By: Timothy Coffman, Columnist
Featured image courtesy of Variety
If you’ve been listening to any radio station over the past three years, you know who Twenty One Pilots is. Ever since the pop-rock-electronic duo’s mainstream breakthrough, “Blurryface,” TOP has been on the road with fellow pop-rock acts like Panic! at the Disco and Fall Out Boy. After a few months of laying low, the band has resurfaced with the much-anticipated, “Trench.” This album marks an aesthetic change for the band and one that can be dangerous if not executed correctly. So will this record be a bold new artistic direction or an excuse to latch onto modern trends?
Luckily, Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun have played to their strengths on this record with lead singles “Jumpsuit” and “Nico and the Niners.” These songs sound extraordinary in terms of building a mood and plotting the duo’s new direction. The album is a concept of sorts like “Blurryface,” focused on the life of a man named Clancy trying to escape this prison known as Dema. While I feel that the concept could have been executed a tad better, the music puts the listener in this prison environment perfectly. Each song feels slightly twisted like you have been transported to a post nuclear world on songs such as “Morph” and “Neon Gravestones.” There is a continuation of the story online if any TOP fan wants to explore further into the narrative behind the songs.
Besides the story, the lyrics cover intense messages concerning depression and suicide, while also staying true to its mythical world. While these messages are fantastic, the placement of them leaves little opening for interpretation on some songs. Despite this, the album is paced fantastically well and impeccably performed from the one-two punch of “Jumpsuit” and “Levitate,” all the way to “Leave the City.”
While this album is a change of pace, this is a successful transition into new musical territory for the duo. Many of these songs seem to take the heaviness that is heard on their hit single “Heathens” and turn it up to 10. For standard TOP fans, this album is a must-buy, and I would recommend those skeptical of the pop duo’s music to give this one a shot. This band has shown the world that they are growing as musicians and artists, all without losing their drive or integrity in the process. Twenty One Pilots is a band that is going to be around for a long time if they keeping making albums that are this consistently enjoyable.