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The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

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The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

Twenty One Pilots “Clancy” review

“Clancy” dropped on May 20, after already releasing four singles off of the album. It was a 13-song album with various new and old sounds brought together by Twenty One Pilots as they continued their journey back to Trench.
Rhea Noumair

“Next Semester”
The second song off of Twenty One Pilots “Clancy” dropped on March 27. “Next Semester” expanded on the Alt Rock sound teased in “Overcompensate,” starting off heavy on the drums and electric guitar before softening for a pre-chorus. It’s argued that “Next Semester” follows mental health with Tyler Joseph singing “I remember, I remember certain things. What I was wearing, the yellow dashes in the street. I prayed those lights would take me home. Then I heard, ‘Hey, kid, get out of the road!’” during the pre-chorus. No matter the song and no matter the album, Twenty One Pilots have always made it their mission to let their fans know that they aren’t alone in their struggles. They address depression directly rather than tip-toe around it which is important for those struggling. In “Next Semester,” they emphasize the importance of starting fresh, as the title suggests. The message of hope and “just hang in there” is clear and something that should always be emphasized. In a musical aspect, “Next Semester” was heavy on the drums and electric guitar, bringing back sounds from “Heavydirtysoul.” Another similarity between the two songs is the inclusion of a car in the music video. “Heavydirtysoul” is notorious for Joseph being in the backseat of a car without a driver while Josh Dun plays the drums in the middle of the street. In “Next Semester,” Joseph is the one in the street as the car inches forward. And last but not least, if everything mentioned above wasn’t to fans’ liking, the ukulele brought it home. This was a great second song to the album.

Twenty One Pilots released “Backslide” on April 26 and was the third single to drop before the album was released. This was also where the synthesizers also came in, producing sounds straight from “Regional at Best.” The layered vocals during the chorus really brought the whole song together and honestly, the whole album as well. They made the chorus sound more desperate as Joseph sang “Reach my hand above the tide, I’ll take anything you have if you could throw me a line, I should’ve loved you better. Do you think that now’s the time, you should let go?” In a song about regret, “Backslide” still made listeners know they aren’t alone in the struggle.

“Midwest Indigo”
“Midwest Indigo” was a bop from the jump. Opening with synthesizers and layered vocals, and an immediate jump into the drums when the verse began, it solidified itself as a fun song. In typical Twenty One Pilots fashion, the upbeat melody masks the lyrics addressing not-so-fun but real topics such as depression.

“Routines in the Night”
Similar to “Stressed Out” or “Lane Boy,” Joseph really reached into his rap bag for this song. The word play in the verses changed up the vibe from the previous tracks, yet still kept in theme. “Clancy” serves as a return to Trench as Joseph’s character, Clancy, starts a rebellion against Dema. “Routines in the Night” was a rebellion track.

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“Vignette” also combines Joseph’s rap with what the fans like to call “Ukelele Screamo.” This song is one of the most accurate descriptions of Alternative Rock, with their ability to involve synthasizers and rock drum beats with rap fading into full blown singing.

“The Craving (Jenna’s Version)”
“The Craving (Jenna’s Version),” was the final single to drop before the album release. Since “Blurryface” in 2015, every album since has included a sing for Joseph’s wife, Jenna. “Clancy” was no exception. It was a sweet song, carried by Joseph’s vocals and ukelele, without any accompanying drums.

“Clancy” had great music videos, however, the best and most fun was “Lavish.” It served as a sequel to “Stressed Out” where Joseph and Dun rode down the street on big wheels, sipping on their Capri-Suns. In “Lavish,” Joseph and Dun are cruising down Colombus streets in a limo, “Sip a Capri-Sun like it’s Dom Pérignon,” truly living the “Lavish” life.

Opening with a bass riff and jumping right into the synths and drums, “Navigating” brought back vibes straight from the “Regional at Best” album as well as the new dystopian sound heard througout the new album. The chorus catches the attention of those listening with strong instrumentals backing it up.

“Snap Back”
Mental health is a strong theme in all Twenty One Pilots songs, “Snap Back” is no different. It is a clamer and slower song than that from the rest of “Clancy” with a message about dealing with reccuring mental illnesses. Lyrics like “Got a bad feeling that I’m about to break, been a good streak but the pressure’s overweight,” help the fan base and listeners know they aren’t alone in these struggles.

“Oldies Station”
“Oldies Station” brings back the ukelele Twenty One Pilots are known for mixed with Joseph’s layered vocals that are predominant in this album. It’s a song literally telling listeners that “When darkness rolls on you, push on through.” “Oldies Station” is almost a 180 from “Snap Back,” the previous track. These two tracks tell listeners that they aren’t alone in their problems and its important to try and “push on through.”

“At the Risk of Feeling Dumb”
In contrast to “Friend, Please,” off of their first studio album “Twenty One Pilots,” in which they address the character who is contemplating suicide, “At the Risk of Feeling Dumb” addresses the friend. Throughout the song, Jospeh pleads with the friends to “Check on your friends every once in a while.” The title comes in the chorus when he says it’s better to check in and feel dumb about it than lose a friend because no one bothered to “check in.” This song is a personal favorite because of the chorus, “At the risk of feeling dumb, check in It’s not worth the risk of losing a friend. Even if they say “Just keep your plans, I hope that you never have to drop.”

“Paladin Strait”
As the last song in the album, “Paladin Strait” is less drum heavy and it doesn’t pop in until 1:20 minutes into the song. It surrounds the Dema lore more than the other songs, revealing a new location on the Trench map, the Paladin Strait. Despite revealing more about Trench and Dema, “Paladin Strait” could also apply to life outside the lore. It’s about holding on to those around you and it’s a hopeful way to end “Clancy.”

“Clancy” was a pleasant surprise that was heavily anticipated after Twenty One Pilots first dropped “Overcompensate.” It’s an album about overcoming personal problems and, according to the lore, rebelling against Dema. It’s a perfect listen for those who feel alone in their struggles or just want to listen to “fun” tunes.

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Rhea Noumair
Rhea Noumair, Print Opinion Editor and Illustrator
Junior Rhea Noumair is in her third year of Pitch and is the Print Opinion Editor and Illustrator. She enjoys playing and watching soccer, painting and listening to music in her free time.
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