Crazy=Genius

Album: Death Of A Bachelor (2016)
Play Video

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.

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Chad Channing (Nirvana, Before Cars)

Chad Channing (Nirvana, Before Cars)Songwriter Interviews

Chad tells tales from his time as drummer for Nirvana, and talks about his group Before Cars.

Crystal Waters

Crystal WatersSongwriter Interviews

Waters tells the "Gypsy Woman" story, shares some of her songwriting insights, and explains how Dennis Rodman ended up on one of her songs.

The Police

The PoliceFact or Fiction

Do their first three albums have French titles? Is "De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da" really meaningless? See if you can tell in this Fact or Fiction.

Steven Tyler of Aerosmith

Steven Tyler of AerosmithSongwriter Interviews

Tyler talks about his true love: songwriting. How he identifies the beauty in a melody and turns sorrow into art.

How "A Rolling Stone Gathers No Moss" Became Rock's Top Proverb

How "A Rolling Stone Gathers No Moss" Became Rock's Top ProverbSong Writing

How a country weeper and a blues number made "rolling stone" the most popular phrase in rock.

Little Big Town

Little Big TownSongwriter Interviews

"When seeds that you sow grow by the wicked moon/Be sure your sins will find you out/Your past will hunt you down and turn to tell on you."