69: A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out (Panic! at the Disco)

Album: A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out
Artist: Panic! at the Disco
Year: 2005

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

Yes, I’m actually going to defend this album’s placement on the list, so shut up and listen to me complain about it for a second.

I didn’t realize until going to write this review that the band was in high school when they began working on this album, finishing it after graduation. It should have been obvious, if only for the fucking pretentious song titling. They have zilch to do with anything in any of the songs, so recalling which song title goes with which song is impossible. I actually had to listen to each song again to remember which ones I was going to give a hot rating to because I couldn’t place the title.

I’ll also admit that the lyrics, without exception, are completely insincere. They heavily discuss social issues such as marriage, adultery, alcoholism, and prostitution, yet at no point do you ever feel it coming through the music. They’re cleverly written, with some pretty sweet uses of rarely used words in songs (surreptitious!), but nothing is going to move you.

But I can’t deny that at least three or four times per year I listen to this album from start to finish, cranking it loud. It’s upbeat and energetic, great for driving. The verses and choruses are endlessly repeated, making them catchy (and since the lyrics are uninspiring, catchy is the way you gotta go). I enjoy their voices and think they harmonize well. And I love the production. The first half of the album uses synthesizers and drum machines, while the last half uses organs and accordions. As you can see, I prefer the last half of the album, but they both work with what they do.

I haven’t listened to anything else they’ve done. I’ve heard they went away from the stylings of this album, which was a smart move. While I appreciate the uniqueness of this record in my collection, it’s definitely something I have to be in a mood for, and two would not be better than one.

2 thoughts on “69: A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out (Panic! at the Disco)”

  1. “Sins not Tragedies” is a good song. I enjoyed that one, albeit not enough to get the album.

    What I have heard from this album always seemed to clash with what I would expect from a debut album. I think it’s the intro to “Sins not Tragedies”, it just felt so produced it was hard to imagine them playing that in clubs or whatever before they made it.

    1. Being as they were 18 years old, don’t know how many clubs they played at beforehand. But to answer your question, they were already signed before they wrote most of the songs. The album was heavily produced.

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