Twenty One Pilots are one of my favourite live bands and for good reason. Their shows explode with character, energy and carefree moments that will have your hands in the air and your body moving. After breaking the mainstream market with “Vessel” the dynamic duo are back with their fourth studio album and it may just be their most diverse yet. It’s hard to describe what genre “Blurryface” falls under because it successfully fuses pop, rock, reggae, dance and rap. Opening with the electro-hop “HeavyDirtySoul” it perfectly welcomes the listener to the album with the strange collaboration of genres and an infectious hook. “Stressed Out”, “Lane Boy” and “Ride” introduce a reggae influenced sound with a rap/indie-pop/rock influence and ultimately standout as album highlights.
One thing that makes Twenty One Pilots songs so unique and different is their incredible way of storytelling. Lyrically this album has a lot of vivid imagery that brings their slightly bizarre tales to life. On “Tear In My Heart” Tyler sings “You fell asleep in my car, I drove the whole time but that’s okay. I’ll just avoid the holes so you sleep fine. I’m driving here I sit, cursing my government for not using my taxes to fill holes with more cement”. They also bring powerful messages and thoughts to the frontline. “Scared of my own image, scared of my own immaturity. Scared of my own ceiling, scared I’ll die of uncertainty. Fear may be the death of me, fear leads to anxiety, don’t know what’s inside of me”. Their comical commentary of the music industry has always been on point and controversial and this album does offer a few doses. On “Lane Boy” he comments “In the industry it seems to me that singles on the radio are currency. My creativity’s only free when I’m playing shows” and “Honest, there’s a few songs on this record that feel common. I’m in constant confrontation with what I want and what is popping”.
Their songs always remain to be relevant, interesting and game changing. With each album they’ve stepped up their game and adapted their already complex sound. “Fairly Local” brings in a heavy electro-hop sound while the ultimately infectious “Tear in My Heart” gives fans a pop/rock anthem that needs to be loved. The ukulele is brought back on the fan favourite “We Don’t Believe What’s On TV” and gives a more Alternative/SKA sound that is reminiscent of their older material. One of my favourite tracks from “Blurryface” is the reggae/trap influenced “Message Man” which makes you want to groove along to the beat while offering a commentary on social behavior. There is honestly something for everyone on a Twenty One Pilots album. There are infectious bops that will have you singing along while there’s quotable lyrics that will fill your newsfeed and offer some cleansing thoughts. This is an album that will constantly grow on you and while there are many songs that you will instantly fall in love with there are a couple that will take a few listens to appreciate. “Vessel” was a strong breakthrough album but “Blurryface” secures their place as a game changer and will introduce them to a wider audience.
Australia and New Zealand peeps, don’t miss out on seeing Twenty One Pilots in July when they tour because their live show is NOT to be missed!