Blurryface: A Track By Track Review

bf albumBlurryface is the newest of the Twenty One Pilots collection, which elicits heavy sounds and emotionally impressionable lyrics. Tyler Joseph, the lead singer and writer for the band Tweeted, “Another piece of my soul is now on the internet.” For those curious about the album title, Blurryface is a character that signifies inner pain, insecurity, doubt, and fear. He is everything that can make life difficult. Blurryface makes appearances often throughout the album.

This 14 track masterpiece is an experience from start to finish. Each track is strong enough to stand alone, but they each fit together in perfect harmony. Whether it’s the sounds or the lyrics, the album is likely to resonate with you deep to the core.

“Heavydirtysoul”- For all longtime TOP fans, I’m sure you noticed the majority of the lyrics come from “Street Poetry,” a short poem Tyler wrote a while back. He transformed that poem into a fast-paced rap-like verse, which led into a catchy and upbeat chorus. “Can you save my heavydirtysoul for me?” (Click HERE for “Street Poetry.”)

“Stressed Out”- An easy song to relate to, “Stressed Out” is about facing the stressors in today’s world that didn’t seem to appear in our younger years. The verses flow into each other in a singsongy manner, creating perfect melodies and beats. Blurryface makes an entrance towards the end of the track, reminding listeners that those insecurities are very much alive. “Stressed Out” doesn’t present the happiest ending, but it’s realistic and relatable. “We used to play pretend, give each other different names, we would build a rocket ship and then we’d fly it far away, used to dream of outer space, now they’re laughing at our face, saying ‘Wake up you need to make money.” (Bonus points for learning the handshake in the music video)

“Ride”- A happy, summertime beat with an optimistic view to a bad situation. This song defies all bad feeling with a “let’s make the best of it” approach. The chorus will undoubtably get stuck in your head and this is absolutely the windows down, hair flowing track of the album. “I’m falling, so I’m taking my time on my ride.”

“Fairly Local”- “Fairly Local” set the stage for the new album. With a new sound and style, this track announced that Blurryface would not be at all like Vessel. This song also first introduced a character with black hands and neck with devilish attributes. We later learned this character was called Blurryface, the reason behind the album title. The sounds are heavy and slow, which creates a strong impression for the first officially released track off the album. “I’m fairly local, I’ve been around. I’ve seen the streets you’re walking down.”  

“Tear In My Heart”- “Tear In My Heart” is the closest Tyler will probably ever come to a love ballad. He confesses his admiration for his wife Jenna with an almost electronic dance tune. It is by far the happiest track off the album, complete with piano, snaps, synth, and of course, adorable lyrics. “You fell asleep in my car, I drove the whole time, but that’s okay, I’ll just avoid the holes so you sleep fine.”

“Lane Boy”- Fairly unique to the album, “Lane Boy” travels down a conceptually different path. The track expresses the challenges the band faces with remaining true to the band’s values, but also by staying relevant to their fans. “Selling out” is not in the TOP dictionary, so “Lane Boy” confronts all accusations, challenges and fears. The track also offers impressive high-intensity drum solos throughout the piece. “Honest, there’s a few songs on this record that feel common, and I’m in constant confrontation with what I want and what is popping.” 

“The Judge”- The first track off the album that reintroduces Tyler’s beloved ukelele, “The Judge” is airy and feel-good. Though the track is slightly less powerful than others off this album, it still presents emotional and captivating concepts. “I don’t know if this song is a surrender or a revel. I don’t know if this song is about me or the devil.” 

“Doubt”- Completely raw and honest, this track admits Tyler’s faults and flaws within himself. Still, the song presents a catchy dance beat, giving listeners the urge to sway and move. “Doubt” is a bit of an anomaly: slow paced and dark, but catchy and dance worthy. “Scared I’ll die of uncertainty. Fear might be the death of me. Fear leads to anxiety. Don’t know what’s inside of me.” 

“Polarize”- In “Polarize,” an intense variety of sounds come together in a powerful mix that explodes during the chorus. This is absolutely a full-volume kind of track that still leaves you wanting more. Repetitious and relatable, I find Polarize to be one of the stronger tracks of the album. “Help me polarize. Help me down, those stairs is where I’ll be hiding all my problems.” 

“We Don’t Believe What’s On TV”- This ukelele indulgent track is full of gratitude and positive feeling. For good reason, “We Don’t Believe” never specifically states who the song is in reference to. This track is likely dedicated to all people who have stood by the band through good and bad. “I don’t care what’s in your hair, I just wanna know what’s on your mind. I used to say I wanna die before I’m old, but because of you I might think twice.” 

“Message Man”- Another powerful sounding track, “Message Man” pairs slow core-shaking bass with a flowy hook and chorus. The track also presents a strong poetic verse with perfect execution. “Please use discretion when you’re messin’ with the message man. These lyrics aren’t for everyone.” 

“Hometown”- A song you’d imagine hearing in Forever 21. (Twenty One Pilots in Forever 21, how appropriate.) “Hometown” offers choral sounding verses with traditional 80’s pop synth style. This is an airy, free flowing jam that brings you back in time. “Where we’re from, there’s no sun. Our hometown’s in the dark.” 

“Not Today”- A bit of a confessional, “Not Today” is quick and to the point. Background sound is fairly absent to keep from distraction as a good portion of the track is spoken word. Hooks and choruses get much more lively, but still stick to the overall style of the song. “You are out of my mind. You aren’t seeing my side. You waste all this time trying to get to me, but you are out of my mind.” 

“Goner”- Best for last with an incredible story, “Goner” was written in 2012, but left unfinished. The original track utilized an old accordion, which eerily resembled the sound of a swinging noose. Not surprisingly, this song was about suicidal ideation. It showed the darkest sides of Tyler’s soul. Fast-forwarding to now, “Goner” was revamped and completed into something much more beautiful. The track is full of pain and hurt, but displays a glimmer of light is at the end of the tunnel. Bringing the Blurryface character full-circle, Tyler confronts his insecurities by acknowledging the need to conquer his past and create a stronger future. “I’ve got to face this, Blurry’s the one I’m not. I need your help to take him out.” The song focuses purely on the lyrics, using only a piano and a slight drum beat. The build up is penetrable. Tyler releases all of his energy with one last jolting chorus of passion and pain. In fact, it filled my heart with so much emotion that it even left me in tears. This song is an experience and meant to be listened to with full attention. There is no better track to end an album with. “Goner” will be a tough one to beat. “Though I’m weak and beaten down, I’ll slip away into the sound. The ghost of you is close to me. I’m inside out, you’re underneath. Don’t let me be gone.” (Click HERE for the original, unfinished version.) 

I highly recommend purchasing the album and really delving into its contents. You won’t be disappointed.

9/10 

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