Blurryface is the fourth album from the duo following their previous Vessel. Twenty Øne Pilot’s, also known as TØP consists of lead singer and cheeky drummer Tyler Joseph and *John Travolta voice* wickedly-talented Josh Dun.
WHAT IS BLURRYFACE?
Many fans, including me have tried to make sense of the title ‘Blurryface‘, but from what we could collect from Tyler himself is that it “represents all the things that I as an individual, but also everyone around, is insecure about.“. It is a character created by the band. The embodiment of Blurryface is exemplified by Tyler on stage with the charcoal covering of his neck and hands. Joseph goes on to explain that it is an embodiment of the “feeling of suffocation and then also the things that I create with my hands“. Hence, suffocation equates to the black paint over his neck and the paint for his hands has to do with what he produces.
WHAT BLURRYFACE MEANS TO ME …& U
From all the Reddit threads, Tumblr, Twitter, and Instagram fan accounts I have been through us fans have a collective thought. Blurryface is a character that not only Tyler relates to, but the fans do. Blurryface is the demonic or less harshly termed, dark-side of a person’s psyche. It’s the stress, the anxiety, the depression, and all of the emotional distress a person go through whether daily, weekly, or sporadically. The depth of the name “Blurryface” allows me and other fans to connect and appreciate the tracks of the album and the band as a whole, even more.
MY FIRST ENCOUNTER WITH THE “SCHIZOPHRENIC SOUND”
I have this vivid memory of seeing/hearing “Holding Onto You” on one of MTV’s morning music marathons. Woke up for school, saw the ridiculous video, and three-quarters through they hit me with the off track “Lean With It Rock With It” inspired portion of the song. It amazing me. I didn’t think too much of the band then, and I just got the song. I was surprised I could enjoy something so drum and guitar heavy with some dude screaming into the mic. Fast forward to 2015 and I AM OBSESSED. Every day I learn more and more about Tyler and Josh, I learn more about the fan base on multiple social medias, and most importantly I learn so much more about their music. I for one can definitely identify with many shades of Blurryface.
As of right now I am saving up like thereisatommorow to see these guys live in October. Crossing my fingers that I can look back at this post and smile because I actually did it, and my mom let me go lol.
WHAT IS IN ‘BLURRYFACE‘
Fun Fact: All songs were written by the amazing lyricist that he is, Tyler Joseph
- “Heavydirtysoul” – 3:54
- “Stressed Out” – 3:22
- “Ride” – 3:34
- “Fairly Local” – 3:27
- “Tear in My Heart” – 3:08
- “Lane Boy” – 4:13
- “The Judge” – 4:57
- “Doubt” – 3:11
- “Polarize” – 3:46
- “We Don’t Believe What’s on TV” – 2:57
- “Message Man” – 4:00
- “Hometown” – 3:54
- “Not Today” – 3:58
- “Goner” – 3:56
Heads Up: Every. Single. Track. is freaking amazing. You know how in an album there’s usually 1 to 3 ok to bad songs, yeah, no. On here, every track just supports the other. If you pay close attention to “Heavydirtysoul” and “Goner”, including their positions on the chart you can see that they are corresponding to each other. Giving you the illusion that the album is on a loop.
My thoughts on the song, the best place to listen to it, and the best lyrics
No mumbo jumbo, no formal talk, I am just going to type how I feel about the tracks and hopefully you relate
Track #1 “Heavydirtysoul”
What it means to me: as the first installment of Blurryface the masterpiece it definitely fits in the right spot. The combination of vibration and Josh’s drumming fading in allows the listener enough time to start tapping their feet then Tyler just hits you with his rap. From CliffordTume‘s calculations, it was a sweet 76 words in a matter of 15 seconds, yeah, I know. Like most of their tunes, you naively walk into a certain beat. The beat maintains its roll for about 23 seconds before Tyler come sin with some sick verses that make you contemplate EVERYTHING, then he’s followed by the elevation of Josh’s drumming, thus taking you to an isolated chorus over much quieter instrumentals, then cue the tambourine. YES, the tambourine, he had to do it at least once. It’s the closest thing to a roller coaster, its madness, but it’s ..calculated madness. In the song, I feel it as a cry for help. He repeats “can you save my heavydirtysoul from meeee“. He wants to be saved from himself, it most vividly tells me that his soul is weighing him down and it isn’t as pure as he would want it to be, or as society would. His soul is weighing him down, keeping him from being free and he wants to salvage his soul, so he’s asking for help to “see” his heavydirtysoul. It is dark. It’s the thought and the combination of stress and anxiety that weighs him down and it’s all collecting in his soul. Deep stuff.
