Since Panic! at the Disco’s last album, 2013’s Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die, the former emo pin-ups have lost two band members, making this fifth LP a solo set by singer Brendon Urie in all but name. Perhaps he would have benefited from some outside help for, as befits an album Urie has described as a cross between Queen and Frank Sinatra, Death of a Bachelor is hollow and shapeless. Though operatic pop-punk is the dominant sound, here and there Urie affects a Vegas croon (the Radio 2-friendly title track; Impossible Year, in which he dissects an old relationship), indicating a desire to reinvent himself as an edgy Michael Bublé. It’s unlikely to pay off.
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