Panic! At The Disco’s “High Hopes” Song Review (& Announcement)

Hello, I’m MusiCommentator, and before I get into this review, I have to tell you all something.  December is a bustling month for me, with almost every aspect of my life doubling down on me and becoming incredibly busy and complicated.  For this reason, I will not be posting for most of December.  Hold back your tears, it’s okay.  I will be back before 2019 to post my year-end lists (Worst Songs, Worst Albums, Best Songs, and Best Albums), but that will be the last few days of the month.  Until then, I will be absent from posting, so I please ask that you all have patience and I thank you in advance.

For now, though, let’s look at Panic! At The Disco.  They’re a band I’ve followed for a long time now.  When I was first getting into music, Fall Out Boy was the first band I really started listening to religiously, so it was only part of my natural progression to start liking Panic!  I started with “Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die!”, and it’s combination of electronica elements with emo themes was a great blend.  Brendon Urie seems to be a master of doing this: blending other styles with emo.  All of their albums seem to follow this pattern.  “A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out” blends emo with vaudevillian music, “Pretty. Odd.” mixes emo with folk, and so on.  Their latest album, “Pray For The Wicked”, did this with Broadway-inspired music, and the album is…decent, at best.  It’s hard to say this, but it’s probably my least favorite Panic! album.  Many of the songs sounded too similar to one another, and the same themes being addresses over and over didn’t help the monotony.  I heard from one my favorite music reviewers ARTV that this was actually supposed to be an EP, but when Brendon showed it to his label, they wanted him to make it an entire album, so while that does explain why this album feels drawn out, that doesn’t make the fact that the album is that way any better.

Oddly enough, though, the single “High Hopes” has reached the Top 10 on the Billboard charts.  The only other song by Panic! to have to done that is “I Write Sins Not Tragedies”, so with how iconic that song is, I have high hopes going into this song (I need to stop making awful puns).  Let’s see what this single has to offer!

Had to have high, high hopes for a living
Shooting for the stars when I couldn’t make a killing
Didn’t have a dime but I always had a vision
Always had high, high hopes (high, high hopes)
Had to have high, high hopes for a living
Didn’t know how but I always had a feeling
I was gonna be that one in a million
Always had high, high hopes

So, from the chorus, the song’s message is clear.  It’s about Brendon Urie reflecting on his road to stardom.  While he doesn’t go into specifics, he talks of having high hopes and always believing in yourself.  The theme is pretty simple–and used a lot in music–but the way the track is composed is masterful.  The multiple layers of trumpets and hip-hop drums complement Urie’s soaring vocals beautifully.  His voice is truly as good as ever on this song.

Mama said, fulfill the prophecy
Be something greater, go make a legacy
Manifest destiny, back in the days
We wanted everything, wanted everything

The first verse continues the motifs of the chorus, with Urie stating how his mother helped push him to be who is is today.  The Manifest Destiny line is also quite nice, comparing his growth to the growth of America in the 1800s.

Mama said, burn your biographies
Rewrite your history

Hey, man, books are expensive nowadays, don’t be burning away money.  But, anything nonfiction can pretty much be searched online now, so maybe he has a point.

Mama said, it’s uphill for oddities
The stranger crusaders, ain’t ever wannabes
The weird and the novelties don’t ever change
We wanted everything, wanted everything

The second verse correlates back into the first, continuing the lessons his mother gave him to show how he ended up where he is.  While he uses a lot of flowery words here, the gist of it is that the underdog will always make it.

They say it’s all been done but they haven’t seen the best of me-eh-eh-eh
So I got one more run and it’s gonna be a sight to see-eh-eh-eh

And then, before the last chorus wraps up, Urie says that he has even more in store, which I guess is a tight conclusion because it kind of leaves the door open for Urie to make a lot more gre-eh-eh-eh-eat hits.

Overall, this is a pretty good song.  The lyrics are a bit bland, as even while making this, I had a hard time commenting on some of the lines because of how many times I’ve heard the same things in other pop tracks.  But, the instrumentals are stunning, the Broadway trumpets meshing glamorously with the contemporary drum patterns, and Brendon’s powerful, impassioned vocals flying over it all was the cherry on top.  It’s not as good as “I Write Sins Not Tragedies, but I’d give this a 3.5 out of 5.  Do you agree?

Thank you for reading my “High Hopes” song review.  Again, I will be gone for most of the year, but I’ll be back for the year-end lists, so don’t fret!  If you liked this review, make sure to follow my website, Twitter, and Instagram, like this post, and be sure to check in to read my future reviews.  Also, if you have something you want to see me review, tell me in the comments.  Until then, keep on listening to good music! I know I will.



10 thoughts on “Panic! At The Disco’s “High Hopes” Song Review (& Announcement)

  1. I’ve long been a fan of Panic! At the Disco, and really liked their edgier songs like “Miss Jackson,” “This is Gospel” and “Girls/Girls/Boys” – all from what I think is one of their best albums “Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die.” My favorite songs of theirs are “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” and “Ready To Go (Get Me Out of My Mind)” – both songs that many now think are overrated. The videos for those two songs are awesome.

    Unfortunately, I’m not wild about their latest album, as many of its songs just seem too over the top. I liked “Say Amen (Saturday Night)” well enough, but can’t seem to get into “High Hopes” at all. But it’s poised to become their biggest hit ever, and has already hit #1 on the Billboard Alternative Chart, so what the heck do I know?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, I listened to the entire album this morning, and have warmed up to it a bit more. It’s clearly Brendon Urie’s homage to his struggles and success, and – as you state – a nod to his love for Broadway. And “High Hopes” is just so damn catchy! It’ll likely appear on my next weekly Top 30.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Love this song! Really inspired by it. Simple but effective.. There’s a little Spandu ballet feel in too.. 4/5 for me. I listened to the other songs and none really did anything for me, but I bet there will be some bangers in there somewhere 😊👍

    Liked by 1 person

  3. OMG are you retarded. This is the worst cliche piece of shit song I’ve ever heard. I guess he struggled so hard with a great voice and a fantastic upbringing. What a fucking clown. Doesn’t matter. The song is actual hot fire trash.


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