Gangsters don’t cry,
Therefore, therefore I’m,
Mr. Misty-eyed, therefore I’m.
Tyler tries to be tough, but he’s feeling a little misty, but he’s a gangster so he’s Mr.Misty Eye’d. I really just love the fact that he said the word gangster in the song and then ties it with “Mr.Misty Eyed”.
Best time to listen to it: Dancing in the kitchen, heating up some good ole Cheesecake Factory leftovers.
Track #2 “Stressed Øut”
What it means to me: If we are going to keep it real (as we always do) Stressed Out hits wayyy too close to home. I’m sure not for just me but for most of the world’s population over the age of like 5 years old. But specifically in this TOP track, I perceive it as one of the most blatant displays of Blurryface’s attributes. As I said before, Blurryface is a character withholding the emotional distress that one holds. Stress is a large part of that character. The song speaks of wanting to go back to the old days of adolescence when you didn’t “care what you think” when your mom would sing you lullabies to sleep, and stress was nonexistent. But in reality, those “dreams of outer space” are far from reach and your sole purpose is to make money. Yeah, life’s funny like that. I definitely sympathize, which is sad because I am only 16 and the daunting stresses of college to death is hitting me. But you know, you gotta push through and do what you love simultaneously so this blog as an outlet to type thousands of words on what I love is part of that. Plus reading The Flash comics, always bring a smile to me face :).
Out of student loans and treehouse homes we all would take the latter
The reason I pretty much live for this line is the beautiful word play. Although it isn’t confirmed Joseph intended to make this majestic word play on how “latter” could easily be switched out with “ladder” and seam beautifully. My ultimate life goal is to meet TØP and just ask him if he knew the damage he has done on the rap game
Best time to listen to it: Honestly anytime. Anytime of any day. However, more specifically, in your car driving home from school during finals week. Fitting.
Track #3 “Ride”
What it means to me: Ride parallels with Heavydirtysoul in the way that Joseph’s writing has cries for help within them, “Help me”. Ride is blanketed with a gnarly reggae sound of steel drum city, with dark personal lyrics woven within. The first encounter with the sound you hear the reggae instrumentals taking you back to Marley days , but by the time the second verse comes around your opinion changes. You begin to pay more attention to lyrics soon enough , realizing the depth and diminishes of the words he’s giving out.
A bullet for them, a bullet for you
A bullet for everybody in this room
But I don’t seem to see many bullets coming through
See many bullets coming through
Metaphorically, I’m the man
In these lines Tyler is saying how people can be pretty much all talk and abuse sayings aka “i’d take a bullet for you”. Tyler expresses that people are pretty much flying out these sayings more often than the bullets were flying. So essentially through the words you spout you are the metaphorical man.
Best time to listen to it: On a sunset bike ride , just saying to the chorus.
Track #4 “Fairly LØcal”
What it means to me: Fairly Local is one of the more rock-centric tracks on the album. Straight out the gate he opens up with “I’M FAIRLY LOCAL”. This song isn’t masked with a reggae pop uptempo beat. It’s gritty in the more relatable sense, the hard beats and chanting lyrics reel you in to just headbanging, yielding towards Fall Out Boy. It’s definitely a headbanger and if you’re listening to the album in a sequence you can tell that this song is different in the way that the verses and bridges are chanted. Making it the illusion that there aren’t really versus, but that the song has 3 chorus’ (excluding the oh,oh,oh,oh,oh’s). the bridge is pretty much held within the voice deforming three-quarters in. It’s cool, because by the time you have borderline whiplash you already know the songs. This song in all angles is an all out head banger.
I’m evil to the core
What I shouldn’t do I will
I’m not evil to the core
What I shouldn’t do I will fight
The first pair of lines in the first verse while the second pair in the second. I LOVE how Tyler changes the mood of the in the matter of adding one word and changing another. As the song goes one the lyrics portray him as getting to be a better person, granting him hesitation and making him a better person to the core.
Best time to listen to it: Folding laundry…just ’cause.
