Sound — 7
If you are looking for a band that mixes genres into a true melting pot of music, your search has ended. Seemingly coming out of nowhere, Twenty One Pilots have begun their path to fame with their first album released on a label, "Vessel." Consisting of 12 tracks, this album reels you in with an attractive electronic sound that leads you to great vocals by Tyler Joseph and simple yet connective drum beats by Josh Dun. For each section of this review, I will go through all 12 songs and explain my thoughts and feelings. 01. "Ode to Sleep" Starting off with an eerie pad sound, "Ode to Sleep" quickly shows you what Joseph and Dun are made of. Theyve come to open your mind with their well constructed rhythms and musical lures. This song acts as a blueprint and sets the stage for the rest of the album by switching between rap and indie rock, something that by the end of the album you will remember them for. Favorite Part: 0:39-0:51. 02. "Holding on to You" A sweet song that coincides with the end of "Ode To Sleep," this song fills you with excitement from the very first measure because you know what's coming your way. The melody of this song is most likely the reason why this song was picked as their first single. "Holding on to You" was the very first song I heard by Twenty One Pilots. I was on the way home and this incredible new sound came on the radio and all I can say is I was instantly hooked. Favorite Part: 2:08-3:12. 03. "Migraine" A vocoder version of the chorus starts this fantastic song off. When the drums kick in, you just can't help but nod your head to the beat. A melody plays in the background throughout the verses then comes forth. An aspect of Twenty One Pilots you will learn on this song as well as others is that they like to change things up. Keeping things the least repetitive they can be, each verse differs from the others with breaks in music and lyrics to create a hooking pause. Favorite Part: 1:45-1:56. 04. "House of Gold" A lovely song entranced by a great melody and a beautiful ukulele chord progression. The longer you listen to the song the better it gets with its constant climatic values. Each phrase compliments the previous and accents the next. The chorus, in my opinion, is the best chord progression on the entire album. F-A7-Dm-Bbm. How could you not sing something amazing to those chords in that order? Favorite Part: 1:50-2:08. 05. "Car Radio" A simple piano progression with percussion background sets the tone for this highlight of the album. The idea behind this song is once you have the silence to think, great things can come from it. The story is Tyler was in college when someone broke into his car and stole his car radio. With the silence lingering, he couldn't help but think and be trapped within his own mind. Great experiences came out of it including this fantastic song. Favorite Part: 3:28-3:42. 06. "Semi-Automatic" "Semi-Automatic" has one of the highest energy genre switches on this album. The song starts off with an electric lead with a simple drum pattern entering the vocals. My favorite point of the song is at 0:51, where the music seems to pick up and become more intense. Every time I hear this part I have to get into it. Another thing to add is if you enjoy MGMT's music, you will most likely love this song. The electronics remind me of Kids by them and the vocals resemble MGMT in a manner. Favorite Part: 0:51-1:01. 07. "Screen" A lovable piano melody makes this song what it is. Combined with the background ukulele and electronic bass, the piano becomes that much more unique. This meaning of this song is to be yourself around the ones you love and they will show you the love back you are looking for, but most people build up a screen of what they would like to be instead of what they truly are. Favorite Part: 1:22-1:47. 08. "The Run and Go" This composition shows off Tyler Joseph's creativity and vocal range, not to mention his catchy whistling. Beautiful harmonies in the verses, an addictive melody, an intriguing bridge, and everything Twenty One Pilots is showcased in this song. Favorite Part: 2:15-2:51. 09. "Fake You Out" With an intro similar to that of "Semi-Automatic," this song has my personal favorite rap section on this album. Starting at 2:13, this section is very intense with the dropouts, as referenced in the review of "Migraine." Favorite Part: 2:13-2:47 10. "Guns for Hands" This song is probably their most popular one besides "Holding on to You." It embodies the Twenty One Pilots sound with the switch between a pop rock sound to an electronic rap genre. Favorite Part: 2:51-3:35. 11. "Trees" A great vocal performance by Tyler Joseph, "Trees" follows the same basic progression of chords throughout the song but has an empowering and inspirational tone beginning to end. The song starts out slow and builds up to a poppy phrase near the end. Favorite Part: 3:40-4:07. 12. "Truce" There couldn't be a better way to end this album than with "Truce." You can feel the closure being represented in the atmosphere of the music. The beautiful piano playing accompanied with Tyler's soft voice leaves you with a warm feeling by the end of this song. Favorite Part: 0:40-1:01.
