Scaled And Icy

Twenty One Pilots

Fueled by Ramen, 2021

REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler


Taking a step back from the overwhelming, confusing, and sometimes uninteresting “story” of 2018’s Trench, the Pilots has returned with a stripped-down sound and one of the most exciting pop records of the year. The album’s first single “Shy Away” is one of the best songs of the year and gets better with repeated listens. It’s one of those songs that grabs you and keeps you interested.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The album kicks off with “Good Day,” which sounds like Hall & Oates mixed with some ‘70s Billy Joel. It’s not what you would be expecting from the Pilots, but it works so damn well. This is a true maturation in sound. The lo-fi New Wave of “Choker” really shows how far the band have come from the everything and the kitchen sink of “Car Radio.” The only time the album slips into subpar is with “The Outside” and “Saturday,” two songs that lean towards a dance sound that feels unbecoming for a band like this.

Other songs like “Never Take It” are the ways that alternative rock is heading towards, which is perfectly fine as long as it still sounds like there’s an edge behind it. In this case, the band still has just enough of an edge behind them to make it rise above the mediocrity that’s all over the genre from the likes of AJR and others.

The embrace of pop on this record really shows off the band’s strengths, both lyrically and musically. It doesn’t even feel as dark and foreboding as most songs on Trench, which is such a relief. “Bounce Man” and “No Chances” are two of the best tracks here and really seem to bring the band’s sound full circle.

All in all, what we have is a solidly great pop album that gives hope that real pop/rock can come back and that the Pilots can fully lead the charge.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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