Twenty One Pilots



by theNateman USER (14 Reviews)
September 25th, 2014 | 14 replies

Release Date: 2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Sometimes, quiet is violent.

"We all have our masks that we wear". It's interesting how accurate this quote is. We all have masks, different faces that we show in different company. We put on a happy face when we're with family, an optimistic one at work, a confident one in front of the people we want to impress, and a loving face when we're with people that we love. Some of these are honestly genuine, some are fake. Some are more transparent than others. But no matter where we are, the only time when all of our masks fall away, leaving us stripped and vulnerable is when we are alone. Whether it be in the bathroom as we stare at an unfamiliar reflection in the mirror, or as we fight our demons in the dark, all snuggled up in bed, we are exposed when there is no one around. That's when all of our masks are gone.

With the aforementioned quote, Twenty One Pilots front man Tyler Joseph summarizes the concept of the band's major label debut album. With that one line, he reminds us that we all have something to hide. This record shows Tyler lowering a different mask for each song, showcasing everything he hides on display. While this is not rare in alternative music, the way he goes about it is very unconventional. This boy raps, croons, screams, wails, and does just about every vocal acrobatic in the book. Not only does he do these things very well, he never becomes grating to the ear. Despite the fact that his croon is a tiny bit nasally (okay maybe a lot), Tyler stays on key the whole of the record's run time. His synthesizer and piano work is impressive as well. Being the lead instrument in the band's music, the piano is always interesting, never irritating or overpowering, with "Car Radio" being the highlight of the album. Tyler's lyrics, simply put, are spectacular. He waxes philosophical in "Car Radio" about being alone and over thinking things. In the song "Migraine", he alternately croons and raps about surviving with anxiety and depression. With "Guns for hands" Tyler tackles mass depression. He displays his faith with the yelps in "Holding on to You". I could go on about each and every one of the songs, as they are all created splendidly.

While it's obvious that Tyler is the heart and soul of the band, the backbone and iron heavy base is Tyler's best friend, percussionist Joshua Dun. Now this guy is easily one of the best young drummers out there. His beats are continuously creative, upbeat, and just as passionately played as Tyler's parts are. Just watch any music video of the band performing. These guys move more during their set than any other band I've seen. Dun is an absolute beast, slamming out incredible beats during "Guns for Hands", "Holding on to you", and the back half of "Trees". In the less technical songs like "Car Radio" and "House of Gold" Josh keeps his drumming steady and forever solid. He knows perfectly when he needs to bring the heat, and when to show restraint.

Each of these songs are expertly crafted by two individuals who, with every fibre of their beings, believe and love the things they do; and that is crafting music. These two men realize their potential to affect lives, so they have brilliantly sculpted a personal, revealing record. Tyler lets his masks fall, showing he's human. His message is to anyone listening, to anyone that's struggling. He's trying to say that its okay to be vulnerable, and that its going to be okay in the end. Life is tough, so we keep our masks on. This album helps us see past those masks. In a recent interview, Tyler said "I don't want to be listened to, I want to be heard". Let all your masks fall, and hear. Something important is being said.

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user ratings (185)
other reviews of this album
tmagistrelli (3.5)
A solid release, for a young group where solid is underachieving....

Comments:Add a Comment 
September 25th 2014


Album Rating: 4.0

Not too happy with how this one turned out, but i can't figure out what else i can do do make this better. any suggestions?

Digging: Brent Walsh - 7

September 26th 2014


Album Rating: 1.5

Nice review, but I can't stand this band. Didn't know of them until I was on a road trip and the driver kept playing this album in the car, but all my other friend and I could do is comment on how annoyingly bad it was, particularly the 'rapping'. To each their own but the overall rating being 3.8 is crazy to me.

Staff Reviewer
September 26th 2014


Love that opening paragraph. Got me hooked into the review immediately even though I initially had no interest in the album and was just surfing the site.

Digging: Father John Misty - I Love You, Honeybear

September 26th 2014


Album Rating: 4.0

I just got a compliment from Sowing. My life is complete.

September 26th 2014


Album Rating: 3.5

this is a nice review you have. the only problem is that it comes off slightly fan boyish at times. but you describe the tracks and the members well. if i didn't read the rating at the beginning though I wouldn't know what you rated it though based on reading.


September 27th 2014


Album Rating: 4.5

Nice review, great band.

Won't you have a pos?

November 1st 2014


Album Rating: 3.5

Just got this...finally after loving "Holding On To You" and "House Of Gold"...this is fantastic so far. Car Radio is epic...

November 5th 2014


Album Rating: 3.5

this is starting to get annoying. car radio and trees are the only songs with any legitimate staying power, band is getting way too big for it's own good.

November 5th 2014


Album Rating: 1.5

awful band

Digging: Robert Johnson - The Complete Recordings

December 1st 2014


Album Rating: 5.0

Ode to Sleep is hands down their greatest song

Digging: Walk the Moon - Talking is Hard

December 1st 2014


really sick of hearing about this group

Digging: The Menzingers - On the Impossible Past

February 23rd 2015


Album Rating: 3.5

that EDM/screaming breakdown at the end of Car Radio is great.

Im going to bump this review back to the front page just to spite Snake. Lol.

February 24th 2015


Album Rating: 4.0

Car radio is prolly the best track on here tbh.

February 24th 2015


Album Rating: 4.0

Car Radio is dope

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