Monday, May 18, 2015

Album Review: Twenty One Pilots' "Blurryface"


Twenty One Pilots is back and bolder than ever with their new album "Blurryface", out May 19 from Fueled By Ramen. Although "Vessel" speaks of hope, "Blurryface" shows Tyler Joseph facing his demons head-on. He has spoken about the immensity of his insecurities and why he feels that it helps to give them a face and a name, and the character Blurryface is referenced several times on the album. "Blurryface" has caused quite the buzz in the online community after its leak on May 10. Responses were very positive as fans embraced the band's expansion into new frontiers of music.

Josh Dun and Tyler Joseph for their upcoming Blurryface Tour
After finding a solid niche in indie pop on "Vessel", it sounds like the duo is either trying to find their sound again or showcasing their musical diversity on this album. "Blurryface" is a mishmash of rap, pop, indie, and a reggae flair. Although this shows Twenty One Pilots' functionality in many facets of music, the lack of a clear "sound" leaves the album with little direction and makes it hard to listen to straight down.

However, the success is in the concept of the album. The character of Blurryface is an original idea and something that everyone can relate to. It's clear that the album is cathartic for Joseph, providing an outlet for his darkest feelings. With these themes often come a darker sound, evident in "Fairly Local" and "Stressed Out". The lyrics are full of pure honesty and nothing is veiled, which gives the album an intimate side. Listening to "Blurryface" feels like being inside Joseph's mind for an hour.

Standout tracks include "Tear In My Heart", "The Judge", and "Hometown", which show Twenty One Pilots at their best with an upbeat pop sound and lyrics with a poetic honesty that could only come from one band. "Blurryface" is definitely worth the listen, but it's safe to say we haven't seen the best Twenty One Pilots has to offer yet.

You can buy "Blurryface" on iTunes here.