Track #5 “Tear In My Heart”
What it means to me: Isolated lyrics bring us in with “Ahn nyang ha se yo” which is Korean for “thank you” in English to my best knowledge from Google (but i’ll ask Reddit l8er). The music video is set in a Korean town, consisting of a lot of wide screen still zoom in shots of random people and Tyler jumping around on pianos as usually and Josh hitting the drums. Tear in My Heart, in my opinion, stands to be one of the most radio wave friendly track on the record behind Ride.. So if you were to introduce someone to TOP, this would mos likely be in the top 6 songs to “get them started”. Even though this song is AMAZING, the lyrics are AMAZING and the vocals are AMAZING, it still stands to be on the bottom of the golden totem pole that is Blurryface. It could be because it is a love centered song and those aren’t my favorite, and TOP has been able to give me amazing songs that aren’t romance heavy. I also am not a big fan of instrumental drowning the vocals, and TIMH stray from that, but it comes close. Still a really great song though, it’s like Fairly local eating acai bowls or something.
Sometimes you’ve got to bleed to know,
That you’re alive and have a soul
I’m driving here I sit, cursing my government,
For not using my taxes to fill holes with more cement.
The songs on the radio are ok,
But my taste in music is your face
Even though TIMH isn’t in my top 5 of Blurryface the showmanship of lyrical geniuses definitely tops the charts. With the first verse of “Sometimes you’ve got to bleed to know, That you’re alive and have a soul” It tells me that me that sometimes you have to feel pain to know who you are, to know what you have, and to know your alive. It makes sound a bit masochist-y but it makes a great point.”I’m driving here I sit, cursing my government,
For not using my taxes to fill holes with more cement” this is the most amusing lyric in all of Blurryface, maybe TOP discography. He beautifully wrote two lines on how he’s mad at the government for not using his taxes to fix potholes. In the middle of this romance yearning song he literally talks about potholes – iconic. “The songs on the radio are ok,
But my taste in music is your face” this definitely is a runner-up to the ‘potholes’ verse. These two lines are so random, “my taste in music is your face” Ok Ty Ty, ok…
Best time to listen to it: Scrolling through your crush’s/ex’s Instagram & Twitter (bc who uses Facebook?) .
Track #6 “Lane BØy”
What it means to me: I see Lane Boy as an anthem. It is Tyler’s anthem basically saying he’s going to do whatever the hell he wants, he’s going to make the music he wants to make. Despite his immense self-awareness that may hinder him, he will do what he wants in the end. Lane Boy has this super quick tempo that definitely calls for side to side head swaying. tyler showcases his amazing rap ability by spitting lines borderline Eminem speed. Even though the line go by fast and, if you read the lyrics and slow down the track every single verse has immense meaning and translation. I can definitely see it’s placement in the album. It isn’t a filler song, but it is more of an intermission song. It’s perfect for a marathon of Blurryface, it’s placement in the middle is just right.
Who would you live and die for on that list
But I know a thing or two about pain and darkness
If it wasn’t for this music, I don’t know how I would’ve fought this
Okay so in the first line, you can see Tyler alluding to ‘Ride’ just within Blurryface. He’s known by the fans for alluding and referencing to his other songs. By either reiterating lines or just referencing them. It’s amazing, as if all of his music is one giant web or even brothers and sisters. His music is an extension of him, as most art should. I see the connections in his music as a sign that him as a person who still struggles with the same daemons. That Blurryface hasn’t left him over all of these years, and that Blurryface has shaped in different shapes and forms, and Tyler has found different ways to try control his inner daemon. His mental struggles haven’t left him, and that’s why it is still relevant in his music. This relates to my second favorite set of lyrics. “But I know a thing or two about pain and darkness
If it wasn’t for this music, I don’t know how I would’ve fought this”. I am sure many of us can relate to the “pain and darkness” we have to deal with on a daily. Whether you are struggling with depression or anxiety and everything in between, music can serve as a beautiful labyrinth from those struggles for the duration. Personally it has gotten me through some really really tough times, but also elevates the good time. Music is my labyrinth.
TL;DR – Tyler has inner daemons, i have inner daemons, we have inner daemons its a common denominator and music helps us through it.
Best time to listen to it: At the peak of your teen angst aka after fighting w/ your mom or telling anybody off in the sliest way possible.
Track #7 “The Judge”
What it means to me: My favorite part of The Judge stands to be the chorus. There’s no possible way that i can get through the song without belting “You’re the JUDGE oh nooo set me freeeeee”. I really really love this track, it eases the listeners back to the pop focused beats. These pop focused beats are excellent at masking the depth of the lyrics. That is most rap songs these days, the lyrics are trash and make no sense but DAT BEAT DOE. I’ve been waiting for a really nice isolated portion of Tyler just ripping it on the ukulele (as one does). He totally kills it with this one. Just like most of TØP’s tracks its on a steady constant path then the bridge comes and the tempos change with the keyboard introduction and so does the feel of the lyrics. All in a good way.
