Release Date: May 21, 2021
Record label: Atlantic
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Emo-Pop
Where previously the duo, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Tyler Joseph and drummer Josh Dun, relied on packing a punch with immersive worlds, cinematic soundscapes and rapid-fire vocals Scaled And Icy instead opts to blow the murky clouds away, exploring a TOP world unlike any other before. Being written, recorded and produced remotely, this facet makes itself abundantly clear. There's a disjoint to the album that does indeed feel more akin to a bedroom world, but this all lends itself to the subject matter dealing with the nefarious isolation and anxiety magnified by the world's current state.
It's always enjoyable to put the pieces into a puzzle that continues to grow and unfold. A great example of a project that inspires wild theorizing is twenty one pilots, the massively successful duo whose mishmash of pop, rock, hip-hop, and reggae is riddled with so much hidden lore that it makes even the most fervent fan theory of the cult 2000 film Donnie Darko seem tame by comparison. Now, you're free to get swept away by whatever message songwriter Tyler Joseph and drummer Josh Dun are trying to convey in their otherwise innocuous music.
On their sixth album, 'Scaled and Icy', Twenty One Pilots work through the anxiety, loneliness, boredom and doubt that made its home in hearts across the world during 2020, backdropped by a deceptively upbeat soundscape. Beginning with the feel-good stylings of opening track 'Good Day', the album moves quickly into a selection of catchy electro-tinged tracks such as 'Choker', its earworm melody offset by the dark humour of the accompanying music video placing Josh Dun and Tyler Joseph in a toy store filled with magical realism, which feels like an escapist ode to the isolation from which the album was produced. Following track 'The Outside', is an early highlight with its groovy synth-pop sonics -that previous track 'Shy Away', with its additional sprinkling of alt-rock establishes- moving seamlessly into the carefree mood built on newest single 'Saturday'.