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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know this second album from Panic at the Disco is a lot less intense than their first effort and has significantly less drama, violent imagery, or sexual references. While it's just as theatrically ambitious and self-important as their debut, there's nothing that offensive except for its sheer length (after the 10th track -- there are 15 total -- the album quickly grows a bit tiresome).
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What's the story?
Like most things from Vegas, Panic at the Disco is larger than life. At least they seem to think they are. Everything this band touches has a carnival-like atmosphere and a sense of pompous overindulgence. PRETTY.ODD. opens with a brief ditty that apologizes for how long it's taken to complete the album and reassures fans that they're still the same band as before. Thankfully, they aren't entirely as they were and seem to have matured -- at least a little.
Is it any good?
Musically, this album actually rises above their debut effort. Not only is it less intense overall, but there are fewer violent and sexist lyrics. The lyrics, in fact, frequently make very little sense, though they do occasionally stumble on a pretty phrase or two. And though it dances around many genres, you'll find Pretty.Odd. to be consistently easy on the ears and full of several strong singles. Sure, the album is big, broad, and frequently bombastic, but underneath the pomp, circumstance, and strings, you'll find some catchy and welcome bits.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why Panic at the Disco dropped the exclamation point in their name. Was it a coincidence that the publicity stunt came right before an album release? Families can also discuss the various ways bands try to differentiate themselves from other bands and how that helps or hurts their careers. Are there certain things you do to stand out from -- or blend in with -- friends and peers?