Review Summary: Curiouser and curiouser, the Twenty One Pilots descend into the spiral in their first outing.
Twenty One Pilots took the world by storm in 2015. Since then, they’ve been a premiere act worldwide. From humble beginnings, the Pilots garnered a cult following with hits like ‘Car Radio’ showcasing their intrapersonal and nonchalant writing style. Of course, fame works both ways. For every well-written album there’s 10,000 more fans arguing with listeners on Twitter about how overly complex each song is and how everyone aside from them is too dumb to understand it. Fans like those above give Twenty One Pilots a shaky reputation, but before the days of ‘Heathens’ and ‘heavydirtysoul,’ there was Twenty One Pilots
Perhaps the most overlooked record in their discography, their debut record is among their best. Boasting 14 tracks at a little more than an hour, the self-titled album
is a barebones journey into the rawest representation of the act. The songs strip the band down to mere people examining their beliefs, motives, and mindset. Twenty One Pilots
shows listeners who they are as people, their flaws, and their sacrifices. The album isn’t trying to be pretentious or self-important, rather, it simply tells you exactly who the Twenty One Pilots are.
Arguably their darkest album, Twenty One Pilots
focuses on melodic atmospheres and hooks to juxtapose their contemplative lyrics. Ranging from religion to regret, Twenty One Pilots
takes its listeners on a downward spiral. ‘Implicit Demand for Proof’ kick starts the album with a melodic piano piece that pleads for God to reveal himself. The seemingly sweet atmosphere bounces around each key in a curious fashion as Joseph sings, “I mean no disrespect -- I am simply very perplexed by your ways. Why would you let us use your name?” The Pilots wandering mind paints a dark hallway with a candle to light your way. Each song is a door into the psyche of the group in different phases.
“Hello, we haven’t talked in quite some time. I know I haven’t been the best of sons,” is the broken prayer from ‘Addict with a Pen.’ Joseph is learning to pray again and acknowledges his indiscretions. He is in a spiritual desert yearning for water from God and humbly asks to be saved once more. ‘Addict…’ represents the raw emotion the album capsules. The repeated piano riff chips away at the soul and lets a battered Tyler Joseph cry to the Heavens as a little less than a man. Towards the end of the album, ‘Taxi Cab’ speeds into the equation. The jazzy piano and smooth drums ring in the background as Joseph cuts deep in one of the records lyrical masterpieces. “Then there were three men up front. All I saw were backs of heads; and then I asked, "Am I alive and well or am I dreaming dead?" And then one turned around to say, "We're driving toward the morning, son, where all your blood is washed away and all you did will be undone," drives the song home in one of the Pilot’s most intriguing tracks.
Twenty One Pilots
is a well-versed daytrip through the groups capabilities. Through an eroded lens, we examine the trials and failures of the members, their fears, and their dreams. We meet the group as people in an open letter to the audience. The Pilots are honest, feeble, and strong in their first outing. Each track is another piece to the puzzle into the endless puzzle of the Pilots mythos. Twenty One Pilots
is one of the most original modern records. The delivery is exceptional and the concept is unique. Deep and contemplative lyrics, nonlinear narratives, and inquisitive atmospheres dance around a wandering mind. Through 14 tracks and a hair over 63 minutes, we learn why God died, not to trust the pantaloons, and what it’s like driving in the back of a taxi cab. What more can you ask for?
A Car, a Torch, a Death
Addict with a Pen
Isle of Flightless Birds
Before You Start Your Day
[The entire album honestly]