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Desert Island Disc Challenge: ‘Pray for the Wicked’

There is no need for panic on the desert island when you can “Pray for the Wicked.”

The album I would take with me if I was left stranded on an island would be Panic! At the Disco’s Pray for the Wicked. It took me scrolling through a few of my favorite albums, along with some albums that were just recently released, such as Ariana Grande’s Thank U, Next, to figure out that Pray for the Wicked was going to be my pick.

Despite the fact that I have a ton of favorite albums, this process was relatively easy for me and only took me a few hours to decide.

When choosing an album for this challenge, I automatically knew I wanted something with a big band feel and even some symphonic pieces. I grew up playing the alto saxophone, and being raised in an orchestral group had a big impact on my life. Now, I look for albums and songs that feature an orchestral sound, including brass and string instruments.

I wasn’t sure if I would pick a musical or a Disney album such Wicked or Tangled, but I know for a fact that there are songs from both of those albums that I don’t particularly love.

I wanted something that I could jam out to every day, where I could dance around and look crazy in the sand and sing until my lungs are as scratchy as the rocks on the beach. I love dancing and having fun in my own home, but if I could go wild and throw sand in the air and swim with the fish for a half an hour while I listened to Pray for the Wicked, I would be more than happy.

I also wanted an album that provided me sad songs if I were missing home, and Panic! At the Disco always provides that, especially with “Dying in LA.” Panic! At the Disco isn’t my favorite band, but I have loved them for a very long time, so I knew picking something from them was going to be safe and I wouldn’t get bored listening to them.

Brendon Urie, the lead singer and main lyricist for the band, creates a lot of happy-sounding songs with sad lyrics intertwined, which is something I enjoy. A track like “Roaring 20s” is very fitting if I’m on a deserted island, because Urie is singing about wanting to go home, and that “the future is uncertain.” This is a song that sounds quite happy with a brassy tune but lyrics that are not so happy. It’s also fitting because I’m about to reach my own roaring 20s.

My favorite song off the album is “Hey Look Ma, I Made It” because I’d like to be able to tell my mom that I made it big time and I can provide for her and the rest of my family. I want my mom to be proud of me when I work my way up in the music industry, so if that is the song that makes me last on the deserted island, so be it.

I want to work with music for the rest of my life, because I grew up surrounded by it, and I want to be reminded of my youth and what it took for me to get where I am today.

When listening to Pray for the Wicked again, I found myself tapping my foot and wanting to dance or sing with all of the songs, something that is rare with a full album for me. This is definitely one of my favorite Panic! At the Disco records, especially compared to their older albums. Their sound has always been funky and upbeat, while working in out of the norm instruments for a pop band such as woodwinds and strings.

Panic! has played with many different sounds in their work, from heavier emo guitar workouts to light and airy jazz, but Pray for the Wicked has the best balance of all of their albums. I know it is a safe bet for me to choose it if I were to be stranded on a deserted island. 

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