Twenty One Pilots CLANCY: Album Review

Twenty One Pilots’ CLANCY: Album Review

Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun are back, Twenty One Pilots have returned with their 7th album, CLANCY. This project concludes their current multi-album narrative.

Twenty One Pilots (TØP) is not an easy duo to describe, They have ventured around different sounds, genres, and styles throughout the last decade and a half. They are mostly labeled as alternative rock, though having widespread elements of pop, hip-hop, and Indie. 

Tyler Joseph’s emotion filled vocals and unique flows and melodies, paired with Josh Dun’s fast paced, snappy drumming make an ethereal yet up-tempo sound, unlike anything else. All along telling a story though their sounds.

The Columbus-raised musicians have been turning heads for years now, even winning a Grammy for best pop duo/group performance in 2017 for their breakthrough song, “Stressed Out”.

“Stressed Out” was on the duo’s 3rd studio album Blurryface (2015), which followed their 2013 album Vessel, and before that was their self-titled album, Twenty One Pilots (2009).  If we want to get technical, there is another album, Regional At Best (2011) which isn’t released on streaming services. Due to Blurryface’s success, Joseph and Dun had fans pleading for new music from the dynamic duo. Next came Trench (2018) and Scaled and Icy (2021). Both receiving overall good feedback.

As previously mentioned, their albums from Blurryface to Clancy follow a complex, multi-narrative story that explores desires, battles with mental health, identity, and more. To put it briefly, Clancy (a placeholder for Tyler) is a fictional character working to escape the fictional city of Dema, which represents mental health struggles, that is just the main narrative for Clancy. All of the albums have their own stories which correlate to one another. 

Clancy holds 13 tracks, spanning 47 minutes, A very solid album length, with most of their projects being between 40-60 minutes. 

Clancy Album Cover

The first three tracks came out as singles before the album. The intro track, Overcompensate (released Feb. 29 2024) immediately recalls old melodies from past TØP eras, including hints of their 2018 song, Bandito. Track 2, Next Semester features high energy rock and roll percussion and bass as Tyler Josephs vocals even it out, as well as a calming ukulele outro. Next Semester also talks about one’s struggles at a young age to find their place and identity. This track has quickly become a fan favorite. And Backslide, released a day before the albums official release (May 24, 2024) dials it back and holds more emotion. This psychic track has a deeper meaning consisting of Tylers fear of falling back into old habits.

Moving on to the highlights of the album-released songs we kick it off with Midwest Indigo, this dynamic song has very prominent drums and melancholic vocals across the whole tracklength. As well as suggesting the feeling associated with the Midwest, specifically it’s dull scenery and harsh winters, as the duo both grew up in Columbus, Ohio.

Succeeding that, is an ethereal and natural song, Vignette. This harmonic and complex song does the duo much justice in terms of their production skill, Vignette elegantly talks about struggles with addiction, highlighted with the chorus, “No it’s not me it’s for a friend”

Track 7 is simply a love song. The Craving is a sweet, slower ukelele song where Tyler reflects on memories with his wife, Jenna and and sings a nice melody as he’s asking if he is providing her with enough love. Lavish, The 8th song features a very unique video where the duo use various backgrounds and storefronts to match their lyrics word by word. The album actually features music videos for every single song.

Remembering these songs contain lore, Navigating features fast paced percussion throughout the entire duration. The track is about Tyler navigating his own mind and follows the similar construct for the album’s theme, battle within the mind. The music video features Clancy finding Josh Dun and the Banditos to help lead him out of Dema. Fun fact, Tyler Joseph did not want to keep this song on the album, but Josh convinced him.

My personal favorite song is next, At the Risk of Feeling Dumb has a very deep meaning as Tyler Joseph desires for fans to always check in on your friends, no matter how dumb it feels or how much it might take time out of your day. Because feeling dumb is a million times better than losing a friend. This track also provides pure bliss and high-energy vocals.

Finally, CLANCY shifts its tempo for the outro track, Paladin Strait. The strait is a metaphor for escaping negative head space and depression, as Tyler is leaving Dema, and freeing himself from their torment. This 6 minute, slower, sentimental song can easily bring tears to listeners eyes, and perfectly wraps up this project with passion and warmth.

CLANCY couldn’t have closed out an amazing series of albums by a unique pair of musicians better. This album contradicts all disbelief that Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun can still bash their creative minds together, and create beautiful tunes for fans, and keep a deeper story behind the near decade of releases.

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