HomeMusicAlbum Review: Twenty One Pilots, 'Blurryface'

Album Review: Twenty One Pilots, ‘Blurryface’

Written by Christian Bischoff


In the follow-up to their breakout 2013 album, Vessel, Twenty One Pilots returns with their signature schizo-pop sound, infusing a wide array of genres into their fourth record. Reggae, electro, and the familiar pop-rock-rap blend the band has become known for all have play within the LP’s fourteen tracks. Everything about Blurryface is more involved, grander than ever before, from the actual production process (the album was recorded in two locations, and produced by four different producers) to the multiple different themes at play within the record.


The many problems and psychoses of lead singer Tyler Joseph seem to have increased tenfold in this album, manifesting in a slim shady-esque alter ego known as Blurryface, after whom the album is named. From his struggles with a higher power on “The Judge” — “(I’m a pro at imperfections / And I’m best friends with my doubt / And now that my mind’s out / And now I hear it clear and loud)” to his trouble with identity and anxiety on “Doubt,” Joseph continues to openly face the many misgivings and insecurities that do battle in his mind.

The ukulele makes a triumphant comeback on this album, carrying over the success of Vessel’s uke driven track “House of Gold.” “The Judge” begins with a ukulele riff, and the disarmingly bittersweet “We Don’t Believe What’s on TV.” The track features bright and vibrant uke, which serves to distract the listener from the darker implications of lyrics like “And what we want we know we can’t believe / We have all learned to kill our dreams.” The song is a love song for the disaffected era, with the troubled Joseph reconsidering his decision to die young in light of his new love.

Reggae is a new addition to the Twenty One Pilots sound, and not an altogether obvious addition at that. Surprisingly, reggae samplings feature prevalently on three tracks; “Ride,” “Lane Boy,” and “Message Man.” Lean, rhythmic organ beats reminiscent of Bob Marley serve as the backing for all three songs, each one sporting wildly different meanings. “Ride” delves into existential questions on life and relationship, while “Lane Boy” exists as Joseph’s comment on the music industry, and his place in it. “Message Man” relates his struggles as Blurryface, and the separation between his inner turmoil and his outward appearance: “You don’t know my brain / The way you know my name / You don’t know my heart / The way you know my face.”

All in all, the album is an resounding success, and a killer follow-up to their previous album. Blurryface is an explosion of an album, bursting at the seams with experimentation and passion. The pleading passion and infectious energy that the duo bring to their live performances is evident in the intensity of the tracks within. If anything, the recorded songs serve only as a preview to their live performances. The record as a standalone piece of music is excellent, but the live shows put on by Twenty One Pilots are a full body sensory experience, second to none in intensity and dynamic punch.

Blurryface Rating: 8.5/10

To purchase Blurryface by twenty one pilots, click here!

Pop-Break Staff
Pop-Break Staffhttps://thepopbreak.com
Founded in September 2009, The Pop Break is a digital pop culture magazine that covers film, music, television, video games, books and comics books and professional wrestling.

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