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Twenty One Pilots-Scaled And Icy ALBUM REVIEW

Written Before Listen

Twenty One Pilots are a pop duo from Columbus known to mix Indie Pop and Hip Hop with multiple other genres. With their mix of trendy styles, they gained massive success around 5 years ago. With their massive fanbase, they have gained on of those love or hate profiles. Personally, I have not dipped my feet in Twenty One Pilots enough to really judge but there is a pretty following for them around my area. With that being said, they just released a new album as I will review it. Here we go.

Genre Bending

One thing that intrigued me right away were the effortless genre crossovers they do. Tyler Joseph seems to be a pretty intelligent person when it comes to music taste but sometimes…the bending is a little too overcooked…and when I mean a little…I mean a lot. I think the best tracks end up being the ones that attempt simple blends like the pop and electronic tracks “Choker” and “Shy Away”. I also think the pop and rock blends are worth a mention as “Formidable” is also one of my favorites. The problem occurs when they get too overbearing such as the song “No Chances” when the mix of rap, industrial and electronic sound like a Brokencyde song. There are a plethora of crossovers and a lot of them become unsuccessful. It really gets overwhelming


Lyrically, Twenty One Pilots are pretty preachy. A song like “Good Day” is all about making the best out of a bad situation as it is backed up by this Elton John-esc instrumental. The song “Never Take It” is all about the “cons” of modern media and “Mulberry Street” is an anti-medication anthem. Luckily, Twenty One Pilots come with some pretty good topics. The song “Shy Away” is like a word of advice to someone. Another one is “Redecorate” and despite the terrible genre bending on here, its all about the visions you experience in your final moments as Tyler Joseph delivers some pretty good rap verses. Lyrically, this album is a mixed bag…without a second chance.


Turns out the album is self produced. I’m not really surprised because despite the studio-sounding mix, it doesn’t sound super high budget. Surely a song like “Choker” is recorded with a good budget but the way the live drums are mixed, they sound like they were processed digitally. A lot of the electronic based songs actually remind me of the production of The Postal Service as it isn’t super high budget but isn’t lo-fidelity either. Overall, with the success that Twenty One Pilots have at the moment, I think their production could sound a little less “indie” than it already does.


I think when it comes to the stylistic inconsistency this struggles in, they’re bound to sound like someone at some points. Probably a little bit of a reach but the song “Never Take It” has an Of Montreal vibe instrumentally but without the charm and quirkiness. I also think the instrumental of “Mulberry Street” could’ve ended up on Weezer’s OK Human and “Redecorate” could’ve been a song in one of the more poppier Lupe Fiasco albums. Overall, I think 21 Pilots don’t sound derivative but their stylistic diversity just sounds a little too out of wack for it to sound original.

Favorite Tracks

As I said earlier in the review, I did like how “Choker” and “Shy Away” kept it simple with their genre bending and same goes with “Formidable”. I think those tracks are decent tracks and “Shy Away” is a good track in and out despite the fact that I don’t necessarily love it. Overall, I respect the ambition they put in pop music but it’s just not delivered well.


To be fair, Twenty Pilots are pretty intelligent when making music. It’s impressive that they are able to blend genres this effortlessly but I think the genres they decide to blend make it come off as overcooked but if something eclectic is what you want, go ahead because you might like it more than me.



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