- Category: Volume 87 (Fall 2015 - Spring 2016)
- Published: 17 February 2016
- Written by EMILY CIAVATTA | STAFF WRITER
Twenty One Pilots, with Tyler Joseph as the lead singer and Joshua Dun on the drums, has gone from a duo that strictly played small venues with a general admission audience to a band that everybody has heard of. After their release of Blurryface in May 2015, the duo gained a wildly vast mainstream presence that is only continuing to grow. “Stressed Out” and “Tear in my Heart” are songs that most people at least recognize or are just completely obsessed with. You can find Twenty One Pilots anywhere from Tumblr, to Spotify, to iTunes, to headlining tours, all the way to various events where they guest perform. Just a few weeks ago, they played at the X Games in Aspen, Colorado. The band is clearly doing something very right.
Blurryface, although released in May of last year, is still on the top album charts, way above many new releases. “Stressed Out” is arguably the most popular song off the album, which is currently number three on the iTunes top songs chart and its music video has over 80 million views on YouTube. Twenty One Pilots has truly made a huge mark with this album, so much so that it has not gone away even after all this time—it has only gained popularity.
The duo’s music style is pretty hard to categorize. While many would argue electropop or indie pop as their overall genre, their music fits into multiple categories. Rap, pop, rock and punk are all other styles the duo tends to dabble in, making their music highly unique and distinctive. Blurryface is especially cool because it is a concept album, which always makes an album have more depth. The character Blurryface is what the entire album is about, and Joseph, the leader singer, describes it to represent what people are insecure about.
Joseph writes all of the band’s songs, and on Blurryface, he completely put all of his talent into these amazing tracks. The album is full of relatable lyrics that are acknowledged by fans everywhere. Songs like “Tear In My Heart,” with its lyrically beautiful bridge, and “Polarize,” with the ever-so-famous “Those stairs is where I’ll be hiding all my problems” lyric, are sung loud and proud by the band’s followers at all their shows. You can never find a silent crowd at their concerts, once again proving the band’s success (and the fans’ undying devotion to them).
No song on the album is one to skip over, as each one is special in its own way. The album begins with “Heavydirtysoul,” which is usually the song they kick off their concerts with. The song’s verses contain speedy raps but the choruses slow down, both comprising meaningful lyrics. And that is one thing the band achieved perfectly on the album: mixing genres. The beginning of a song may start off as one music style, but by the middle of the song they will have dabbled in something totally different. This technique added contrast and interest to each of their songs. Pop, rock, rap and electronic are genres the duo tended to make up the majority of the album’s songs, but reggae is another genre you’ll be able to hear on Blurryface. Especially on “Ride,” the reggae feel is extremely prominent, but it makes the song something unique and highly catchy. Twenty One Pilot manages to create songs that have happy beats and depressing lyrics, but something about that works so well and goes perfectly with the concept of the album. Blurryface finishes off with “Goner,” arguably the most serious song on the album, and its powerfulness and is the perfect end to an undeniably flawless album.
The band toured the album starting last summer, but they are far from done. Currently, they are on tour overseas. The tour, entitled “Emotional Roadshow,” is making its way back to the U.S. on May 31, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The band will be in close proximity to Monmouth in Camden, N.J. on June 11 and New York City on August 10 and 11, just a few short months away. Even though they are playing at bigger venues (like Madison Square Garden), I’m sure drummer Dun will still find a way to drum in the crowd while being held up on a slab by people in the audience. The duo always pulls unmatched stunts that set them apart from all other bands in the public eye at the moment. Not to mention, Dun and Joseph are total #bestfriendgoals.
Their success with Blurryface and just as a band overall is only going up from here; they never seem to stop bringing something new to the table.
IMAGE TAKEN from www.as.sdsu.edu