The music industry is one that is reflective of the interests of the population, and thus it is constantly changing. Artists will commonly alter their music to conform to what’s currently popular, but is this truly the secret to a lasting musical career?
Panic! At The Disco, often known as Panic! or P!ATD, is a band with a 14-year career that remains one of the most popular groups of their generation. If their 2017 Artist of the Year award at the Alternative Press Music Awards is any indication, they are only increasing in popularity.
Panic! was formed in 2004 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Brendon Urie is the only member who has been with the band since its formation. Urie writes the music and musical accompaniments on lead guitar, bass, piano, and drums.
While the band’s first two albums, 2005’s A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out and 2008’s Pretty. Odd., were written by ex-member Ryan Ross, Urie took over the reins from the third album onward.
The lingering question is: what has allowed Panic! to stay relevant? When it comes to retaining a longstanding career in music, the truth is that no one factor provides a complete explanation.
Whether you grew up listening to Panic!’s music or are a casual listener of their albums, you can see that the band has evolved musically while still retaining the key musical elements that makes them Panic!.
Although they have remained labeled under the rock genre throughout their 14-year career, Panic! has released music that is not constrained to rock.
The band has also experimented with various genres and amplified musical elements and techniques that haven’t been as popular in current music. In the beginning, Panic! was indeed primarily rock, but they still included prominent electronic aspects in many of their songs.
By not solely sticking to rock as their key genre, the band has broadened their musical credibility and versatility. Pretty. Odd. is an album especially reflective of its members’ versatility as musicians — the album contains so many different styles of music that it’s hard to keep track.
Panic! is gearing up to release a new album this year, Pray for the Wicked. One of the two singles released from the album, “Say Amen (Saturday Night)” showcases Urie’s vast vocal range, which spans four octaves.
Panic! has remained relevant for so long not only because of their straying into different genres, but also due to the presence of Urie himself. His voice is captivating — quite literally able to lure you in and entrance you. Urie’s voice is so alluring that it makes even the most unconventional topics interesting.
Watching Urie perform live — or even in clips of his performances on YouTube — you can see his love for the music he sings as well as how absorbed he is in his performance. His voice is reminiscent of Sinatra or Michael Bublé, as you can hear in the song “Death of a Bachelor.”
At least in the case of Panic!, it’s obvious that musicians who are able to expertly navigate genres and create an experience that is enjoyable to both the listener and the artist are rewarded with enduring support.