Twenty One Pilots leave Blurryface and enter the ‘Trench’
November 1, 2018
After their 2015 breakthrough on their album ‘Blurryface’, Twenty One Pilots gift their fans and the world with their new album ‘Trench’. The 14-track record is vastly different than their other albums, bringing a chilling updated sound and the duo is still able to keep their values as a band as well.
Returning to the studio after three years, Tyler Joseph, lead singer, and Josh Dun, drummer, precluded their new album with two singles: “Nico and the Niners”’ and “Jumpsuit.” These two songs, however, lead me to believe this new album would be thunderous and booming with a lot of raps, something the duo is known for.
However, I wasn’t too disappointed when I heard the entire album. It was new and surprising in the best way. The record gives off a certain feel that I can’t describe, Twenty One Pilots is best known for this, and you can’t keep them in a box.
For example, “Nico and the Niners” and “Cut My Lip” give off obvious reggae vibes and then “Levitate” gives off electronic beats. There is so much diversity in this album, yet its still so cohesive.
Even though the group is known for being their own genre the tracks on the album still coincide with each other smoothly and the transitions on some of the tracks are marvelous. A personal favorite is the transition from “Jumpsuit” to “Levitate”. Honestly, I didn’t even realize that “Jumpsuit” ended because it was just that smooth.
The duo is also known for always speaking out about ‘taboo’ topics such as mental health and suicide in their music and talking about their personal experiences with topics such as as well.
This is seen in one song, ‘Neon Gravestones’, which is thought to be about suicide.
The song discusses how people tend to romanticise suicide and mental health, and the group is candid about how some are praised for living short lives and struggling with mental issues.
“What’s my problem? Well, I want you to follow me down to the bottom. Underneath the insane asylum, keep your wits about you while you got ’em. ‘Cause your wits are first to go while you’re problem-solving And my problem?,” reflects the idea of someone in an endless fight with their mind and going to the last resort, dying early.
Later in that part of the song, it mentions blatantly about how we as a society praises people who end their lives early. “We give them the highest of praise, and hang their banner from a ceiling. Communicating, further engraving, an earlier grave is an optional way.”
In the song, Joseph raps those parts with different ‘irregular’ beats, he is also known for evenly flowing from rapping to singing which is seen throughout this album. I expected more rapping because the duo is Joseph is pretty adamant about it, but I loved that there was more singing on this album.
One thing I love about this band is that they always keep the same values and never change for others. Joseph is known for his ukulele and piano skills. Even in this album, you can hear the soft sounds of the instruments in the majority of the tracks.
“Morph” and “Pet Cheetah” gave off a different vibe that made them my least favorite, but I still enjoyed listening to them.
“Bandito” and “Cut My Lip” would be my two favorites out of the album. I love the reggae beat in this track, and it’s just a smooth, feel-good, chill tune.
“Bandito” was a favorite because it started off as a soft, mellow song then picked itself up in the middle. The switch up excited me, and when Dun came in with his explosive drums, it was breathtaking.
“Leave The City” is an amazing way to end the powerful new record. The introduction is pianoforte, but the song builds to a magnificent conclusion. Dun continues to amaze with his monstrous drumming skills.
The band uses the sentence: “For now I will stay alive,” in this last track. “Stay Alive” being the main ‘motto’ of their band in past songs like “Truce” in “Vessel”- 2013 album.
I am always left agape by this powerful duo. This album is both chaotic yet tranquil not many bands can do this. With Dun killing it on the drums to Joseph with his singing, rapping and sometimes screaming skills on the mic (along with some piano and the famous ukulele), they always know how to put together a moving, breathtaking, fully immersive record.
Favorite(s): Levitate, Smithereens, Cut my lip, Bandito, Leave the city
Least Favorite(s): Pet Cheetah, Morph
“Keep your wits about you while you got ’em. ‘Cause your wits are first to go while you’re problem-solving. And my problem?”
“Chorus, verse, chorus, verse, now here comes the eight. Wait, habits here too, you’re the worst, your structure compensates, but compensation feels a lot like rising up to dominate by track two. At least they all know all they hear comes from a place”
“We give them the highest of praise, and hang their banner from a ceiling. Communicating, further engraving, an earlier grave is an optional way.”