Review: twenty one pilots – Level of Concern

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'Level of Concern' is entirely generic and ultimately dull to listen to.

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twenty one pilots are well-known for their hit single ‘Stressed Out’, which climbed the UK Charts soon after its release. However, any fan of theirs will tell you the real talents lie in their first album Vessel, which is criminally underrated.

This lockdown period seems to have inspired the band, with Tyler Joseph tweeting that they are “always writing, but this one feels like it should just come out now”. Giving only a three day warning for its release, fans across the world had high hopes for what the band would produce.

However, its release was extremely disappointing. Opening with a generic synth keyboard sound, the song sounds quite literally like any pop song written this year. It lacks their unique, individual sound which is so prominent in older songs like ‘Lane Boy’ and ‘Holding On To You’, and this continues throughout the single. Tyler’s vocals lack emotion, and have a similar generically dreary tone to those which can be found in any popular song nowadays.

The lyrics are relevant, and therefore make this single somewhat bearable. Claiming that there’s “panic on the brain”, I’m sure many listeners can relate. The pre-chorus is where this song also fails, however. Gone are the days of poetic and inspiring lyrics, as Tyler sings “Would you be my little quarantine”…what does this even mean?

Despite these faults, I must admit the chorus is quite catchy, and it is possible to overlook the emotionless vocals, generic synth sounds and lack of individuality if you need a simple, catchy tune for a sunny day. There’s no doubt that this song will be successful in the charts across the world, especially given that the band are very well-known now. But, it’s just not them.  Bands change, and consequently so does their music, but it seems that everything that twenty one pilots produced over the years has seemingly disappeared, as they have now sold-out to radio stations and their ultimate fame.

‘Level of Concern’ is available now via Fueled By Ramen. 

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Live Editor 2019/20 & second year English student. Can usually be found procrastinating my degree at a gig, or trying (and failing) to complete my Goodreads challenge

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