It’s almost 2015, which means that it will have been ten years since 2005. 2005 treated us to some great albums, most of which will go down in history (“American Idiot” by Green Day, anyone?). But 2005 also produced some highly overlooked albums. One of these great but overlooked albums to me was A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out by Panic! At the Disco.
The album begins with a white noise introduction, successfully grasping your attention with different versions and snippets that you’ll hear later in the album. It dives into “The Only Difference Between Martyrdom and Suicide is Press Coverage.” The music is upbeat, but not overwhelming. And slowly, if this sort of music is up your alley, you lose yourself in it. The vocals and lyrics complete it, and somehow it speaks to you and the next thing you know, you’re singing the chorus at the top of your lungs while dancing around your room.
Or at least that’s how it always went for me. The pace doesn’t slow down as you get further into the song, and you find yourself increasingly getting lost in it. And by the song’s end, you feel like you can do anything. But again, that’s just how it always went for me.
The album doesn’t slow down much, and if it does it’s only for a few seconds. What I loved most about each of the songs on this album is that they’re both relatable to the younger generation, a great medium to lose yourself in, and yet completely separate from the listener. The listener doesn’t have to know exactly what each song is talking about or relate with the feeling behind it to be able to enjoy it and lose them in the song. The songs each tell a different story, connecting at times, but standing perfectly on their own. If you listen to the lyrics closely, your mind has something to think on. But yet you still have something relatable to people of all ages that they can enjoy thoroughly. And I think that’s a very hard skill to grasp in the music industry.
“Camisado” was always a song that stuck out to me, telling the story of a person in the hospital for a reason that has to do with an addiction or mental illness, and vaguely the people around that person. Yet with the chorus and catchy music, every kid felt like they could see perfectly what the band was talking about. The reason that it always stuck out to me is that it showed me how a band could dip into and talk about serious issues that were more about cheating and romantic relationships. It makes me wonder why more bands don’t do that.
This album was a rock opera, plain and simple, but with different elements than stereotypical rock bands and stereotypical rock operas. Stories and a rough outline can be found in the songs, lost in clashing elements of the music and fast paced beat of the drums that encouraged nearly everyone who listened to it to completely lose themselves in it. Songs like “Lying is the Most Fun A Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off” and “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” were the definition songs of a generation that is still just as misunderstood as the music that this band put out.
The introduction album to a band years ahead of their time, this album found a home in the hearts of many teenagers who listened and memorized the notes and words, relating to every second of it. The idea of trying to place this album, the band, into a certain genre was near impossible, because they came crashing through the gates with music that couldn’t be defined or explained but very clearly felt. When I think of Panic! At the Disco, no other bands or comparisons come to mind. They’re their own genre – as every band should be. And “A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out” is a wonder in its own right, a treasure to be enjoyed time and time again.