image from reddit
The world’s oddest musical duo, Twenty One Pilots, is back with their second release on record label, Fueled By Ramen. After absolutely falling in love with their previous record, Vessel, I had high expectations for the genre-breaking band. What I came to know and love about Twenty One Pilots was that I never knew what to expect from them. A song could be a heavy synth rap and then later on in the same tune, it would switch to fun, jumpy alternative rock. Then the next song on the record would be a ukulele track, or a slow piano ballad.
With Blurryface, Twenty One Pilots keep the same spontaneity, but seem to hit harder and miss farther. I can tell you now that gems like, “HeavyDirtySoul,” “Tear In My Heart,” and the creative ukulele jam, “The Judge,” will not be leaving my speakers any time soon. It is these moments where the band is at the top of their game, taking the best elements of Vessel and improving upon them. The raps are faster and catchier. Josh Dun’s rhythmic drumbeats have never been more exciting and ear pleasing. Even Tyler Joseph’s singing voice has never been better, and his lyrics in songs like, “Goner,” are as thoughtful and cryptic as ever, giving the mind a lot to ponder.
The ghost of you is close to me. I’m inside out you’re underneath.
I’ve got two faces, blurry’s the one I’m not.
I need your help to take him out.
Don’t let me be gone…
However, there is a downside to the record. In “Laneboy,” Joseph sings, “Honest, there’s a few songs on this record that feel common.” He isn’t kidding. On Blurryface, it appears some tracks were made purely to bring in listeners used to the repetitive, overproduced sound commonly used by more mainstream acts. Despite directly addressing this with, “yo, this song will never be played on the radio,” in “Fairly Local,” some of the tracks like, “Doubt,” and “Polarize,” seem to be aiming for exactly what they swear will never get; radio play. Longtime fans addicted to their abstract sound may feel a little betrayed by this, but not to worry, these tracks make up only a small portion of Blurryface.
Despite the few downers (which I’m sure will grow on me in time), Twenty One Pilots’ newest effort is certainly worth a listen, and is more than enough overall to satisfy fans.