There was so much anticipation! After the monumental success of their 2018 album ‘Trench’, the sky was the limit for Twenty One Pilots. But, they barely lifted off, instead nose-diving with their latest album, ‘Scaled and Icy’. As a fan, I have to be honest, this album was immensely disappointing.
Now, I must start by stating that this isn’t the blog’s music writer, Alex Driscoll, writing this article. This is the blog creator Simeon, so please excuse my lack of extensive musical knowledge.
I spent many years listening inconsistently to a range of different music, but could never answer the question of ‘who is your favourite artist?’. I had no clue. That was until 2015 when I heard a song called ‘stressed out’ on the radio by this band called Twenty One Pilots. I immediately fell in love with the song and the album ‘blurryface’ which followed. I had found my favourite artists, and I had found my favourite genre of music.
I spent the next few years binging Blurryface and delving into the band’s previous songs and albums which I also enjoyed thoroughly. But then came their 2018 album ‘Trench’. The first single off the album ‘Jumpsuit’ received mixed responses initially, but I loved it. And I loved the rest of the album. With each teaser track, I became more excited about what the album would entail, and I, alongside the rest of the musical world, wasn’t disappointed. Trench was a brilliant album throughout without a single dud.
After the highs of Trench and multiple years of listening to the album, I was waiting eagerly for the announcement of new music from the duo. In April, my prayer’s were answered as they released the first track from their new album, ‘Shy Away’. The song had mixed reviews, and it took me some time to get into it, but overall it’s a great song. Upbeat, catchy and a flashback to the roots of the group. But, it felt like there was more to come. It was a good start, and it seemed things could only get better.
Unfortunately, this wasn’t to be. The next single, ‘choker’, has moments of quality, especially at the start of the song. But as the song continues, it fails to sustain that quality. The ending leaves a lot to be desired, and it’s not a song I’m eager to listen to over and over again.
Then, just before the album was released, the song ‘Saturday’ came out. I’ll be honest and say that I hate this song. It does nothing for me, it feels cheap, and it’s just a worse version of choker, which is a worse version of shy away.
The only thing that could save me now was some hidden gems within the rest of the album. I only found one. The opener ‘good day’ is a great song, very uplifting and delves into some interesting subject material. But, the rest of the album is incredibly unforgettable. I listened to songs such as The Outside, Never Take it and Mulberry Street on repeat for weeks trying to force myself to love them, but it didn’t happen, and I don’t have any intention to listen to them again.
Coming from an album that I listened to for 2 years straight to an album I could barely listen to for 2 months, Twenty One Pilot’s ‘Scaled and Icy’ is an immense disappointment. If you enjoyed the album, I’m very happy for you; unfortunately, it just didn’t suit me.
Still, I think it’s important to note the value of acknowledging when an album isn’t great. I’ve seen many Twenty One Pilots fans try desperately to find excuses and ways to enjoy this album, but the reality is that many fans feel let down by what could’ve been.
With the current trend, it will be 3 years until the next album. I really hope Twenty One Pilots has one more album in them that can once again be a soundtrack on repeat.