Vessel – Twenty One Pilots

Dana Hatch, Staff Writer

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Twenty One Pilots (stylized as TWENTY ØNE PILØTS and usually shortened as TØP), is an American musical duo originating from Columbus, Ohio. TØP consists of Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun. I am choosing to write my review on Twenty One Pilots’ album, Vessel.

Vessel is the third studio album by Twenty One Pilots, which was released on January 8th, 2013. Many reported to love this album, because at least every single song on this album talks about struggles, depression, and problems many face throughout their life. The album in the end, lets the listener know that you’re not alone. And that one small thing, can help a lot. Although Vessel is their first full-length release since the duo was signed in 2012, the boys have been creating and writing music originally in 2009. They’ve had three total albums so far. ‘Regional at Best’, Vessel, and their newest album, Blurryface. Coming from the greater Ohio area, Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun have created this mix of indie pop/indietronica/rap rock music, that goes back and forth between the genres. The songs they are most known for, are songs “Stressed Out” and “Ride”, which appear on their newest album, Blurryface. Not just one genre outweighs the other, and the songs contain a very full, balanced sound. Starting from releasing singles on their SoundCloud to being signed by Fueled by Ramen in just a few short years, Twenty One Pilots has proved themselves that they can actually make it, and they are gonna make a change in the world, with songs they put out there to people.

Not all of TØP’s music is depressing and will leave you sitting there upset and or overthinking. They have heartfelt, uplifting lyrics addressing the imperfections of humanity but always leaves the listener feeling positive and hopeful. For example, one of my favorite songs on the album, “Migraine” is about feeling depressed and alone, but pulling through and realizing that “life has a hopeful undertone.” Another one of my favorites, “Car Radio” is one of the most fascinating and deep-meaning tracks on the album, driven solely by lyrics as Tyler is talking over a softly muted piano and drums before the music expands to match the song’s story arc. The song is based on a true event that Tyler has experienced, and tells how his tragedy of a stolen car radio, which forces Tyler into a silent void where all his darkest thoughts surface without music as an escape. I believe every single song fits on this track, because they all tell a story and relate to one another. If anything, the songs they performed live, do not fit. They would’ve been better put on a separate album, with the rest of the live songs.

On their album, there are twelve songs, including four bonus tracks. Each one has a deep meaning to them, and are very relatable. Each of these songs all go to one another and tell a story in a way. Tyler and Josh realize their potential to affect lives, so they have brilliantly sculpted a personal, revealing record. One of my favorite quotes from the band, that evolves around this album is, “We all have masks that we wear.” It’s interesting how accurate this quote is. We all have masks, different faces that we show in different company. We put on a happy face when we’re with family, either at work or school, people we want to impress, and a loving face when we’re with people that we love. Some of these are honestly genuine, and some are even fake. But no matter where we are, the only time when all of our masks fall away, leaving us stripped and vulnerable is when we are alone. Whether it be in the bathroom as we stare at an unfamiliar reflection in the mirror, or as we fight our demons in the dark, in bed, we are exposed when there is no one around. That’s when all of our masks are gone. Tyler lets his masks fall, showing he’s human. His message is to anyone listening, to anyone that’s struggling. He’s trying to say that its okay to be vulnerable, and that its going to be okay in the end. Life is tough, so we keep our masks on. This album helps us see past those masks. In a recent interview, Tyler said “I don’t want to be listened to, I want to be heard.” Let all your masks fall, and hear. Something important is being said.

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Vessel – Twenty One Pilots