Album review: Twenty One Pilots release new album “Trench”after long hiatus

Cameron Shandrow, Staff Reporter

Twenty One Pilots blew up in May of 2015 with the release of their album “Blurryface”. The album became hugely successful and is the first album in history to become RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) certified. This means that every song on their album has gone at least gold, platinum, or in some cases multi platinum. No other full length album has earned this rating.

After a hugely successful album and a tour entitled “Emotional Roadshow” that lasted over a year, Twenty One Pilots started to promote their new album release in the summer of 2018.

The album entitled “Trench” came out on October 5th, 2018. “Trench” serves as a follow to “Blurryface” and is their first album released in three years.

“Trench” opens with a distorted bass driven rock style song entitled “Jumpsuit”. In their past albums Twenty One Pilots have relied heavily on synth and keyboards to drive their songs, in this track you start to hear them experiment and step out of their comfort zone. “Jumpsuit” then does a straight transition into a more straightforward style rap song entitled “Levitate”. The straightforwardness and simplicity of the beat under lead singer Tyler Joseph’s rapping creates a nice contrast of the song before it.

While “Trench” sounds like Twenty One Pilots, it’s more mature than their past albums. They move away from the full on ukulele tunes like “The Judge” and “We don’t Believe What’s on TV” and start to move towards more subtle uses of the ukulele in “Trench”. For example, track number eight entitled “The Hype” uses the ukulele as a nice filter over the song rather than the driving force of the song. On the bridge the ukulele is singled out and it creates a nice dynamic shift in the song. It allows you to hear all of the different layers and dimensions of the track.

In 2016, Twenty One Pilots toured with the band Mutemath. Mutemath is an alternative rock band with Electronica influences. Shortly after they toured together, Mutemath and Twenty One Pilots released an EP of Twenty One Pilots songs reimagined by Mutemath. Both bands collaborated and called the EP “TOPxMM”. Paul Meany, the lead singer of Mutemath helped produce and co-write on Twenty One Pilots album “Trench”. In the song “Morphe” the opening melody sounds like a song straight out of a Mutemath song.

Track number seven entitled “Neon Gravestones” is one of the most lyrically powerful and articulate. The track tackles the topic of suicide, but not in a way that most would think. Tyler Joseph talks about how suicide has become glorified. The “Neon Gravestones” are flashy and twist suicide to be a way to gain popularity and to get back at people by teaching them a lesson. He opens up the song to discuss different points of view regarding suicide. Joseph then ends the song by saying “Find your grandparents or someone of age/ pay some respect for the path that they paved/ to life they were dedicated/ now that should be celebrated.” Lyrically “Neon Gravestones” is the most powerful song on the new album.

Overall I would give this album a 5/5 stars. Twenty One Pilots does a great  job of creating something new while still sticking to their roots. Twenty One Pilots has developed and matured their music over the years and “Trench” is physical evidence of it.