Back with their sixth full-length, Pray for the Wicked, Panic! At the Disco – essentially just Brendon Urie at this point – distill the essence of their sound into polished pop.

As usual, Brendon Urie's vocals are slick and his stint in theater has only power-charged a flair for the dramatic. If, like me, you've only loosely followed them since their eyeliner days, then you'll be surprised by the variety on show here.

This is a record chock full of party spirit, marching band brass, elevator jazz and even some pop-trap beats Cardi B would be proud of. It's simply pretty fun. 30 seconds into '(Fuck A) Silver Lining' I was regretting my decision to listen, but slowly Pray for the Wicked sucks you in and constricts its grip until you find yourself trying to hide head nods and foot taps. I know, I know. But hey, you listen to 'High Hopes' without moving your body in some despicable way.

Nearly every track here is designed with stadium sing-along's in mind - while their style may have changed drastically over the years, this definitely never has. From Vegas to L.A. this record is Urie's lavish America, his observation on the vapid fluff and his ode to his own outlandish weirdness.

Panic! at the Disco may have fallen apart, but from the ashes Brendon Urie has emerged to be one of the early 00's emo scene's reigning champs of reinvention. Stylistically he's always pushed himself, and while this has some similarities to 2016's Death of a Bachelor it also builds on it. 'Hey Look Ma, I Made It' has sonic synths twisting around hand-clap bass while Urie expels the virtues of his success with tongue firmly in-cheek, "cause I'm a hooker selling songs and my pimps a record label".

Standout track 'High Hopes' is infectious with a brass band opening that brings the fan-fare of a New Orleans street parade directly to you. The track dissolves into throbbing percussion and his ability to weave these disparate styles together has never been so clear. As the title suggests it's an uplifting listen that's hard not to get caught up in.

Lyrically, it's charming as Urie leans into self-mockery, "You can't take me anywhere, anywhere" on 'Dancing's Not A Crime' which wouldn't sound out of place on a 90s Robbie Williams record. You can likely find 'The Overpass' on that same album, though it's likely on the side labelled "serious". And herein lies the main problem with Pray for the Wicked: it’s not cohesive, and as the aforementioned charm begins to wear thin, the record veers headfirst into style over substance territory.

Between horns, strings, synths, guitars and all the rest this record is definitely an attack on the senses and shows Urie's knack for constructing a radio-friendly hit, but delve below the surface and it doesn't have much to offer. Certainly not enough to justify diminishing returns for a long running act, definitely not enough to keep me coming back for anything but the first few beats.