Faith, family, fear subjects of Twenty One Pilots’ latest album

Maddi Loiselle, IV Leader Staff Writer

If you ever find yourself at a loss in your musical journey, Twenty One Pilots just might be the band to gravitate towards. Fronted by the talented Tyler Joseph, whose voice ranges from rap to a crooner to falsetto, the band’s most recent release, “Blurryface,” gives listeners a glimpse into his unique mind.

The majority of the lyrics tell a story of the constant battle between a man and his insecurities (a character he created, “Blurryface,” who he named the album after). With the exception of a few romantic songs, the tracks center on Joseph’s Christian beliefs and the anxiety of growing up. If you’re looking for pop, ukulele, electric, rap, screaming-to-God, back-flip-off-a-piano love songs then this duo will meet that criterion and more.

“Heavydirtysoul” opens the album as a sort of disclaimer. The first verse asks listeners not to see this as another album, but not in a discourteous manner. He’s saying that it is different but in no way better or worse than anything heard before. He’s plainly stating that this album is his deepest thoughts, fears, and dreams added to bass heavy, drum driven electronic tunes that he poured his heart into.

The second verse takes a slight turn. There are people that spit out “you only live once” without meaning it in their core. Joseph is saying that yes, the sentiment is true, but it should only be said with feeling to back it up. He invites listeners to join him by making the most of their short lives. The first step would be listening to this album, because this is how he makes the most of his life.

The most relatable aspect of the album is the focus on self doubt. Joseph believes fear is a stronger emotion than love, so it influences the majority of his writing.

The latest single “Stressed Out” tells of the reservations about growing up and longing to return to the comfort of childhood. It’s also the song that introduces Blurryface to the listener. The music video for “Stressed Out” was filmed in the homes Joseph and his drummer Josh Dun grew up in.

Their families play important parts in the video, as well. The two thought that involving their families was an ingenious idea so they could spend adequate time together without compromising their busy schedules. The themes of family, the physical location where one grows up and the emotional connotation it possesses, the relationships between family, friends, and with God dominate the album.

This isn’t a religious album by any means. There are no “praise Jesus” moments, but it is littered with Joseph’s personal relationship with God.

“The Judge” is the most obvious example as he pleads for a better version of himself. He lays out his crimes and offers them up in hopes they will be fixed. Essentially, Joseph is giving God Blurryface, the compilation of his faults and insecurities.
The most memorable element of the album is not the lyrical treasure, the profound percussion, or even the fact that Joseph hands listeners his heart on a silver platter.

The coolest part of this album is the diversity of the music styles that aid in the image of insecurities consuming a person. The contrasting styles show that our differences are only skin deep. We are all inhibited by our anxieties, but it’s not insurmountable.

“Not Today” is the only song that gives some hope for an internal struggle. It’s saying that depression isn’t always a constant, which makes it all a bit more bearable.

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