33. ‘That Green Gentleman’ by Panic at the Disco (2008)


Panic at the Disco (with an exclamation mark) launched to a captive audience in waiting. They were the perfect, cynical counter-programming effort to a half-decade’s worth of clean-cut Max Martin-fuelled pop and ugly red-capped dudes being weirdly aggressive. The Britney/Bizkit generation begat swathes of alienated teens hungry for soft pretty boys in eyeliner, and so emo was born.

PATD were the ‘Dawson’s Creek’ of pop groups – overcompensating for their formula by slapping long words everywhere. But while Britney, Xtina and JT extricated themselves through a “WE’RE SEX-HAVING GROWN UPS” narrative, PATD shook off their adolescence by regressing. Their completely joyous second album sounds like kids gleefully playing in a sandbox, albeit a sandbox rigorously governed by the semi-ghost of Brian Wilson.

BONUS POINTS: “Things have changed for me; and that’s ok” is a perfect, repeatedly handy, pop sentiment.


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