Review Summary: Lean with it, Rock with it
This is the twenty one pilots you all may know, love it or hate it. Sure, twenty one pilots
and Regional at Best
were quite amazing, underrated albums, but this is where they began to rack in the popularity. Singles “Car Radio” and “Holding On to You” grew in airplay, and soon enough, the clique itself grew. With an exponentially growing fan base and popularity, twenty one pilots began to gain momentum, and what an album to receive such acclaim! Finally finding their sound, twenty one pilots’ continue down the road of electronically driven songs, scattered with progressing bass lines, melodic vocals, flowing raps, and rhythmic drum beats. The established sound of the band.
, in many ways, shows a band of increased maturity, talent, and songwriting. With a clear improvement of production overall, each song sounds fluid and smooth when compared to their past releases. This enhancement allows the band to take hold of some techniques that provide a new, refreshing sound to the band, with clear cut melodies, unmuddied by grainy synths, as well as improved drumming, especially regarding the recording. twenty one pilots utilizes this to their advantage, creating songs which keep the listener captivated from beginning to end. From the opening moody atmosphere of “Ode to Sleep” to the final, ringing piano notes of the ballad “Truce,” Vessels
captures all of the emotion the band has to offer.
Although many songs found on Regional at Best
make an appearance here (more than half the record actually), it is almost like a resurrection of the songs, yet into a better version rather than deteriorated. With heightened production, the ever-changing synths of “Ode to Sleep” and “Car Radio” provide a much deeper, powerful performance, while the increasing talent of Josh Dun gifts us a tighter composition of grooves and flow in “Holding On to You” and “Guns for Hands”. Rather than feeling like a simple remaster, many of the tracks found here on sound like a rejuvenation of the band’s previously recorded, yielding an almost entirely different experience to what you may have already heard before.
As for the original tracks, twenty one pilots continues the trend of showing their immense creativity found at their disposal, conducting songs of sheer emotion and talent. “Screen” and “Truce” show a quote-unquote “slower” side of the band, the former mixing in the ukulele and piano talents of Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun’s talent of beating things with sticks, the latter granting a chill, piano ballad from Tyler. On the other hand, “Fake You Out” and “Migraine” express the previously showcased upbeat side of the band, with bouncing melodies, driving beats, and a concoction of vocals and rapping. When jumbled amidst the “OG” tracks from the prior release, Vessels
truly shows a good mix of new and old while maintaining a crisp tone.
Now of course, a twenty one pilots analyzation wouldn’t be complete without taking at least a notice towards Tyler Joseph’s provoking lyrics. Continuing the general themes of their debut and sophomore, he contemplates self-consciousness, suicide, and loneliness. More often than not, however, rather than just leaving it in a state of hopelessness, his lyrics tend to search for a reason, looking for help or a solution rather than leaving himself to bathe in his emotions and sulk. Underlying the surface meanings regarding human nature that results from depression, he regularly explores the spiritual side of things, almost calling out to a supreme being (God) as he tosses and turns throughout his journey of life. On occasion, Tyler’s lyrics chuck subtlety as he expresses heart-felt emotions through biblical resemblances as found in the second verse of “Ode to Sleep”. Whether rapping or singing, it seems that all of lyrics can be applicable in nearly any situation as they seem to morph around current situations.
Is this better than their debut? No. In fact, none of their albums have been able to touch that album yet. But what this album has here is personal connection and potential, and that’s what makes this album great. Coming with the newly polished sound is an easily received album that proves its credibility for fame on a continual listening basis. No, I’m not advocating for the annoying clique fans out there who claim they understand the music on a completely, might I add non-existent, basis, but rather, I’m justifying how this album brought twenty one pilots into the spotlight they are in today. By no means would I consider this one of the greatest albums “ever”, but for fans of alternative and pop, this is a must-listen. Heck, even those who enjoy deeper, not “quiet” lyrics, a read through of the words would be worth it. Better spin this one at least once, because sometimes, quiet is violent.