Lyrics — 8
01. "Ode to Sleep" Showing the true Twenty One Pilot spirit, this song switches between two lyrical styles a couple of times. The beginning is a rap with great flow and unique rhythms. It then transitions to a powerful chorus. Favorite Lyric: "On the eve of a day that is bigger than us, But we open our eyes 'cause we're told that we must, And the trees wave their arms and the clouds try to plead, Desperately yelling there's something we need." 02. "Holding on to You" This song blasts the ideas of Joseph and Dun throughout the entire song. Aggressively artistic verses with a soft melody and great chorus. Favorite Lyric: "This ain't a noose, this is a leash, And I have news for you, you must obey me." 03. "Migraine" If you're into Twenty One Pilots mainly for their rap portions, this will probably be one of your favorite songs on the album. There are tons of clever and creative metaphors and ideas throughout the verses of this song. Favorite Lyric: "Let it be said what the headache represents, It's me defending in suspense, It's me suspended in a defenseless test." 04. "House of Gold" A song dedicated to his mom, "House of Gold" talks about wanting to be there and take care of his mother because of his unconditional love for her. He wants to make her proud and with this piece of art, I'm sure he did. Favorite Lyric: "And since we know that dreams are dead, And life turns plans up on their head, I will plan to be a bum, So I just might become someone." 05. "Car Radio" Possibly the best lyrics on the album come from "Car Radio." They teach a great lesson and really make you think. This misconception with rap today is that every single rap artist flaunts about the same things; Money, Fame, and Girls. Twenty One Pilots brings real thinking to the table with complex lyrical rhythms and great ideas. Favorite Lyric: "Oh my, Too deep, Please stop thinking, I like it better when my car had sound." 06. "Semi-Automatic" Pulsing electronics and blasting drums back up this song's vocals. Favorite Lyric: "When the sun is climbing window sills, And the silver lining rides the hills, I will be saved for one whole day, Until the sun makes the hills it's grave." 07. "Screen" The rap portion of this song is very interesting. It consists of two vocal tracks; one being a normal track by Joseph and the other a lowered pitch version accenting lyrics. At first it is a little off-putting, but the more you hear and the more you listen; the more you fall in love with it. Favorite Lyric: "While you're doing fine, there's some people and I, Who have really tough time getting through this life so excuse us while we sing to the sky." 08. "The Run and Go" Catchy whistling with great lyrics is the best way to sum up "The Run and Go." The bridge lyrics, as seen below in the "Favorite Lyric" portion of this song's review, will send shivers up your spine and leads back into the main melody with intrigue and a hint of suspense. Favorite Lyric: "Cold nights under siege from accusations, Cerebral thunder in one-way conversations." 09. "Fake You Out" The rap phrase of this song is my absolute favorite. The beat drops are absolutely incredible. It will reel you in each time and explode like a firework each time. If you're anything like me, you will definitely listen to this more than one time after your first hearing. Favorite Lyric: "What kids are doing are killing themselves, They feel they have no control of their prisoner's cell, And if you're one of them then you're one of me, And you would do almost anything just to feel free." 10. "Guns for Hands" Once again, this song's rapping bridge will have you back for more. A couple of cleverly written verses and choruses will lead you up to this bridge. You will definitely want to cross it a couple times. Favorite Lyric: "We've turned our hands to guns, trade in our thumbs for ammunition, I must forewarn you, of my disorder, or my condition, 'Cause when the sun sets, it upsets what's left of my invested interest, Interested in putting my fingers to my head." 11. "Trees" This song is not vastly lyrical, with only two phrases used throughout the song it is a little repetitive but still gets the job done. The backing music aspect melds the song together. Favorite Lyric: "Silent in the trees, Standing cowardly." 12. "Truce" Short and sweet, this song says everything while not saying much at all. The vocals fit together perfectly with the basic piano playing and it forms a great sound and a great way to end the album. Favorite Lyric: "Stay alive, stay alive for me, You will die, but now your life is free, Take pride in what is sure to die."
Overall Impression — 7
Twenty One Pilots. Twenty One Pilots. Twenty. One. Pilots. I absolutely love this duo out of Columbus, Ohio. They are yet to hit their big break but are well on their way. After hearing one single on the radio, I needed to get home and check out what else they had to offer. I was not let down with what I discovered. It is very easy for this entire album to be stuck in your head. With my musical taste ranging from Frank Ocean Suicide Silence, I find a lot of artists I really love. It's not about picking a single genre and refusing everything else. It's about finding what you love in music and then going out and discovering more. I hope to see great success for this band in the future.