I’m a pro at imperfections and I’m best friends with my doubt,
I’m thinking, “Wow, I probably shoulda stayed inside my house.”
In one of the Exclusive Clips on TOP’s YouTube channel(searching for that clip as o now) Tyler is interviewed and at one point he goes into saying why Blurryface exist and why his lyrics are the way they are. He describes himself as a incredibly “self aware” person . The anxiety of his music and the pressure dawns on him to not disappoint his fans, family, and band mate but mos importantly himself. I can totally relate with wanted to do right by those around you. The second choice of lyrics speaks to my overly self conscious and paranoid side. The anxiety that rises up in me when i step outside my house is a daunting one and I am CONSTANTLY telling myself “Wow,I should’ve stayed inside”. It’s part of Blurryface.
Best time to listen: brushing your pearly whites with Colgate :)))
Track #8 “Doubt”
What it means to me: My favorite part about ‘Doubt is the beat drop for the chorus. By now we all know Tyler’s vocal skills so the auto tune during chorus is no bother. ‘Doubt’ definitely has its own genre as a tune. The 80’s-esque keyboard play in the background is awesome too, just adds spice to the track. Solid song. (realizes this is a 300 word blog post so far and tries to keep it in a bun).
Fear might be the death of me, fear leads to anxiety
It is incredibly easy for us to hinder ourselves from experiencing what we should. The fear of what if leads to the anxiety of ‘what if you have to one day’. Totally feel him on this.
Best time to listen to it: when you’re feeling unsure about yourself. When you don’t want to be forgotten.
Track #9 “Polarize”
What it means to me: Polarize basically means restricting the vibrations, so I am guessing Tyler is feeling shaking or he’s spasming out and he wants help to subdue that. I think this song is a tackle on his religious loyalty. A Him and Josh are Christians raised in Christian homes. When he says “Domingo en Fuego” (Sunday on Fire), stating that he’s lost his halo. He is pretty much saying he’s lost his security in the faith and he’s admitting him and his friends have problems and they need help being subdued from spacing out of Christianity. Living in a pretty secular world I am sure many religiously raised people can relate.
Domingo en fuego, I think I lost my halo,
I don’t know where you are,
You’ll have to come and find me, find me.
Basically, an expressing of struggle with religious faithfulness and I can sympathize. He’s not giving up on his faith, but instead he is admitting his struggle and saying that God will have to reach out to him for Tyler to find his security once again.
Best time to listen to it: If you questioning your Sundays and need to hear someone else who you can relate to.
Track #10 “We Don’t Believe Whats On TV”
What it means to me: This is THE ONE. Behind Stressed Out, WDBWOT is definitely high on the totem pole of Blurryface. I CANNOT resist doing a Lil Miranda Sings twerking action on the intro beat of the song “Yeah Yeah Yeah!”. I don’t even know what to say, I am pretty sure every time it plays I am on the brink of tears. It’s crazy, I know. This song is my happy-go-lucky. It’s the drums, the ukulele action and the eccentricity of the chorus. EVERYTHING, it’s just the perfect song for me.
And we’ll make money selling your hair.
I am positive it’s a love song to Josh, because well looking at em. They could definitely sell his locks at the end of TOP (hopefully there is no end and they will live to be immortal…just a thought…just a thought.)
Best time to listen to it: Writing a blog post on TØP. (mettaaaa)
Track #8 “Message Man”
What it means to me: S’more keyboard antics, I like I like. In this song, Tyler basically says that people only know him at face value. We know his face and his lyrics, but we don’t know the origin or the true reasoning for a lot of the things he does. Going to be honest I don’t know the reference to the “Message Man” but I can only infer that it is him. He’s saying tread lightly when critiquing him as an artist and a writer because you don’t really understand the content like he does. In it’s purest sense.
These lyrics aren’t for everyone, only few understand.
Exactly what it says, it just isn’t for everyone, only those who feel something through the tunes of TOP understand the context. Only those who have encountered and battle with Blurryface.
Best time to listen to it: making smoothies
Track #8 “Hometown”
What it means to me: Hometown isn’t in the top 5 of my favorite on Blurryface because to me it seems like a filler song. Although all of Tyler’s writings stand strong to have depth and the instrumentals are always fantastic. I think the issue is that the bar is so high for me, that Hometown falls short on TOP standards but flies high compared to everyone else.
put away all the gods your father served
I love this because a YouTube comment I saw under the video for the audio of the track.
