a Bachelor", "Crazy=Genius", "LA Devotee", "Golden Days" and "The Good, the Bad and the Dirty"
  • Claudius Mittendorfer – mixing on all songs except "Hallelujah"
  • Michael Brauer – mixing on "Hallelujah"
  • Pete Lyman – mastering on all songs except "Hallelujah"
  • Joe LaPorta – mastering on "Hallelujah"

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[74] Gold 40,000double-dagger
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[75] Gold 10,000*
United Kingdom (BPI)[76] Platinum 300,000^
United States (RIAA)[77] 2× Platinum 2,000,000double-dagger

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  3. ^ a b Collar, Matt. "Death of a Bachelor – Panic! At the Disco". AllMusic. Retrieved June 25, 2018. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  4. ^ Gamboa, Glenn (January 14, 2016). "'Death of a Bachelor' review: Panic! at the Disco's marriage of styles". Newsday. Retrieved January 16, 2016.
  5. ^ a b Moayeri, Lily (January 15, 2016). "Panic! At The Disco's Brendon Urie lets his inner Frank Sinatra loose". The A.V. Club. Archived from the original on January 20, 2016. Retrieved January 15, 2016.
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  75. ^ "Panic! At The Disco "Death of a Bachelor"". IFPI Denmark. 16 July 2019. Retrieved July 16, 2019.
  76. ^ "British album certifications – Panic at the Disco – Death of a Bachelor". British Phonographic Industry. Select albums in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type Death of a Bachelor in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  77. ^ "American album certifications – Panic at the Disco – Death of a Bachelor". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH.