Twenty One Pilots: Scaled and Icy review – genre-hoppers find their happy place

(Fueled by Ramen)
The Ohio duo’s sixth album takes their usual mix of rock, rap and synth-pop but adds more upbeat lyrics

In 2019, Twenty One Pilots became the first act in US history to have every song on two separate albums certified gold, for 2013’s Vessel and 2015’s Blurryface. It’s an achievement suggestive of a groundbreaking cultural phenomenon, or at least a really great band. In reality, the Ohio duo specialise in an easily digestible but generally unremarkable slurry of rock, rap and synth-pop, their melodies appealing but hardly unforgettable. Aside from their voguish mix-and-match approach to genre, it is only their lyrics that offer any real clue to their huge popularity: the band’s frank dissection of mental-health struggles and emo-style vulnerability (“But now I’m insecure / And I care what people think,” goes their biggest hit, Stressed Out) is a mode that is both evergreen and all the rage.

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