Scaled and Icy Review
By: Josiah Cook
Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun, also known as the band Twenty One Pilots, released an album in 2021 titled Scaled and Icy. It was refreshing to listen to the band experiment with their style even more since the Blurryface and Trench era, increasing their grooviness as well as releasing multiple positive and upbeat songs. I really appreciated this stylistic change because the self-deprecating and morose tunes on their previous albums tended to romanticize mental illness and anxiety. In this album, it is clear that the two have a more considerate worldview, aware of the effect that such lyrics could have on their fanbase, clearly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Good Day 4/10 Josh details in a satirical manner the bad things that have happened to him but he remains positive despite them, and it’s very silly because it’s obvious that he’s joking about having a good day. The music tries too hard to seem genuinely positive, which makes it seem like the background music of a cartoon where nothing ever goes wrong, which seems ridiculous.
The main chorus is very simplistic and doesn’t have that much going on in terms of background music. However, it is very bold and distinct from the other parts of the song, complete with numerous effects such as a cool echo and plenty of reverb. When listening to this song, even though there are instrumentals it feels like there is a full crowd in a concert but the music has stopped and the vocals stand out even more, very haunting and chill inducing.
Shy away 9/10
This rock-inspired track features powerful vocals that radiate so much emotion, and it is the perfect thing to scream at the top of your lungs in the car.
The Outside 6/10
This track has a catchy beat with technological-type elements and sound effects. It sounded manufactured to be as crisp and clear as possible, however not much else was noteworthy about this song
This is the most infectious of the upbeat songs, it’s very catchy and has irresistible instrumentals that could cause literally anyone to bop their heads to the rhythm. Other songs are better overall and I enjoy them.
Never Take It 4/10
The vocals are very aggressive, so they lose their quality and resemble the screamo tendencies of their albums. In this song however, the background music and vocals don’t blend together too well. Additionally, there’s an out of tune guitar solo that kind of ruins the moment, even though it’s for effect.
Mulberry Street 7/10
The cadence of the song seems like it’s trying to emulate footsteps and that makes it incredibly fun to listen to while moving, specifically on walks. It sounds a little bit more melancholy than Saturday but still has the positive energy that inherently reassures the listeners that everything will be okay.
The guitar riff at the beginning of this song is reminiscent of every coming of age movie ever made, and combined with the smooth vocals of Tyler Joseph, who clearly has talent in that area, it creates a dreamy ambiance that makes this song the perfect nostalgia inducer.
Bounce Man 10/10
This is hands down my favorite song on the entire album. It’s bittersweet but disguised as an incredibly cheerful tune that sweeps listeners off of their feet. It’s very fast paced and every lyric morphs together beautifully. This is one to be listened to over and over again. It’s very sentimental as Joseph recounts memories of a friend who is moving away. However, he does not romanticize his sadness but tries to embrace a positive attitude during the song. I have no negative feedback for this song; it’s a genuine gold mine for the band and one that I will always cherish.
No Chances 9/10
This song feels like it’s being sung by a thousand armed warriors preparing for battle against unknown forces. The most haunting song on the album, listeners will feel small compared to the ferocity of their voices. It is juxtaposed with an incredibly timid verse from Tyler Joseph, but nonetheeless it has gorgeous vocals that reflect the fear and terror of loss.
This song has ominous and foreboding vibes similar to most of the songs on their last album, Trench. It has incredible imagery, depicting the loneliness and isolation of people who may or may not be struggling with departing from the life they knew. There is a deep distorted autotuned voice that is incorporated into this song, as there had been on their previous album, and it is a creepy and thought provoking track that will definitely resonate with listeners.