Twenty One Pilots – Scaled & Icy

Of course I am biased.If you don’t know why I am biased, well that’s a story for another time. But step back on accusing bias to skew my rankings. The last TOP album didn’t make my top ten so I tend to be more objective than you might think I would be. And to be honest there might have been a time that a record like Scaled and Icy would not even have made my top ten. But, some bias does find its way into the list sometimes.

This album is pitch perfect pop music. It might be the most pop approach the band has ever taken and I am here for it. Although I am still not sold on a full performing band, the added musicians to this record take the band to places unfamiliar. And it works. 

I love these boys personally. Their roll out to every album should be studied. I think their marketing strategies should be written about in a book. 

They have full video of their journey when it was only prophecy that  it would matter to more than a select few. 

As much as I love them as a whole, I am not clever enough to be tied into the running themes or hidden secrets of all the albums. Scaled and Icy seems to stand on its own outside of any hidden themes. Although, I am probably wrong about that. 

This album got stuck on repeat during early summer (I still think every song should have been a summer anthem) and it would all soon be stuck in my head. “Good Day” is spiritually catchy.  “Choker” is an overlooked radio gem. “Shy Away” took over Billboard’s Alternative chart upon release. “Saturday” is as cheesy of a tune as you can imagine and it is still rock solid. “Never Take It” is my favorite track and is the ‘can we all get along’ song. That song also brought out the presence of new guitar players the most distinctly. 

This won’t make sense to anyone but me, but those guitars’ being a focus on “Never Take It”” reminded me of the guitars on Loverboy’s ‘Gang in the Streets”. Really, this makes no sense. But, it is what occurred to me as I wrote. In the Loverboy song they just weren’t the norm for the band and as a result came across harder than they were. Same with the end of the song guitar work of “Never Take It”. Let this be the only Twenty One Pilots review in the world with a Loverboy video.


Formidable feels like a George Harrison bop. Mulberry Street and Bounce Man are sugary pop songs that linger with you. That is the point of this record for me. Pop genius. It is hard to write a song that catches on, becomes a radio anthem, and everyone knows the words. This album is full of them. A TOP concert will prove this is the truth too. Scaled and Icy doesn’t feel invested as much in the overwhelming emotion of past gems like “Car Radio”, “Leave the City”, “Goner”, or “Ode to Sleep”. It is more reminiscent of what made Blurryface work. Catchy and memorable. I say that tongue in cheek for I find all of TOP to be catchy and memorable. 



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