Fast rapping. Loud drums. Catchy choruses. Deep lyrics. The new Twenty One Pilots album Blurryface has it all. After a controversial release, the band finally confirmed that the album was officially out on May 17th, tweeting “We couldn’t wait any longer to get this into everyone’s hands.”
Ever since February, the band has been teasing fans with previews of the album, releasing a total of five songs before the album came out. In addition, the Blurryface twitter account has built up much hype for the album as well, leading many to ask who exactly is Blurryface? Blurryface, who the album is named after, is in short, lead singer Tyler Joseph’s alter ego. Blurryface is a character that represents everything Tyler is against. In songs such as Stressed Out, Blurryface sings near the end “Wake up you need to make money.”
As of now, the album is the number one album on iTunes. And its the reason for that is very clear. the album offers something for everyone.
Fans who enjoy upbeat, melodic, catchy songs are sure to enjoy the tracks such as Tear In My Heart, Ride, We Don’t Believe What’s On TV, Message Man, and especially The Judge.
The track We Don’t Believe What’s On TV, starts off strong with a combination of Tyler’s ukulele and Josh’s drumming. The first verse is sung at a medium pace but the best part is in the chorus. “I don’t care whats in your hair, I just want to know whats on your mind,” Tyler sings, “I used to say I want to die when I was old but because of you I might think twice.” To top it all off, Josh Dun, known for playing the drums, plays a few notes on the trumpet instead. Fans who enjoy the music for meaning shouldn’t be disappointed either. Although it sounds extremely upbeat, the chorus is actually a reference to the depressive thoughts Tyler had in his early years.
The Judge (shown below), the 7th track on the album, is sure to bring in new fans with its catchy lyrics. The song’s upbeat tone is similar to that of House of Gold from the debut album Vessel. With only Tyler singing and strumming his ukulele in the beginning, the song starts off very light. Josh’s drums kicks in as soon as the chorus starts, speeding up the pace of the song. In the second verse, Tyler switches over to rapping with lines such as “three lights are lit but the fourth one’s out,” a possible reference to the word “unlit,” an inside joke known to fans of the band.The album isn’t only happy, upbeat songs however. Tracks such as Fairly Local, Heavy Dirty Soul, Lane Boy, Polarize, and Doubt, all have a much deeper tone.
Fairly Local was the first of the five songs that was released early. With a heavy bass, soft chanting in the background, the song feels much darker than the rest. And it fits, as Fairly Local is where the Blurryface character seems to be the most prominent.
Heavy Dirty Soul, the first song on the album, is probably one of the most fast paced songs to date. In the first verse, Tyler raps at a speed of 314 words per minute. According to research done by Reddit user Cmac1625, only Ode to Sleep and Fall Away are faster.
Lane Boy, also one of the songs released early, has more electronic elements compared to the rest of the song. The first two verses is filled with Tyler rapping about how he dislikes the mainstream music industry and how in order to succeed, most artists are forced to conform and change their style of music. The second half of the song has almost no words. Instead, it is replaced with fast drums and an electronic beat.
The 9th song on the album, Polarize, has a different message altogether. Unlike previous songs, Tyler voices a lot of his regrets in this sing with lines such as “wanted to be a better brother, better son. Wanted to be a better adversary to the evil I have done” The song also has references religion. Tyler, who has mentioned his Christian faith before, sings “Domingo en Fuego, I think I lost my halo.” Translated from Spanish, the first part means Sunday on fire. Sunday, as many known, is the day of religious observance. The “Halo” mentioned is also a symbol of Tyler’s innocence. Saying he lost it possibly means that he is losing his faith in his religion and that he needs help to defeat the evil that is Blurryface.
Doubt, is similar to Polarize where Tyler voices his emotions without holding back. Both times, before the chorus, Tyler appears to speaking in a very soft voice, expressing his insecurities. Despite the slightly depressing feeling, Doubt is by far one of my favorite songs on the album. With lines such as ‘Scared of my own image” and “fear leads to anxiety,” it is one of the most easy songs to relate to.
The album ends with three more songs; Hometown, Not Today, and Goner.
Not Today, is a song reminiscent of those on Vessel. During an AMA on Reddit, Josh Dun explained how Ode to Sleep is “Just a bunch of ideas mashed into one song.” This is evident in this track as well as it features almost everything Twenty One Pilots is known for. The song starts with light singing, followed by a catchy chorus. The bridge features another change in Tyler’s voice as he shouts into the mic “Oh don’t you test me no, just because I play the piano!” The song then quickly switches back to a more cheerful tone once again.
Hometown is probably my other favorite song on the album. The song, brings back a feeling of nostalgia as Tyler sings “Where’ we’re from, there’s no sun, our hometown’s in the dark” The meaning behind this isn’t very clear as some interpret it as Tyler singing how his literal hometown, Columbus, Ohio, has been forgotten as the band has grown in popularity. Others say that the hometown Tyler is singing about is a metaphor for his mind, and that his fans are with him there, all in a hopeless situation. Regardless, the song perfectly blends drums, electronic beats, and soft singing to create an amazing piece of art.
Last but definitely not least, is Goner. Two years ago, the band released a two minute short song on their YouTube channel titled Goner. For this album the song was remade with a much longer length. Throughout the album the character Blurryface continuously pops up up as Tyler’s archenemy. Blurryface was what was bringing Tyler down, it represents everything he isn’t and is trying to destroy Tyler. The song, Goner, is the final result of Tyler’s battle against Blurryface. Starting off with nothing but a piano, Tyler sings “I’m a goner, somebody catch my breath.” Initially it seems as if Blurryface has won out in the end.This however, is not the case. About a minute in, drums slowly start up in the background as the beat begins to quicken. “Though I’m weak, and beaten down, I slip away, into this sound,” an indication of how Tyler has gone out of Blurryface’s reach by escaping into the music. This is also a metaphor for how Tyler uses music to escape the struggles he faces.
The part that gave me chills, however, is the second verse. “I’ve got two faces, Blurry’s the one I’m not.” Tyler then adds “I need your help to take him out.” This is without a doubt, Tyler describing his victory over Blurryface and how he needs his fans help to finish Blurryface off once and for all. The song then climaxes with Josh going all out on the drums. “Don’t let me be gone,” Tyler pleads, urging his fans to stand with him and help him fight Blurryface one last time. The song ends with Tyler telling his fans “I want to be known by you.”
In all the albums I’ve heard, Blurryface is one of the best. Every song represents years of hard work. Every line carries its own message. From the dark songs such as Fairly Local to upbeat songs such as Judge, Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun have truly created a masterpiece. Fans have waited for 2 years for the album and it is clear that the wait was worth it. The ending of the album could not have been made better. Words cannot describe the feeling of listening to Tyler sing about the ending of his fight against Blurryface as Josh pounds away on the drums. By setting new standards for their music once again, fans can only imagine the things to come in the future.