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Music / A Fever You Can't Sweat Out

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"I chime in with a 'Haven't you people ever heard of closing the goddamn door?'"

"And I believe
This may call for a proper introduction, and well
Don't you see?
I'm the narrator, and this is just the prologue."
— "The Only Difference Between Martyrdom and Suicide Is Press Coverage"

A Fever You Can't Sweat Out is the debut studio album by Panic! at the Disco, released on September 27, 2005 through Decaydance Records and Fueled by Ramen.

Around the time that work on the album began, the band had been signed to Decaydance, the imprint label of Fall Out Boy bassist Pete Wentz, for around half a year. Wentz signed the band after being impressed by several online demos of theirs, and without them ever having played a live show. Almost all of the band members were still in high school when they were signed (save for lead guitarist Ryan Ross, who was attending college). The album was reportedly recorded for $11,000 over three-and-a-half weeks, only one month after the band members that were in high school graduated.

Stylistically, the album is divided into halves and structured like a stage play, with an "introduction" and "intermission" as well as an overarching theatrical aesthetic. The first half is mainly pop punk with elements of electronic music, while the second half employs more traditional instrumentation, with distinct influences from baroque pop. The songs themselves generally don't follow anything resembling a coherent story; there are a few exceptions, such as the tracks "But It's Better If You Do" and "I Write Sins Not Tragedies", which together are about a boy falling in love with a prostitute, trying to marry her, and ending up discovering his best man having sex with her a few meters away from him. The album is also notable for having very long song titles, none of which appear in the songs themselves.

AFYCSO was a commercial success and spawned several successful singles, mainly its second single "I Write Sins Not Tragedies", which peaked at #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 (becoming the band's first top-10 hit note ) and has since been deemed one of the defining songs of 2000s pop punk and emo. Although sales began slow, with the album debuting at #112 on the Billboard 200, it eventually spent 88 weeks on the chart and peaked at #13. The album was certified double platinum in 2015, and was further certified quadruple platinum in 2023; with a reported 4.5 million copies sold, it still ranks to this day as the highest-selling Panic! album.


  1. "Introduction" (0:36)
  2. "The Only Difference Between Martyrdom and Suicide is Press Coverage" (2:55)
  3. "London Beckoned Songs About Money Written by Machines" (3:23)
  4. "Nails for Breakfast, Tacks for Snacks" (3:23)
  5. "Camisado" (3:11)
  6. "Time to Dance" (3:22)
  7. "Lying is the Most Fun a Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off" (3:20)
  8. "Intermission" (2:35)
  9. "But It's Better If You Do" (3:25)
  10. "I Write Sins Not Tragedies" (3:07)
  11. "I Constantly Thank God For Esteban" (3:30)
  12. "There's a Good Reason These Tables Are Numbered Honey, You Just Haven't Thought of It Yet" (3:16)
  13. "Build God, Then We'll Talk" (3:40)

Principal Members:

  • Brendon Urie – lead vocals, rhythm guitar, bass guitar, keyboards, piano
  • Ryan Ross – lead guitar, keyboards, synthesizers, programming, organ, piano, accordion, backing vocals
  • Spencer Smith – drums, percussion, glockenspiel, tambourine, shaker, cabasa
  • Brent Wilson – bass guitar

A Fever You Can't Trope Out:

  • AcCENT upon the Wrong SylLABle: Listen to "Build God Then We'll Talk", particularly Brendon's pronunciation of "caricature".
  • Bookends:
    • The music video for "But It's Better If You Do" begins and ends in black-and-white.
    • "Camisado" starts and ends with a minimalist piano accompaniment and the lyrics "The I.V. and your hospital bed / This was no accident / This was a therapeutic chain of events."
  • Break Up Song: "Lying is the Most Fun a Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off".
  • Concept Album: The album is mostly about various references and rebellion, and is also split into two halves; the first half is more traditional-sounding pop punk, while the second puts a unique baroque spin on the sound. The two halves are connected by the album's intermission, which starts with techno-sounding electronic beats before transitioning to a piano interlude.
  • Concept Video: Nearly all of them, notably the videos for "But It's Better If You Do" where the boys are musicians in an illegal strip club, and "I Write Sins Not Tragedies", featuring a circus wedding filled with clowns in lingerie!
  • Creepy Monotone: The verses of "Lying is the Most Fun..."
    "Then think of what you did/And how I hope to God he was worth it"
  • Deliberately Monochrome: The black and white variation is used in the music video for the start and end of the video for "But It's Better If You Do".
  • Fading into the Next Song: Occurs multiple times on the album:
    • "Introduction" → "The Only Difference...".
    • "But It's Better If You Do" → "I Write Sins Not Tragedies".
  • Finger on Lips: For the video to "I Write Sins Not Tragedies", Brendon covers his mouth for the words "whore" and "goddamn", at one point censoring the latter word by making a cross with his fingers.
  • Genre Mashup: "Trip hop-cabaret-dance punk" was how Brendon Urie described the album when asked.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: Most of the album. "Camisado" is a notable example, being an upbeat dance song about a person who gets regularly hospitalized.
  • Non-Appearing Title: Quite literally every song on the album.
  • One-Word Title: "Introduction", "Camisado" and "Intermission".
  • Precision F-Strike: In "Lying is the Most Fun a Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off":
    I've got more wit, a better kiss
    A hotter touch, a better fuck
  • Shout-Out:
    • Many of the songs on the album contain references to Chuck Palahniuk novels.
      • "Time to Dance", in particular, is one big long reference to Invisible Monsters. If you haven't read that book, the song seems like it's about teen pregnancy, and some of the lines that reference the book seem to have little meaning in the scheme of the whole song (namely "hiding in estrogen and wearing aubergine dreams").
      • "The Only Difference Between Martyrdom and Suicide Is Press Coverage" is a paraphrased quote from Survivor (1999).
      • "London Beckoned Songs About Money Written by Machines" has a bridge which references lines from Diary ("Just for the record, the weather today..." is a reference to a line the main character often says).
    • There are several nods to the Douglas Coupland novel Shampoo Planet.
      • The title of "London Beckoned Songs..." is taken from a quote in the book: "Torrid tunage from London beckoned — songs about money written by machines."
      • The title of "I Write Sins Not Tragedies" also refers to a quote from the book: "I am writing a list of tragic character flaws on my dollar bills with a felt pen. I am thinking of the people in my universe and distilling for each of these people the one flaw in their character that will be their downfall — the flaw that will be their undoing. What I write are not sins; I write tragedies."
    • This one may be unintentional, but "London Beckoned Songs..." also references Pink Floyd three times; the band is English, and they have songs titled "Money" and "Welcome to the Machine".
    • "Build God, Then We'll Talk" has a shout-out to "My Favourite Things" from The Sound of Music.
    • "Lying Is the Most Fun a Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off" and "But It's Better If You Do" are references to the movie Closer, with both song titles originally being a single sentence spoken by Natalie Portman's character.
  • Take That!:
    • "London Beckoned Songs About Money Written by Machines" is one aimed towards the then-fledgling scene community (back when it was an offshoot of emo). This, of course, was not caught on by the MySpace crowd.
    • "There's A Good Reason These Tables are Numbered..." can be interpreted as a Take That to the subject of the song.
  • Uncommon Time: "Build God, Then We'll Talk" switches between 4/4 and 3/4 with reckless abandon.

"Raindrops on roses and the girls in white dresses
And the sleeping with the roaches and the taking best guesses
At the shade of the sheets and before all the stains
And a few more of your least favorite things"