Album Review: Scaled and Icy Brings Further Success to Twenty One Pilots



Twenty One Pilots’ Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun appear at the iHeartRadio 2021 Music Awards after being nominated for three different awards after the release of their album Scaled and Icy.

Roisin McCluskey, Staff Reporter

It has been about one year since the highly-anticipated release of Scaled and Icy by Twenty One Pilots. Released May 21, 2021, the musical duo had been hinting at the album since as early as the previous December.

Scaled and Icy was, and is still, considered controversial in the fanbase, differing from Twenty One Pilots’ previous albums with their upbeat tunes and cheery lyrics.

Some fans were unhappy with this sound, expecting the music to be less “pop” and more “alternative rock.” Other fans saw this as a way for lyricist and lead singer Tyler Joseph to expand on his musical style and experiment with new music, applauding him for the album.

The release of Scaled and Icy also welcomed new fans into the Skeleton Clique, the name given to the fanbase.

Out of the number of Google users that have participated in the voting to date, 94 percent of them liked the album.

The genres of the album can be described as indie, alternative and pop. In comparison, the group’s 2015 hit album, Blurryface, can be described as indie, punk, and alternative.

Eleven tracks long, Scaled and Icy may be shorter than previous albums, at under 38 minutes, but it still delivers a musical euphoria that hasn’t been discovered in the band’s past works. While it’s arguable that this style of music is different from music of such albums as Blurryface, it is still a remarkable musical masterpiece.

The excitement and brightness of the newer album was described as “glitz” by the music, film and gaming website NME: “Scaled and Icy is still emotionally raw.” There is truth in this statement, considering that the album does cover several dark topics, such as anxiety and depression.

Singer Tyler Joseph indirectly speaks on these topics in the last track, “Redecorate.” It features a more somber vibe than the other songs in the album, leaving the listener feeling less happy than when listening to the first track, “Good Day.”

Twenty One Pilots often leaves off with sadder songs to end their albums. This is true for Scaled and Icy, as well as all five of the earlier albums.

The same day as Scaled and Icy was released, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Twenty One Pilots hosted a one-hour-long livestream event, replacing a tour that was unable to occur due to the state of the pandemic at that time. The livestream was well received, featuring several Scaled and Icy songs and songs from other albums, including several mashups.

A separate album, Scaled and Icy (Livestream Version), was released Nov. 19 and consists of all songs from Scaled and Icy as well as all songs featured in the livestream. It is 21 tracks long.

On May 19, in celebration of one year since the release of Scaled and Icy, Twenty One Pilots scheduled a one-night-only movie event in movie theaters across the globe. The plan was for a movie experience of the livestream itself, as well as several behind-the-scenes looks from the livestream that had never been seen before.

Overall, Scaled and Icy is a musical masterpiece that will be celebrated for years to come, based on its daring musical experimentation.