Twenty One Pilots
Vessel


3.5
great

Review

by Tyler J Magistrelli USER (18 Reviews)
January 8th, 2013 | 33 replies | 18,998 views


Release Date: 01/08/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A solid release, for a young group where solid is underachieving.

4 of 6 thought this review was well written

The change from releasing works independently to releasing works with major label support is a lot different for a group. More outside voices are heard, individuality from the group falls, and production is nice and crisp. With that we have Twenty One Pilots. A new group from the Columbus area featuring Tyler Joseph on vocals and piano, and Josh Dun on drums. These two have seamlessly combined indie electronic with raspy rapping and heavy bass. I've always been appealed by the cocktail of sounds that Twenty One Pilots brings. Tyler's signing voice is anything but original but there's something that's always charming about the empowerment and emotion in his raps he does in the duo's songs. Not only is it captivating, but it's original. After the group became a household name in the Ohio area major alternative label Fueled By Ramen signed the young group. The group only took about 1 year to compile their first record "Vessel." Which is in many ways the bands first chance to reach a wider audience. On this record the band attempts to expand the sound with more electronic use, and balladry. At times their true potential and talent really shines through. But sometimes you also see a drop in emotion that made them so charming.

The record opens up with a strength of a song aptly named "Ode To Sleep." The song combines three moods of a person on narcoleptic substances. The song opens with a feeling of anger. Tyler raps "I go up, up, up, up, up to the ceiling. Than I feel my soul starts leaving, like an old man's hair receding." You sense the anger in his tone. Than you hit the pre-chorus of the jam which is about hallucinating. "No I'm not scared of the morning, I don't hear those voices calling, I must've kicked them out. I swear I heard demons yelling, those crazy words they were standing." The song shifts into a style similar to that of Neon Trees with the third phase, and the chorus beginning. The song is a total masterpiece. Through and through. In many other ways "Holding On To You" is just as good. This song was actually remastered, and was featured on the groups last record Regional At Best. "Holding on to You" is about someone you just can't simply get out of your head. It's additionally one the more catchiest tracks and the track where you see emotion dripping out of the lyrics "It ain't the speakers that bump, It's our hearts that make the beat." Add on a riff from an classic song "lean with it rock with it, when we gonna stop with it?" and you have an early contender for indie song of the year with pure vocals, empowering lyrics, and epic sonic experience. Two tracks through you begin to see the potential that the band has, and how touching they can be.

With most label debuts, groups fall into the filler trap. This record is unfortunately no exception. "House Of Gold" is very cliche. It is is also pretty boring and really lacking the emotion from the first two tracks. "Screen" is probably the worst track on the album with an oddly placed children's chorus, that sounds nearly similar to Tyler's voice. I usually love a children's chorus but this was not the group that should be using one, unless Tyler hits puberty a second time. "Fake You Out" employs a recycled Super Nintendo-esque rhythm that is very annoying and very frequently used by other bands similar to theirs.

One thing that stays consistent throughout the album is the bands ability to surprise. "Car Radio" includes a lot of talking for the vocals other than singing. This is sometimes boring. However than you hit a masterful synthesizer line. It's an unusual fit but it makes the song an overall good listen. "Guns For Hands" is another remastered track from Regional At Best. It's a solid indie pop song, with a good message. But than the band has another surprise in store, the beat slows down and just takes you into a trance dance section. Which includes another strong rap. The song is an overall success and is very catchy. A piano ballad in "Truce" closes out the album. It's the shortest song on the album and is also a lot different than the other tracks on the release. Tyler's vocal delivery is his strongest of his career on this track though.

All in all this is a solid major label debut for the group. An album full of slick production. The band knows how to make songs musically astonishing, write some pretty deep lyrics, and provide with a very entertaining listen. However on this record we see a detraction of emotion that was oozing from their previous releases. Restore the emotion, and remove the filler and than the band has potential to be huge. Until then, we wonder what's going to happen next.



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user ratings (118)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Eko
January 8th 2013



2119 Comments


so some people I follow on twitter are hyping this but they've hyped some terrible stuff in the past, is this worth my time?

tmagistrelli
January 8th 2013



694 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I would. All the songs I listed are good.

porch
January 8th 2013



8390 Comments


googling 'pants for elderly men' and using the first stock photo that comes up as your album cover is always a good move

DarthMann
January 8th 2013



13467 Comments


http://cdn-www.cracked.com/articleimages/dan/old_people/pants3.jpg

porch
January 8th 2013



8390 Comments


http://moaropeth.tumblr.com/image/9843865405

DarthMann
January 8th 2013



13467 Comments


wilco have mastered that particular art

DarthMann
January 8th 2013



13467 Comments


http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m7gxd1GSBM1qd37u4o1_1280.png

Twelvetribes230
January 8th 2013



102 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

the rapping turns me off...otherwise it would be pretty good.

TheCosmonaut
January 9th 2013



4 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Guns for Hands isn't about "controlling arms use in the U.S.". The song's lyrics deal with human psychiatrics, it uses guns as a metaphor more than anything else. It also uses guns as a vessel (no pun intended) for suicide in the song. As demonstrated by the lyrics , "And you all have plans, To take it, don't take it." and "Interested in putting my fingers to my head".

The song is about resisting suicide and dark thoughts, sharing a similar theme with many of the songs on the album. But to each his own interpretation.

One thing I love about Twenty One Pilots is how they match dark and heavy lyrics with upbeat music. That contrast never ceases to fascinate me.

TheCosmonaut
January 9th 2013



4 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Oh, and if you're wondering what's with the 'pants for elderly men' album cover, it's a picture if the grandfathers of the band members.

tmagistrelli
January 9th 2013



694 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

my interpretation is a little different. "Cuz you all have guns, and you never put the safety on." means that our arms aren't controlled. Of course I will respectably change this if I can find one of the members actually means.

NationalRadio
January 9th 2013



341 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Dang. I was gonna write a review for this. Never mind. Haha

ShitsofRain
January 9th 2013



4724 Comments


i love that stuff.

Digging: Ground Zero - Revolutionary Pekinese Opera, Ver. 1.28

ProjectFreak
January 9th 2013



1160 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

listening to this now, the first two tracks are fantastic, as good as the best moments on the self-titled.

TrstN01
January 10th 2013



800 Comments


So I totally got tickets for their secret show tomorrow. Barely, but got them.

Johnnylow
January 13th 2013



1 Comments


This guy is completely wrong. Ill be going to see them live for the third time in February and they have the best live show I have seen. He was completely incorrect on the song meanings and you must really look at his lyrics in the whole album migraine a must listen. Peace out sputnik

tmagistrelli
January 13th 2013



694 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks Johnny. I took the lyrics for my own interpretation.

ddrfreak62
June 3rd 2013



106 Comments


pretty good album. Heard car radio on the album and was surprised to find the whole album to be pretty sweet

tmagistrelli
June 5th 2013



694 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Agreed buddy. I would check out their earlier work though.

Tulannical
June 13th 2013



2051 Comments


These guys put on a great show when I saw them a few weeks back



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