• Album review: A Fever You Can't Sweat Out by Panic at the Disco
  • Album review: A Fever You Can't Sweat Out by Panic at the Disco
    Written by battye
    Wed Apr 01, 2009 1:52 pm
     


    This could be called the series of "reviews of albums released several years ago but weren't reviewed then because CricketMX.com didn't have the articles set-up until early 2008"! This review, obviously, is no exception. A Fever You Can't Sweat Out is the debut album of Panic! At The Disco - released in late 2005.

    The first single - on January 23, 2006 - off the album was the less than compelling The Only Difference Between Martyrdom And Suicide Is Press Coverage. This song alone is in all probability the reason A Fever You Can't Sweat Out had such disappointing reviews. 2/5 from Allmusic, 6/10 from Drowned in Sound, 1.5/10 from Pitchfork Media and "D" from Stylus Magazines. In fairness though, with the exception of Allmusic I haven't heard of any of those agencies - so their overly (and unfairly) poor reviews can be taken with a grain of salt. Rolling Stone, the most recognised name in music reviews, gave the album 3.5/5 which is a much better representation.

    The longer you listen to the album the more it grows on you. There are some very good songs on there which weren't released as singles, which begs the question "Why was The Only Difference Between Martyrdom And Suicide Is Press Coverage released as a single?".

    Who knows. Whatever the reason, this gigantic error of judgment was rectified a month later with the release of I Write Sins Not Tragedies which is probably Panic! At The Disco's most recognisable tune after their 2008 hit Nine In The Afternoon. Certainly, here in Australia I Write Sins Not Tragedies still gains considerable airplay and it should have been the first single.

    But It's Better If You Do was single number three. In fact, But It's Better If You Do is a lead-in to I Write Sins Not Tragedies. The final string interlude (Heather Stebbins on cello, Samantha Bynes on violin) of But It's Better If You Do continues on in the beginning of I Write Sins Not Tragedies if you listen with a gapless playback.

    Lying Is the Most Fun a Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off was single number four. Statistically speaking, I think this is their best song. According to my iTunes playlist, this song has 20% more plays than its closest competitor from the same band - There's A Good Reason These Tables Are Numbered Honey, You Just Haven't Thought Of It Yet - which I will get to in a minute.

    It is probably worth mentioning that singles 2, 3, 4 and 5 (Build God, Then We'll Talk) all have between 130 and 250 plays while debut single The Only Difference Between Martyrdom And Suicide Is Press Coverage trials at a depressing 61. Further proof that the first single was not a good choice, not when you want to build on the hype of you debut album release!

    Build God, Then We'll Talk is without doubt the most interesting song on the album. The music video - dubbed a pornomime - is one thing seeing it was considered "too vulgar for television" by the band. But it's the content of the song, which if you listen to closely you can hear is a play on the chorus of "My Favourite Things", popular from the classic film The Sound of Music.

    Build God, Then We'll Talk may have been the final single but there are a couple of other gems on the album worth a mention.

    The upbeat Time To Dance has an impressive display of vocals from lead singer Brendon Urie but all of the band members make this song great. Spencer Smith handles the percussion superbly, while understandably Ryan Ross (guitar) and Brent Wilson (bass) also feature heavily.

    Panic! At The Disco have often been labelled as a baroque pop band (which is true), and nothing sums this up more than There's A Good Reason These Tables Are Numbered Honey, You Just Haven't Thought Of It Yet which has a distinct cabaret or burlesque tone to it.

    The long names certainly are certainly unique, although Fall Out Boy probably set the trend with "Our Lawyer Made Us Change The Name Of This Song So We Wouldn't Get Sued" and "I'm Like A Lawyer With The Way I'm Always Trying To Get You Off (Me and You)" among others from their 2005 album From Under The Cork Tree. Although I'm sure Panic! At The Disco set some sort of record with There's A Good Reason These Tables Are Numbered Honey, You Just Haven't Thought Of It Yet - most of their song titles come from lines from movies or books.

    Finally, a mention must go to the first song on the album, the aptly named "Introduction" featuring a Polish phrase "spotkalo sie z szerokim rozglosem" which according to Wikipedia translates to "gained significant popularity". A good prediction, since 2005 they have. Considerably.

    "A Fever You Can't Sweat Out" track listing

    1. Introduction
    2. The Only Difference Between Martyrdom And Suicide Is Press Coverage
    3. London Beckoned Songs About Money Written By Machines
    4. Nails For Breakfast, Tacks For Snacks
    5. Camisado
    6. Time To Dance
    7. Lying Is The Most Fun A Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off
    8. Intermission
    9. But It's Better If You Do
    10. I Write Sins Not Tragedies
    11. I Constantly Thank God For Esteban
    12. There's A Good Reason These Tables Are Numbered Honey, You Just Haven't Thought Of It Yet
    13. Build God, Then We'll Talk
     
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