The Ballad of Mona Lisa
Label: Decaydance/Fueled By Ramen
Panic! At the Disco continue the emo evolution it began on its vaudevillian power-pop sophomore effort Pretty. Odd. Vices manages to both escalate the high drama and streamline the circus into something that feels more carefully planned and polished. Filtering their penchant for Sgt. Pepperish whimsy through Queenly camp, the band crafts snug little synth-symphonies ready for their '80s teen movie close-ups. The sweeping "strings" of "Let's Kill Tonight," the chaotic tango of "Hurricane," the lilting vocal line of "Ready to Go": its eclecticism at its most epic -- and irresistible.