Album Review: Twenty One Pilots – Blurryface

Twenty One Pilots has returned with their latest album, Blurryface, which is the follow-up to 2013’s highly successful album, Vessel. Blurryface is the fourth studio album from the duo. Prior to signing with Fueled by Ramen, Twenty One Pilots released two independent albums and did not gain major notoriety until 2013’s Vessel release. Twenty One Pilots consists of Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun and were formed in 2009 in Columbus, Ohio.

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Right off the bat, “HeavyDirtySoul” features Joseph singing and rapping on the track, which between the chorus and his clever word play has easily become my favorite track on the album. This, along with Stressed Out both heavily features Tyler’s rapping abilities. In “Stressed Out”, Tyler is rapping about his concerns over his music, even using the name of the album Blurryface as a reflection of Tyler’s insecurities.

“I was told when I get older all my fears would shrink / But now I’m insecure and I care what people think.”

Blurryface features a heavy reggae influence, with tracks such as “Ride”, and “Lane Boy”, which was a style the duo had not previously replicated in past albums.

“Doubt” is one of those tracks that show off the duo’s diversity as the track itself sounds like a club-banging rap song, however, if you listen to the lyrics, it becomes much more complex than that. “Doubt” is about Tyler’s experience with falling away from God.

Goner is the perfect conclusion to the Blurryface story. Blurryface, as originally stated in the very first track, is a manifistation of his insecurities. Goner represents Tyler’s attempt at one final battle against those inner demons. The track features Tyler singing over a piano instrumental for the first half of the track, which then turns into a shouting match with added drums to add to the intensity of the track. It isn’t my favorite song of the album but it is a nice finish to such a solid album that tells the story of someone attempting to overcome their own flaws.

“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!”

The biggest improvement from their 2013 album is clearly Tyler’s vocals. Tyler has vocally matured proving so in the tracks featuring a falsetto. Meanwhile on the other end of the spectrum, Tyler also proves to be a cohesive and precise rapper, I would even compare him to many rappers out today. While the overall message of the album is very clear, the instrumental and sounds are what make each track different from the last.

During the initial press released Tyler stated,

“The one thing Josh and I always had in mind when we were making this record was: How is this going to look and feel live? We were so influenced by the live show. A lot of the writing came from wanting to create something that we would actually love playing in front of people every night.”

It’s safe to say that the duo from Ohio managed to do just that. The album overall certainly proves to me a unique and eclectic masterpiece which I could only image sounds amazing live. Is this album synth-pop? Is it Hip Hop? Pop Rock? This type of Genre-bending album doesn’t always appear to work, but for Twenty One Pilots, it does just that.

The album is worth adding to your collection.

 

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