SCALED AND ICY - TWENTY ONE PILOTS ALBUM REVIEW
Twenty One Pilots are back with their new album Scaled and Icy and it's safe to say their new sound is dividing opinions pretty significantly.
Scaled and Icy takes a journey away from Twenty One Pilot's typically dark rock-y sound, and heads in a more pop-influenced direction - much to the dismay of many fans.
The album is full of upbeat, sometimes almost electro-inspired pop songs, with lyrics that have a darker side to them than you may think on an initial listen. For example, take album opener Good Day, a song which has pure pop energy but is filled with lyrics like "I can feel my saturation leaving me slowly, Broke the news on Mom's vacation"
In some songs, this new bubblegum sound from Twenty One Pilots actually works really well, specifically where they actually fully commit to it. 'Saturday' is a great example of a pop song you might find playing on repeat on the radio this summer. Songs like this on the album show that the duo, specifically Tyler Joseph as the main writer and producer, know what they are doing when they're designing songs for a specific audience or purpose.
We do see the typical rap-rock from previous Twenty One Pilots releases like on album closers 'No Chances' and 'Redecorate', but it's few and far between and hidden in these new funkier bears. This might be for the best, as the songs in which they do mix their older and newer sounds are arguably the weakest on the project. 'Redecorate' probably acts as the best song on the album, and closes out Scaled and Icy really well as it slowly fades out.
Supposedly there's a significant story behind this album, as there is with many of the band's albums. This seems to be a line of defense that a lot of fans are taking for the sudden transition in genre from the duo, however, if you need years' worth of back lore for an album to be properly appreciated, then that probably isn't a good sign for the album. Scaled and Icy is not as bad as many have considered it is if you look at it just as a singular piece of work. If you look at it in the rest of Twenty One Pilots discography, it does fall a little short, but it's still a well-produced and well-written album.
Perhaps the background and storytelling are to distract a little bit from the fact that the duo wants to go in a happier, more mainstream direction, but maybe they're a little scared of reaction if they just...did that.
Overall, Scaled and Icy is perfectly fine. It's not good, it's not bad, it's just there. It's an album full of catchy songs that take Twenty One Pilots in a new direction. That being said, at times it feels a little...confused. Hopefully, the band can really hone in on the direction of their sound in any future releases.