Tyler doesn’t just sprinkle his spiritual insights and Biblical relations in his music, he weaves it in. Don’t let the red hair and hardcore drum solos fool you, although TOP aren’t a “Christian band” they are kids that are in a band and just so happen to be Christian. I like it a lot because it feeds my alternative/pop/indie/rock/rap/hip-hop and everything between cravings while also making me feel good because my favorite band shares he same view in the secular world we live in. He isn’t trying to convert anyone, he is just sharing himself in his music, being authentic as all artists should be.
Best time to listen to it: playing Street-fighter on Google Chrome
Track #8 “Not Today”
What it means to me: From the comment son the YouTube video there are two theories to the song. That firstly, the song is about depression and how someone may attempt to bring you out of depression by saying “shake it off” or whatever empty aid people usually say to the mentally ill. They are “Out of their mind”. He’s so deep in that the only person who can bring him out of it is, him. The other theory is that it’s a song to God. God has told Tyler to go out make music, and share The Word through his music. Thus him living as a Christlike example int he process. So opening the “curtains”‘ and ‘windows” is him stepping out into the world and sharing this music to spread the Gospel. It could be both. Who knows, like he said in ‘Message Man” only a few understand.
Listen, I know this one’s a contradiction because of how happy it sounds,
But the lyrics are so down,
It’s ok though, because it represents, wait better yet, it is,
Who I feel I am right now,
This is a reoccurring theme in Blurryface with songs like ‘Ride’ and ‘We Don’t Believe What’s On TV’ and “Tear In My Heart’, masking deep and somber lyrics with a happy-go-lucky tune. Masking the reality of the music, from those who don’t really listen to it. The music doesn’t just represent who he is at the time, but who he is. So he is a sad person wearing a happy-go-lucky mask.
Best time to listen to it: If you are feeling down. If you feel the depression is eclipsing what you want to be, what you want to do. When you have to tell your Blurryface Not Today.
Track #8 “Goner”
What it means to me: Goner is possibly the perfect way to end the album. We have gone through rock inspired tracks and pop centered ones, even reggae inspired tracks. But Goner is the only “ballad-esque” song n the entire album. It shows Tyler’s vulnerability to a T. He completely just gives a blatant prayer to God for help overcoming Blurryface. As the song progresses the tempo picks up through the chorus and Tyler really expresses himself. I don’t think he’s truly channeling his inner fight until he hits the screamo side of Ty. “DONT LET ME BE GONE”. Saying he’s a goner, like he is destined to die at his own demise, but he wants God to “catch his breath” – save him, so that he can be known. Goner most definitely grants me “Kitchen Sink” vibes. So raw and emotional. Great way to conclude such a beautiful and personal album.
“Though I’m weak And broken down I’ll slip away Into the sound”
Despite knowing that he is weak against Blurryface, he knows his labyrinth. Which is music. It’s the escape from his dark thoughts and the timely escape from his struggles, music keeps him sane to a certain extent.
Best time to listen to: If you are feeling broken. Like you can’t over come your mental disorder, you can’t overcome the stress, you cant overcome your insecurities, you cant overcome you. You have to know you can and the journey through “Goner” just proves that finding your labyrinth is the key to defeating Blurryface and keeping your sanity.
Final Thoughts on Blurryface
I have been writing this blog post for over 36 hours (not straight) but pretty close. I know I herd Blurryface when it came out in May and I instantly loved it because of the catchy chorus’ and the beats. But ding this post allowed me to sit down and listen to the album, analyze the album, closer. Reading the lyrics was possibly the most important part. A lot of songs on the radio have that beat that masks over the arbitrary lyrics or the incredibly deep and thoughtful one’s. But Blurryface holds the ability to conquer the instrumentals along with the lyrical sensibility and skill. Experiencing Blurryface for this post really really opened my eyes and mind. Every single song I could relate to and enjoy. It stripped away the reality of the battles i have been fighting. It made me realize that Blurryface has been a part of me for a very long time and I have been struggling to overcome it. Blurryface in my world is like your’re own personal Satan. You hear people say “you’re own personal hell” , but Blurryface stands to be a Satan on your shoulder. Blurryface the album absolutely tackles it. Hearing Tyler’s struggles and wins through this MASTERPIECE is definitely an honor. The combination of mental struggles and spiritual notions hits really close to home. Blurryface is now my favorite album of all time. This i an album I will cherish for life. Twenty One Pilots are a band that I will follow till their departure. But lets keep our fingers crossed for that “immortality” thing. 10/10 would recommend this album whole heartedley.