It’s nine in the afternoon, your eyes are the size of the moon

When I was 17, I started listening to Panic! at the Disco.

I’ve talked about them at least 3 times since I started this blog a year ago, including last week when I saw them live for the sixth time.

As dramatic as it sounds, I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that they’ve changed my life – in terms of what music I listen to, which, in turn has also helped shape me into who I am.

This weekend, after seven years of desperately wanting to (permanently) show my love for them, I got a tattoo.

IMAG0278It’s a pocket watch set to nine o’clock, or as I refer to it, “nine in the afternoon”. This is the song that inspired it:

Now, since this is Music Monday and not Tattoo Tuesday (although I’m considering making “Tattoo Tuesday” a thing, if only so that I can talk about all the tattoos I have/want), let’s bring this post back to music.

Pretty.Odd. was Panic!’s second album. It came out in March 2008, three years after 2005’s A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out, and it was a dramatic shift in sound.

At the time, I had been a fan for about a year and was devoted to all things Panic! (um, I still kinda am). So I basically memorized the leaked version before the actual album came out and for months (years?) after, I would sing the (largely nonsensical) lyrics as if my life depended on it.

There’s an oft-told story of one time when we were driving to Quebec, and it was raining really hard, and everyone else in the car was like “we’re going to drown, this is terrible!” but I was sitting in the back seat blithely singing along to “That Green Gentleman”.

Pretty.Odd. was an album that largely divided fans. Some people preferred the mellow, hippie-like quality of most of the songs, while others missed the theatrical, vaguely vaudevillian sound that made Panic! stand out in the first place. I loved this album at the time, but now, after six years, a split within the band (it’s still too soon to talk about when Ryan Ross and Jon Walker left), two albums, and multiple tours, I realize that I barely listen to it anymore. They usually only play “Nine in the Afternoon” live, though I think their first album tour post-split (for 2011’s Vices & Virtues, which is my favourite P!ATD album), they played “That Green Gentleman”.

There are songs that I think still hold up: “NITA”, “TGG”, even “Northern Downpour” (if you can listen to it without wanting to cry).

“Mad as Rabbits”, for all its nonsensical lyrics, is also pretty solid, but songs like “Behind the Sea” (the only song fully sung by Ryan Ross) or “She’s a Handsome Woman” (which was never my favourite to begin with) tend to fall flat, even after a long time without listening to them.

What does this song even mean?!

Although, I just looked at the track list again for the first time in forever, and I actually quite like most of the songs. I think you need to be in a certain mood to listen to Pretty.Odd.; while I generally throw on Panic! whenever the fancy strikes, this particular era requires a more mellow frame of mind.

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