twenty one pilots
For the follow-up to 2013’s Vessel, multi-directional pop princes twenty one pilots ramped up everything, from new influences to the number of producers (four) to the metric ton of uncertainties and fears multiplying in frontman/songwriter Tyler Joseph’s cranium. And it’s wonderful. Much of Blurryface is couched in reggae idioms (“Ride,” “Polarize,” “Message Man”) that work with Joseph’s hard staccato rapping style and drummer Josh Dun’s rhythmic dexterity. But that’s only part of the picture: “Tear In My Heart” is a Foldsian piano-pounder professing great love via splatter-film imagery (“She’s a carver/She’s a butcher with a smile”); the double-time ukulele rocker “We Don’t Believe What’s On T.V.” is where the personal meets the political and the cathartic “Goner” feels like Joseph is trapped on ocean rocks, awaiting the final crushing wave. “Don’t trust a perfect person and don’t trust a song that’s flawless,” he warns on the furious reggae/jungle/dubstep hybrid “Lane Boy.” And he’s absolutely right; great art is rarely made by normal people.
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