Crazy=Genius

Album: Death Of A Bachelor (2016)
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Songfacts®:

  • Panic! At The Disco thrives on the unconventional, landing hit after hit while disregarding traditions like including the title in the song's lyric. In this song, Brendon Urie draw the line from crazy to genius, saying that if crazy equals genius, he's a f--king arsonist. It might not make sense, but that's kind of the point.
  • Brendon Urie brings up the ultimate crazy genius in this song: Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys. Wilson, who built a sandbox in his home to place his piano, created masterpieces like "Good Vibrations" and "God Only Knows" while on the verge of psychosis. The yin to his yang in the group was lead singer Mike Love, the talented but straight-laced member who grew up to be a Republican. Urie sings:

    She said you're just like Mike
    Love but you wanna be Brian Wilson


    The girl in the song is accusing him of being a wannabe genius like Brian Wilson, when he's anything but. By breaking "Mike" and "Love" into separate lines, it becomes a play on the "like Mike" Nike campaign built around Michael Jordan, who excelled through hard work and talent, not eccentricity.

    Later in the song, he sings:

    Said you're just like Mike
    Love but you'll never be Dennis Wilson


    Dennis Wilson was the drummer in the Beach Boys who was the more free spirited (and the only one who actually surfed). He drowned in 1983 at 39.
  • Brendon Urie and his producer, Jake Sinclair, wrote this song with Sam Hollander, one of Urie's favorite collaborators. Hollander also worked on the Panic! songs "High Hopes" and "Emperor's New Clothes."
  • By this time, Panic! At The Disco was a Brendon Urie solo project. He brought in a horn section to play on this song, but played all the other instruments himself.

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