It is hard to believe that Panic! At The Disco’s “A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out” album was released 10 years ago.
P!ATD, and this album in particular, redefined the emo genre. During its release, the band was compared heavily to Fall Out Boy as many thought this was Patrick Stump’s, FOB front man, new side-project (to this day I still do not hear the similarities). But unlike Fall Out Boy and other emo legends, P!ATD took a more creative and new spin.
They blended in drum machines, synthesized keys, occasional auto-tuned vocal effects and vaudevillian piano parts to create a unique sound long before it was the cool thing to do. The songs on the album are catchy and beautifully crafted. You cannot resist the urge to get up and dance when listening. to it.
The album is split in two halves, with tracks one through seven featuring electronic instruments such as synthesizers and drum machines. Tracks nine though 13 use traditional instruments like the accordion and organ. Track eight (“Intermission”) serves as the transition between the two halves, beginning with techno-style dance beats before switching to the piano interlude.
The album’s writing was strongly influenced by author Chuck Palahniuk. (if you are unfamiliar with his work I highly suggest checking it out). The song title “The Only Difference Between Martyrdom and Suicide is Press Coverage” is a quote from his Palahniuk’s book “Survivor.” The song “Time to Dance” tells the story of “Invisible Monsters” (my favorite) and includes direct quotes from the book like such as, “Give me envy, give me malice, give me your attention.”
The album was written and recorded long before the band had ever played a show together. It is hard to believe, considering they sound like they knew exactly what they were doing. Those traits are typically acquired only after endless tours and writing many albums.
Sales for the album began slowly. It debuted at No. 112 on the Billboard 200 album chart, No. 6 on the Billboard Independent Albums chart and No. 1 on the Billboard Top Heatseekers chart with nearly 10,000 albums sold in the first week of release.
Within four months that all changed when Panic! released the video for their first single, “I Write Sins Not Tragedies.” The song rocketed up the Billboard Hot 100 chart and album sales passed the 500,000 mark. At the end of March 2006, they announced their own headlining tour and by August the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) certified their debut record platinum.
On Nov. 14, 2006, the album was re-released as a deluxe edition box set that was packaged in a cigar box. If you were lucky enough, like me, you were able to score one of the limited 25,000 copies.
Since the drop of the exclamation point in their name in January 2008 (January 2008) and members Ryan Ross and Jon Walker leaving the band in July 2009, the band has not been the same. The sound has evolved to pop and the image of Panic is revolved around singer, Brendon Urie.
Despite the band’s fall out, this album will always be near and dear to my heart as one of the greatest of all time. Hopefully there will be an announcement sometime this year for a duel reunion-anniversary tour to celebrate. Until then I’ll just have to live with the nostalgia of 2006.