By Nicholas Keevan:
When you hear quirky and off-tangent titles such as “The Only Difference Between Martyrdom and Suicide Is Press Coverage”, “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” , “Lying Is The Most Fun A Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off”, only Panic! At The Disco comes to mind. I’m sure most of you have heard of them. They are an alternative rock band from the United States, very well known for their farcical ideas, which are then expressed into art.
Panic! At The Disco (P!ATD) was initially composed of 5 members, but the number has now been reduced to just two. They are Brendon Urie (lead vocalist) and Spencer Smith (drummer). Although their numbers have been reduced, they are still not short of creative talent.
In the age of “YouTube”, the influence of a music video can never be underestimated. P!ATD know this, and thus, they have capitalised on it extremely well. They are indeed well known for their quirky and quixotic styles that are heavily showcased throughout their music videos. More uptight music critics might say that they are over the top, and absurd, but I really think that this ludicrous element really is their pièce de résistance.
The breakthrough single of P!ATD was “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” . The lyrical content was ingenious, and very catchy. It wasn’t the usual vapid story about love, drugs, or anything of the sort, but rather a musical critique of social anthropology. The music video, on the other hand was really commendable. The storyline of the video wasn’t anything special, what was special was the art direction and costumes. The way the whole video was presented really attracted my attention as well as over 21 million other viewers around the world.
Another eye-catching video is “Nine In The Afternoon”. What I found extremely entertaining about this video was the mere concept of ‘Nine In The Afternoon’. The face of the clock in this video makes you wonder. How can it possibly be nine in the afternoon? The art direction in this video is also superb. It really isn’t your ordinary music video. If you’re tired of the same old, same old that every other artist keeps churning out, then P!ATD will definitely be a sight for sore eyes.
More recently, P!ATD have just released their 3rd studio album, ‘Vices and Virtues’. Expect to hear more of the type of material that brought them their fame. The first single has already been released. ‘The Ballad of Mona Lisa’ is a great song, with P!ATD going back to their roots. Their lyrical content is still not lacking, very thought-provoking and well thought out. This is a plus point for those who prefer more ‘intellectual’ music rather than rambling nonsense like Rebecca Black’s Friday. The music video is also a joy to watch. Combining various elements of fear, crime and death, Brendon Urie, who appears in this video still manages to have a lot of fun. His outré nature is also not missing from this music video. The references to the great painting, the Mona Lisa are also present in this movie, with emphasis on her mysterious smile.
Therefore, I am confident that Urie and Smith will still be able to produce more songs with that distinctive P!ATD touch of zaniness that only they possess. I look forward eagerly to more mind-boggling and unworldly art from them. Oblivious to those conservative critics and fans, they continue to impress with their signature style, and that has just gained them one more eager fan.
Nicholas Keevan is an AUSMAT student at Sunway University. He is now having a whirlwind of a time, but still manages to slip in that occasional stimulating piece of art into his daily routine.
Image taken from here.