It has been a hectic two years for Ohio’s Twenty One Pilots. Since the release of 2013’s ‘Vessel’, duo Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun have extensively toured the globe, popping up at the odd festival too. So, where they found the time to write and record a new album is nothing short of miracle.
Much like how ‘Vessel’ opened with a punch in the face, ‘Blurryface’ does the exact same, with a relentless drum and bass number reminiscent of late 90s era The Prodigy. Throughout the album, in fact, there’s an underlying drum and bass presence coupled with an exploration of many other genres and sounds, such as reggae and hip-hop. It’s what 21P do best, and ‘Blurryface’ is no exception.
With an array of instruments to hand, the songs range from the grand to the subtle, each perfectly crafted and painstakingly written for maximum effect. It’s truly amazing to hear what just two people can create. However, not every song on here is a masterpiece. Take ‘Hometown’, which is disappointingly identical to the bland nothingness that blasts out in the likes of Hollister and other preppy ego-beacons. Thankfully, though, songs like these are few and far between.
For those of you who are familiar with 21P, you’ll know that it’s the lyrics that make the band and the actual music is a stunning afterthought. Whilst past offerings have given an unflinching tour of Tyler Joseph‘s inner turmoil through his incredible word play, album number four seems to have toned down on the personal confessions. Well, in most cases anyway, as ‘Goner’ will still leave you misty-eyed and lips a-quivering.
In summary, ‘Blurryface’ is different enough from past releases to qualify for a step forward whilst retaining some of the classic 21P vibes. It’s a difficult balance to strike, but this Ohio twosome fucking nailed it. ‘Blurryface’ is a grower and takes multiple listens to truly appreciate it, just like some of their past albums to be honest. Either way, fans new and old will be more than satisfied with this new offering, one that shows 21P are still on the rise.
Written by Andy Roberts (@Sassensquatch)