Some people love them; some people hate them, but Twenty One Pilots is one of the most well known bands of today. Their alternative music is fresh and inventive, and their lyrics speak poetry about the struggles the singer and songwriter of the band, Tyler Joseph, faces. This includes speaking about his struggles with depression, his love life and staying true to himself.
Their fifth album, titled “Trench,” released Oct. 5, over three years since their last album, “Blurryface.” Before Oct. 5, four songs, “Jumpsuit,” “Nico and the Niners,” “Levitate” and “My Blood” were released as a preview to the album.
Their last album, “Blurryface,” was more of a pop album than the unique alternative vibe previous albums like “Vessel,” “Twenty One Pilots” and “Regional At Best” had. Although “Blurryface” wasn’t necessarily a disappointment, it was definitely different from their other music. Many fans complained that it felt like the band was selling out. “Trench” fits somewhere between “Vessel” and “Blurryface” in regards to genre while Twenty One Pilots continues the themes from “Blurryface” in their newest albums.
The “Vessel” album ended up being well-received because of the composition of the album. Although each song was completely different in style and lyrics, they somehow all tied together well in the album. “Blurryface,” on the other hand, was bland. The songs weren’t as unique, and they didn’t fit well with each other. “Trench” goes back to the originality and strong musical prowess of “Vessel.” Each song is completely unique, but they also all fit together well. The only exceptions being songs “The Legend” and “Jumpsuit,” the two weak links of the album. Both songs fit the same uninspired formula of “Blurryface” that fans didn’t like.
Most songs on the “Trench” album are impactful because the are structured like their own mini album. Instead of sticking to one particular style or idea for a song, they combine many different ones. Often times, these songs completely change in the second half to a seemingly completely different song. This makes each song more impactful to the listener.
One of the standout songs on the album is “Chlorine,” which has an electro pop style that’s easy to vibe with. The strong piano bass line keeps the pop style of the song grounded and gives it a darker sound. “Chlorine” is about Joseph’s experience with songwriting and his relationship to music. For a song written about writing songs, it surprisingly isn’t too self-referential.
Another interesting song on the album is “Nico and the Niners.” Although many people heard the song before the album’s release, it hasn’t gone old and tired yet. The chorus is unbelievably catchy and people can’t help singing along once they hear it. It’s clear that Joseph was inspired by reggae music with the slow, syncopated beats of “Nico and the Niners.” Through the use of metaphor, Joseph sings about the demons he’s fighting against. He references ideas he came up with in “Blurryface” to connect the two albums.
Overall, the album was a staple for any alternative music fan. Twenty One Pilots has had a rollercoaster ride of a music career, but “Trench” is a must-listen. It’s a refreshing take on writing music that takes inspiration from multiple music genres and doesn’t feel tied to genre or songwriting norms.