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Twenty One Pilots - Scaled And Icy - LP coloured - -

Price per Unit (stuk): €24.95

Crafted during pandemic, Twenty One Pilots' sixth full-length, Scaled and Icy, is a snapshot of the emotional highs and lows of quarantine life, set to some of the catchiest tunes that the Ohio-bred duo have ever produced. With COVID-19 halting what was to become the continuation of the lofty narrative of previous albums Trench and BlurryfaceTyler Joseph and Josh Dun set to work in their respective home studios, exchanging ideas across the country. The results are as the title suggests ("scaled back and isolated"), but could just as well be "tightened up and simplified," resembling the relatively lively and lighter fare of their first two albums. That nostalgic vibe transports listeners to TOP's early days -- before Blurryface turned them into global superstars -- when straightforward songwriting, melodic delights, and everyday themes ruled the day. They only benefit from this focus; without the pressure of the band's ever-growing mythology, Scaled and Icy is simply a feel-good album to be enjoyed and played on repeat. Each of the nearly dozen tracks is a potential radio hit (singles "Shy Away" and "Choker" already proved that point by the time the record was released), all the more impressive considering Joseph and Dun pulled it off in the midst of 2020's turmoil. With their wild creativity and fearless desire to experiment, they tackle breezy disco funk on the Greg Kurstin-produced "Saturday"; go retro with Elton John piano-tinkling on the soulful "Mulberry Street"; and remind listeners that Joseph can still spit a solid bar or two on the strutting Joywave-esque "The Outside" and the genre-blurring standout "No Chances," which blends dramatic chanting, faint country twang, a thick trap beat, and swirling, pensive atmospherics. Through it all, Joseph maintains a smile and hope for the future, matching the often-exuberant production with messages of measured positivity. The peppy "Good Day" lifts spirits with triumphant horns and a motivational, lyrical push to enjoy the beauty surrounding us even when life is at its lowest. Elsewhere, that affirmative optimism gets a little more confrontational with "Never Take It," a catchy singalong anthem that stands up to societal division with handclaps and a beefy rock & roll guitar solo breakdown. Closer to home, the touching "Formidable" presents a sweet and honest ode to love similar to Trench's "Smithereens." Whether or not they decide to revive their ongoing album mythology, Scaled and Icy will remain a quick dose of TOP perfection, a lean catalog gem that is bright, effervescent, and immensely addictive.

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