Twenty One Pilots – Blurryface


Album

Blurryface

Label

Fueled By Ramen / Warner AU

Year

2015

For Fans Of

Bands that constantly keep you guessing.

Summary

Twenty One Pilots are in a genre and league of their own.

Rating

90 / 100

Twenty One Pilots seem to do whatever the fuck they like. This was kind of true on 2013’s breakthrough hit ‘Vessel’, but with the follow-up, ‘Blurryface’, it cements that idea, and then goes and writes its name in the pavement before the cement can fully dry.

Variety really is the spice and whole main course of life for this duo. In fact, you could go as far as to say they’d never forgive themselves if they just did the same thing over and over again. Each song is different from the one before, which, in turn, was also different from the previous song.

See, you’ve got the auto-tuned, club-like ‘Doubt’ and the darker, edgy ‘Fairly Local’, which are worlds away from the poppy and melodic ‘Tear In My Heart’ and the awesomely catchy, reggae inspired ‘Ride’ (which is arguably one of the best songs off the record). Then there is the brisker speed of the chirpy and upbeat ‘We Don’t Believe What’s On TV’, which is a nice change of pace for the album. While, the eerie and somber ‘Hometown‘ only proves that the band will always do whatever they want, making sure variety and being unique is at the very top of their ‘To Do List’.

The electronic/hip-hop sounding critique of the music industry of ‘Lane Boy’ is easily the most engaging song from a sheer lyrical level. See while these two are a mainstream act, they don’t seem to fit into that framework as many other MTV, day-time Channel [V] acts do, and ‘Lane Boy’ is exactly that – a critique of “flawless” songs and the way the industry and labels work. Though it may be a little contradictory considering that this duo does in fact get airtime on MTV and radio play, plus they’re on Fueled By Ramen. Yeah. Well regardless, it trumps the “I’m sad that I’m successful” tone surrounding other songs, like ‘Stressed Out’, but to be fair, that one is still a great song in itself, with its light, mellow dynamics and instrumentation.

The band do tend to repeat themselves a little from ‘Vessel’, starting with a genre-bridging anthem of ‘Heavydirtysoul’ kicking off the album in a same dark-and-edgy-to-uplifting manner that ‘Ode To Sleep‘ embodied. The light-hearted melodies and the strong indie undertones of ‘The Judge’ are also like a denser version of their hit single, ‘House Of Gold’, but one that builds and develops in a far more interesting manner. It’s also better than its aforementioned comparison too, but hey, that’ll be subjective (well, obv-fucking-iously).

Musicianship-wise, Josh Dun’s simple, yet solid and energised drumming really drives these songs and it shows that if it was anyone else behind the kit then there’s a fair chance that the band’s music wouldn’t have the same impact. So, pro-tip folks – always get a good drummer! On the flip side of this one coin, singer Tyler Joseph still weaves between having ethereal vocals, lightning fast rapping, the occasional raspy, emotional scream, and soft-spoken word parts, all of which delivered with real honesty and passion, unlike Jetstar or Australian Post’s usual delivery quality. Joseph’s vocals really do add impact and his poetic lyrics are more than likely going to strike some form of emotional chord with you, well unless you’re an emotionally vapid bastard, of course.

As for who Blurryface is, why this character loves the colour red, what the band will do next, and as to what colour Dun’s hair will be next month, well…that’s anybody’s guess really. And that’s the best part.

Conclusion

‘Blurryface’ seems to be Twenty One Pilots wanting to distance themselves from the image created when ‘Vessel’ broke them through into the mainstream. Thus, that means that the music here has been written with the intention of being even more engaging and unexpected, in order for them to evolve further. It’s that element of the unexpected that makes this band one of the most exciting acts in the world right now, as there is just really no predicting what these guys will do next. That’s great for us, because that means we will always be receiving cutting-edge music around with each album cycle from TOP. Finally, always remember, that at the end of the day, “This is not rap, this is not hip-hop, just another attempt to make the voices stop” (‘Heavydirtysoul’).

Tracklisting

1. Heavydirtysoul

2. Stressed Out

3. Ride

4. Fairly Local

5. Tear In My Heart

6. Lane Boy

7. The Judge

8. Doubt

9. Polarize

10. We Don’t Believe What’s on TV

11. Message Man

12. Hometown

13. Not Today

14. Goner

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