“Trench” Album Review

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ANIKA AKKAPEDDI

After a year long hiatus, Twenty One Pilots has released their new album “Trench.” Prior to the album’s launch, the duo released four singles, three of which have their own music videos.

At first glance, “Trench is a diverse range of songs with strange lyrics. However, once you look below the surface, the album is so much more than that. Each song is part of a greater story. It is set in the fictional city of Dema, which represents anxiety and depression. The city is ruled by nine bishops, and their leader Nico. A group called the Banditos are rebelling against the bishops, so they can leave Dema once and for all.

The first song on the album, “Jumpsuit,” sets this story up quite nicely. The heavy base seemlessly leads into the next song “Levitate,” which has a callback to “Car Radio,” a song from their 3rd album “Vessel.” Josh Dun’s beats on the drums are fantastic and supports Tyler Joseph’s rapping.

Some songs on “Trench,” such as “Bandito,” “Nico and the Niners” and “Leave The City” are directly related to the story. However, many songs only reference the plot tin order to subtly develop the story.

The seventh song, “Neon Gravestones,” is the rawest song on the album, as it talks about how mental health and suicide are portrayed in the media. Joseph comments on the media romanticizing mental illness, while also acknowledging how far awareness has come in recent years. Mental health has been a running theme in each of Twenty One Pilots’ albums from the very beginning.

The songs “Smithereens” and “Legend” divert slightly from the central idea. “Smithereens” is about Joseph’s wife Jenna, as it expresses how he would do anything for her. “Legend” is a touching song dedicated to Joseph’s late grandfather, written before he passed. Unfortunately, he never got to hear it.

The album’s conclusion is “Leave The City.” It closes the story by alluding to Joseph and the rest of the Banditos’ escape from Dema. It starts off slow and builds up before bringing it back to a modest end.

Overall, “Trench is Twenty One Pilots’ most developed album lyrically and structurally. It combined what was great about all of the albums: the heartfelt stories of “Self-Titled,” the expansiveness of “Regional At Best,” the honesty of “Vessel,” and the catchiness of “Blurryface.” The album was definitely worth the wait.