Without Brandon Urie's distinct voice, Panic! at the Disco's newest effort, "Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die!" would be nearly unrecognizable.
Bringing back the exclamation point, Panic! at the Disco once again sounds like an entirely new band — possibly because the only original member left is Urie, the dramatic front man known to draw crowds and live in the spotlight.
However, he has no interest in this album being considered a solo effort, despite his massive creative input through both writing and producing.
What once began as a risqué, carnival-esque show, Panic! at the Disco has now morphed into a dirtier, alternative dance sound.
The band also stated to draw from hip-hop in that "there are no rules" to experiment with. Influences for this album range from Depeche Mode to mentors Fall Out Boy, which explains the unexpected, yet totally expected, new sound.
The "no rules" mantra becomes apparent throughout the album.
Each song could be placed into many different genres, yet they all seem to somehow mesh in their eclectic mash-up.
The opener, "This is Gospel," could remind listeners of a Bon Iver flare masticated with a power ballad chorus. The rest of the album seems to alternate between underground dance hits to hints of old school R&B, a sound Urie reveals is a mix of new and old Las Vegas.
Urie has mentioned this album to be a sort of confession of his former lifestyle and experiences in Sin City.
Originally from Las Vegas, he drew inspiration from his encounters with dangerous promiscuity and wild nights out. Urie even wrote many of the lyrics in the city itself.
The song "Vegas Lights" is meant to reflect the city's party scene with lines such as "The Vegas lights/The lies and affection/Sensation/We're winning 'til the curtain's coming down."
There is also the album's lead single, "Miss Jackson," where the risqué nature of the metropolis is explored in Urie's bed-hopping with the city's ladies.
Like the group's last album, "Vices &Virtues," this album was produced by legend Butch Walker, which is fitting considering his involvement in the transformation of many other artists of the early 2000s.
Somehow, Walker has a capability of leading bands into impressive experimental projects, and he has clearly done it again with this album.
When Panic! at the Disco first arrived on the scene, many saw them as another band making it big through the emo, pop-punk scene which was wildly popular around 2005. Instead, they have solidified themselves as a rock staple matching another hometown hero, The Killers, in their take off.
Some bad boy edge – reminiscent of the band's freshman album "I Write Sins Not Tragedies" – can be found in the song "Nicotine" for those hoping for a rebirth of the Panic! at the Disco where the exclamation mark was a fan girl favorite across MySpace.
However, their audience better be ready to morph with them because Panic! at the Disco appears to always be ready for the next big, creative surprise.