BlurryFace Review: Twenty One Pilots Cares What You Think
After weeks of cryptic messages and track releases, Twenty One Pilots has finally given us BlurryFace. Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun, the guys behind the band, has garnered a lot of loyal fans, collectively called the Clique, with their unique combination of rap and alternative sound. This unique style can only be described as basically the best thing ever. In Vessel, we see them reach out to the masses and solidify their place in music as the duo that bridges the gap between punk enthusiasts and rap lovers. Blurryface shows a more mature and refined side of Twenty One Pilots that can be taken in many ways.
While most people look for an underlying melody that ties a whole record together by linking each track, that is not what you should expect in Blurryface. If you do, your expectations might fall short because of the lack of consistency throughout the album. Where Vessel had an indie alternative sound behind every track, Blurryface a collection of rock, screamo, R&B, hip-hop, indie, reggae, and even some ukulele music. For instance, “Doubt” sounds like a track off of Drake’s last album whereas “We Don’t Believe in TV” sounds like a late indie intermission song with intensified ukuleles. Even the pivotal rapping sessions are bit different. Vessel had almost a satirical speechy edge in the rap solos, while Blurryface has more serious connotations.
The principle tones of melody may not be as harmonius, but the tracks are still connected by an overarching message that many of the Clique and other fans can relate to. I appreciate this more than I thought I would. It may be a little disjointed, but I love the fact that Twenty One Pilots can experiment with different styles and still carry those deep messages that I find myself relating to.
This is why “Ride” is my favorite track of this album. It has an upbeat reggae melody with a killer rap part that makes you really question how your mind processes things. The lyrics “I'd live for you, and that's hard to do. Even harder to say when you know it's not true” gives you an insight how Joseph and Dun perceive their lyrics and how much connecting with their listeners means to them, but it also gives other listeners another perspective to really delve into.
Blurryface has an eerie and more serious vibe to it. While Vessel was almost "tongue-in-cheek" in its delivery. Blurryface experiments in its approaches so each verse is transfigrued in a different way. The first single released “Fairly Local” had a haunting aura around it that left most of wandering what to expect out Twenty One Pilots’ third album, but we start personifying these songs as different characteristics. It’s like the voice at the back your head that tells you that your thoughts aren’t as crazy as you think.
One lacking element of Blurryface is the amount of lyrics you actually hear throughout the album. There are many songs that might go through a chorus and then just have a melody playing to fill empty space. "Message Man” could have been my favorite song. It’s perfectly eerie, and has the rap bridge that we all love. However, the last 45 seconds is mostly filler music. Same goes for “Lane Boy” and “Doubt.” But then you have a song like “Polarize” which is almost perfect in its delivery. It combines an eclectic number of styles and keeps it beat to transition into a deafening final note.
Maybe BlurryFace isn’t about trying to find that perfect combination of rap and rock that we are used to. It’s here to highlight the fact that Twenty One Pilots is giving fans an outlet more than anything and that no one person in a group is the same, just like an album of songs. Blurryface showcases a darker edge and a more mature side of Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun which we didn’t see in Vessel. The “in-your-face” sort of rapping we listened to before is a lot more refined and scattered in a mixed salad of melodies. The saying “To each their own” is the only way to accurately describe every song from Blurryface.
Songs with the ever amazing rap solos: Heavydirtysoul, Ride, Lane Boy, The Judge, Message Man.
Songs to check out: The Judge, Message Man, Not Today, Ride, Stressed Out