‘Scaled and Icy’ Album Review

An album released this year that I really enjoyed listening to was the “Scaled and Icy” album by the band Twenty One Pilots. Twenty One Pilots are an alternative/alternative rock/ectro-pop/rap rock duo from Ohio that came to surface in 2011 (after two of their bandmates decided to quit). Tyler Joseph is the lead vocalist of the group and Joshua Dun is the drummer. Since the departure of bandmates Nick Thomas and Chris Salih in 2011, Tyler and Josh have risen to fame quickly and have acquired a dedicated fanbase over the past decade. They have also received a Grammy, 3 nominations, 6 Billboard Awards, 3 MTV Music Awards, and 2 American Music Awards. All of Twenty One Pilots albums have been concept albums, telling a story. Their most recent album released in early 2021 is the first album without an extensive storyline. ’Scaled and Icy’ is a very emotional album, mainly due to the fact that a lot of the songs relate to the pandemic, feelings of being isolated away from the world, and trying to find your way during extreme chaos. In one of their most popular songs titled “Level of Concern”, Tyler sings, “I told you, my level of concern… but you walked by like you never heard. You could bring down my, level of concern, just need you to tell me we’re alright, tell me we’re okay” and he includes lyrics “be my little quarantine” to reflect the extensive amounts of time spent with loved ones locked up in our houses during the quarantine, but despite all of the negativity surrounding us in the world, to still try and make light of the situation and appreciate the quality time spent with family. Despite a very chaotic time, Twenty One Pilots tries to spread joy through this album, more than ever before. With songs like, “Good Day” and “Redecorate”, they try and remind fans that there is positivity to be found in each day, and that each day we are given the gift of life (symbolizing that there is so much death surrounding us due to the pandemic). In previous albums, Tyler and Josh have been criticized for their arguably depressive and somber tone, repeating to their audience about negativity in the world and often bringing up topics of suicide, depression, and over all battles with mental illness. One song on this new album titled ‘No Chances’ includes lyrics “we got people on the way, we want you home in one piece now, run away, run away, we get bodies everyday, we come for you… no chances” which talks about running away from your life and your daily routine, not falling into mainstream society and what the media is telling you. The duo have released four albums that all are inspired by rock, electronic and rap music. Tyler and Josh have cultivated their music to be their own style of genre and can credited in inspiring other similar sounding bands like AJR, and even Glass Animals have said in an interview that they were heavily inspired by Tyler Joseph’s masterfully created lyrics and the explosive  sounds Josh Dun creates from his drum set. Twenty One Pilots is an eclectic collection of sounds, tones, lyrics and moods that will leave the listener either feeling inspired to have a more positive outlook on their life, or the complete opposite; feelings of deep sadness and resentment. Whichever it is, Twenty One Pilots music offers an array of sounds to its listener, and whatever your mood is for the day, a Twenty One Pilots song can represent your feelings.

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