Imagine all of your insecurities and fears manifested into an entity, one that will remain with you your entire life. You have no way to get rid of it or hide. This character is called Blurryface. Released in 2015, twenty one pilots’ album, Blurryface, opened up a new form of music. A mix of pop, rock, and rap, the lead singer, Tyler Joseph, does it all to portray Blurryface within him. Through his lyrics, you’ll also realize how relatable the situations are to your own personal life or even the life of someone you may know, separating it from the usual songs about teenage angst.
Twenty one pilots is a two man band formed by Tyler Joseph in Ohio. He is the lead vocalist and the only singer of the group. The other member is drummer, Josh Dun. Everything began in 2009 within a little town and since then, things have been getting better for the duo. They went from selling tickets in front of a Chick-fil-A at the mall, to having two nearly sold out shows at Madison Square Garden. Twenty one pilots even have two songs, “Ride” and “Stressed Out,” that made it to the Billboard. Blurryface also earned multiple awards such as the Billboard Music Award for Top Rock Album and the iHeartRadio Music Award for Alternative Rock, making it quite the accomplishment for Josh and Tyler.
This album is different from the previous one, Vessel, which had a cheerful tune. The constant use of piano chords swapped with ukulele strumming, and the soft, muffled synths are now replaced with a sharp, cold tone. Both changes can be heard through the songs “The Judge” and “Fairly Local” from Blurryface. “The Judge,” opens with a ukulele which plays through the rest of the song and “Fairly Local” starts with a beat that sounds like the buzzing within a light bulb and even includes a short section of low, grumbly vocals that belong to none other than Blurryface itself. Although the differences found in Blurryface are a huge comparison to Vessel, it is what makes Blurryface so unique in its musical style.
The significance of the lyrics found in Tyler’s songs also plays a role. If you pay close attention to the song “Goner,” you’ll realize that Tyler Joseph is referencing the feeling of being trapped between his two identities, Blurryface and himself. This relationship can also be compared with a teen’s fight for identity when deciding who they are in public or in private. “I’ve got two faces,” Tyler sings in defeat,” Blurry’s the one I’m not.” This tone really allows the listener to understand what he is going through in the song.
Blurryface spreads a powerful message through its heartfelt lyrics and, at the same time, has you jamming out to the music playing in the background. But in the end, the two sounds blended together will definitely have you feeling less “stressed out” than before.