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Album Review: “Trench” by 21 Pilots

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From 21 Pilots new album “Trench”, I was expecting the softer, grungier tone and sound of previous songs such as “Heathens” or “Stressed Out” from their last album “BlurryFace”. The opener, “Jumpsuit”, is one of my favorite tracks on the album. The subtlety of the song truly captures the unpredictability of the album. The build up at the end of song was one of the main hooks for me. I like the screaming, which Tyler Joseph executes perfectly. The second song, “My Blood”, hits me very hard. The music video tells a story of a boy dealing with the loss of his mother who has a friend to comfort him throughout his life until high school. Towards the end of the video, the viewer comes to learn that the boy’s friend was a figment of his imagination. I related to both the song and the video on an emotional level, as I have also dealt with being alone and not having friends. But I also liked how the song can be uplifting if you interpret it in a different way.    

The song was more emotional than any song that I have listened to in a long time, and that is what makes it stand out from the rest of the album. From the next song “Nico and The Niners”, I get a gangster vibe and I can tell there was some rap influence. This is a definite dance track and you could groove to it at a party. The song alone can hold its own, but I wouldn’t put it in my top five songs off the album.

The next track, “Levitate”, is a party song. It has a very pump-your-fist type of vibe when you listen to it. Similar to the previous track, this song has a very catchy beat and you could dance to it. I like this song, and I would put in my top five. The album itself is a combination of varying genres which keeps it unpredictable. You are always guessing what is coming next, which is exactly what an album should make you do. What I really enjoyed was that I could have different opinions and feelings on each song individually, rather than having a very basic album with a similar feeling throughout.

One of my only critiques of the album is the repetitiveness of the drum beats in each song. I understand that it is to keep the tempo, but it makes every track seem the same even with different lyrical content. I appreciate complex polyrhythms and a variety of rhythms in an album. This could easily be fixed by using a more diverse set of tempos instead of just one simple beat. One of my other problems with the album is the stagnant vocals. When I listened, I got a very whiny vibe because the notes were very high, and I sometimes couldn’t get the intended emotion as many of the tracks sounded the same vocally. The one exception to this is the opening track which varies greatly in vocal range. It surprised me on my first listen and showed that the album was going to be different from the rest of the band’s catalog. I enjoy this album even with its flaws, and I highly suggest you give it a listen and support the artist by buying it. Overall, I would give this album an eight out of ten.

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