A combination of poignant lyrics, intricate yet catchy beats, and an overwhelmingly upbeat and excited vibe has brought the duo Twenty One Pilots to the forefront of the up-and-coming music scene. Their first full-length release, Vessel, on pop/rock label Fueled By Ramen, is a 12-song album that shows the vast skill-set and liberties that the pair took during the creative process; not to mention, it rocks.
Their sound is a melting pot of piano-synth-vocal magic, that is equal parts dance music, thoughtful inquisition, and real life relevance. With words like “Lean with it, rock with it / When we gonna stop with it? / Lyrics that mean nothing / We were gifted with thought” off of “Holding On To You” the duo is challenging the status quo of mainstream media.
Each track on Vessel develops the new ideas and experiences of band members Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun. From the opener “Ode To Sleep” which is a fast-paced rap track by front man Joseph, to the more lyrical “Trees” which combines a fast-tempo beat with dreamy vocals, each track delivers a different style.
The lyrics featured on Vessel afford listeners a glimpse into the introspective and somewhat twisted mind of an artist. Although almost all the songs on the album make you want to get up and dance while also pondering meaningful life questions, the highlight of the album is found in the lyrics of the group’s “Migraine” which includes the haunting introspection “Am I the only one I know / waging my wars behind my face and above my throat?”
The answer, I assume, is a not-so-simple ‘no’ as almost everyone has days where they are broody and unsure of themselves. But the guy’s lyrics and their not-so-simple questioning is the reason that Vessel is the perfect ‘soundtrack to your day’ type of album.
**A Version of this review was published by Naked Magazine in January 2013
** Image Courtesy of Twenty One Pilots’ Website at http://www.twentyonepilots.com/