Saturday, October 30, 2010

Pretty. Odd. (Album)

Pretty. Odd.Pretty. Odd. (Album) Release date: 2008. Group: Panic! At the Disco. Record Label: Fueled by Ramen. ASIN: B00132D808.

1. We’re So Starving
2. Nine in the Afternoon
3. She’s a Handsome Woman
4. Do You Know What I’m Seeing?
5. That Green Gentleman (Things Have Changed)
 6. I Have Friends in Holy Spaces
7. Northern Downpour
8. When the Day Met the Night
9. Pas de Cheval
10. The Piano Knows Something I Don’t
11. Behind the Sea
12. Folkin’ Around
 13. She Had the World
14. From a Mountain in the Middle of the Cabins
15. Mad As Rabbits

Critical evaluation: Pretty. Odd. is the second album released by the band Panic! At the Disco following their hit 2005 record, A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out. Often labeled as “emo” or “pop rock,” the album actually contains many musical styles that make it difficult to fit into one genre. The majority of the tracks are up-tempo with a positive feeling that can only be described as “happy.” The first single released from the album “Nine in the Afternoon” is easy and fun to listen to, and most teens would probably enjoy dancing to it as well. A lot of the other tracks are also good dance tunes, including “I Have Friends in Holy Spaces” and “Pas de Cheval.” The music incorporates a vast array of instruments in a manner very similar to the Beatles. Most tracks have a brass component; it almost sounds as if a marching band was present for these recordings. Other songs, however, include non-wind instruments, like banjoes, chimes and pianos. The result is a fun, energetic and creative album with many unique songs. Although the group has been primarily labeled as a “teen band,” this album will appeal to all ages of listeners who enjoy earlier groups like the Beatles and the Kinks.

Listeners's annotation: Panic! At the Disco brings an element of fun to their second album. Tracks include a variety of instruments, including brass, chimes, and banjoes.

About the band: Panic! At the Disco was formed in 2004 in Las Vegas, Nevada by friends Ryan Ross and Spencer Smith. Later, Ross and Smith recruited member Brent Wilson who knew lead singer Brendon Urie from high school. The band wrote several songs and eventually contacted Fall Out Boy member Pete Wentz who, after hearing their music, signed them to his record label Fueled by Ramen. In 2005, the band released their first album A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out which featured their first single “I Write Sins Not Tragedies.” The video for this song went on to win the 2006 MTV Video Music Award for Video of the Year. In 2006, Brent Wilson left the group, but claimed he was fired. Jon Walker, longtime friend of the band, became Wilson’s replacement on their 2006 European tour. At the same time, the band’s first album went platinum. In 2007, the band began to write their second album Pretty. Odd. which was released in 2008. In March of 2008, the album debuted at number two in the United States, and several months later the band began its second world tour. In 2009, band members Ross and Walker decided to leave the group and formed The Young Veins. The remaining group members plan to release their next album in early 2011. (from!_at_the_Disco and
Genre: Rock

Curriculum ties:
Music history (influence of past artists on modern groups)

Booktalking ideas:
Influence of music on popular culture
Influence and impact of music on lives of teens
Music history (influence of past artists on modern groups)

Reading level/Interest Age:
13 and up

Challenge issues:
Some lyrics mention alcohol, some are slightly suggestive.

Challenge counterpoints:
Recommended for ages 13 and up.
Recommend parent listen to album before child listens.
Recommend parent read song lyrics before child listens to music.  

Reasons for inclusion:
Popular album.
Positive reviews by many music critics.  

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