Vessel by Twenty One Pilots

8 August 2019

Twenty One Pilots has been gaining fame rapidly since the release of their latest album Blurryface. However, their popularity originally began to rise after the track “Car Radio” was launched from their third album Vessel. Lead singer Tyler Joseph takes you on an expedition through his unbalanced mind. Whilst on this journey, you’ll find that you may be able to relate to the metaphorical lyrics presented to you. Vessel gives the listener something a bit different, and cannot simply be categorized into one genre. Every song will have your brain scrambling, trying to find the deep meaning put into the beautifully strung together lyrics.
Vessel opens up with an electropop track titled “Ode To Sleep,” one of my personal favorites. Tyler Joseph sings about his inability to calm himself mentally, and the “demons” that he suffers from. One of my favorite parts in this song is when Tyler sings “Take this weapon forged in darkness/Some see a pen, I see a harpoon.” This refers to him seeing his writing utensil as not a pen, but a weapon to overcome what he fears. The opening to the song has strong electronic influences, with a drum kit played by the band’s percussionist (Joshua Dun) and raw synth, thus creating a heavy environment. Overall, this track is a riveting way to open up the album, both lyrically and instrumentally.
As we move further into Twenty One Pilots’ third album, we reach a track lacking in content as well as the band’s usual musical ability. The song “Trees” is a rather slow song, contrasting from the usual upbeat rhythm. It consists of very few lyrics, and is Vessel’s most definite low point. However, the remaining tracks on the album make up for it. Songs like “Car Radio,” and “Semi-Automatic” bring the album to a higher position. The two of these songs have an electronic sound that sounds spectacular when paired with Tyler Joseph’s rapping. Along with this, they also include lyrics that reach out to the listener and flow with the overall theme of Twenty One Pilots’ work.
“We all have our masks that we wear.” is a quote Tyler Joseph presents us with when asked to sum up the concept of the album. With this line, he reminds his listeners that everyone has something to hide. Throughout Vessel, after every line sung or rapped, Tyler lowers a different mask, revealing the things that he hides. This is common in song writing, however Tyler goes about it a little differently. He does just about every acrobatic vocal possible, including rapping, screaming, and wailing. Although that may sound a bit unappealing to some, it is never overused. It simply gives the album a stronger sense of Tyler’s emotions.
Tyler Joseph obviously brings his passionate feelings to the album, however percussionist Joshua Dun is the backbone, exhibiting creative beats that work smoothly together with Tyler’s singing as well as his rapping. Dun gives us a solid rhythm in “Guns for Hands” and “Holding Onto You,” tying everything together perfectly. Even in slower, less techno tracks such as “House of Gold,” you can hear Joshua’s steady beat behind the sound of Tyler’s ukulele. The use of the ukulele on the album is selective, and can be heard in “Screen” as well as the aforementioned “House Of Gold.”
Vessel gives you a chance to see what’s under Tyler Joseph’s mask, and what Twenty One Pilots, as a whole, has stored away in their minds. Their mix of indie pop, alternative hip hop and electro pop creates their own genre, and never fails to leave listeners with an incredible outcome. Who knows, you may find something special underneath the mask that covers the broken minds of Twenty One Pilots.


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