Occasionally an album comes around that changes your view on music completely. This was that album for me. I’ve been through many different phases of listening to music, including listening to only pop music, and listening to only rock music, both of which were bad for all the same reasons. I was right in the middle of the latter phase when I stumbled on this album, one that didn’t fit with any of my music tastes but was being talked about by everyone at the time. ‘Stressed Out’ from 2015’s Blurryface had just come out, and I wasn’t a fan of that at the time, so I expected nothing from this album. What I heard changed my life.
As the opener ‘Ode To Sleep’ started to play I was disgusted- where were the distorted guitars? The screamed vocals? Why was the singer rapping? Safe to say that these opinions didn’t stay for too long, but I still felt slightly ashamed to be enjoying it due to my disdain for all genres that weren’t rock music. By ‘Holding On To You’, this shame had diminished slightly. By ‘Migraine’ I was dancing around my bedroom. This was something I’d never heard before, brutally honest lyrics set to a soundscape of beautifully upbeat piano and synths. And I loved it! The sheer creativity and audacity the band had to pull off some of the things that happened in this album were astounding. The drum solo in ‘Holding On To You’. The verses in ‘Car Radio’. The tempo change in ‘Guns For Hands’. Everything sounded incredible.
And I haven’t even talked about the lyrics yet. You see, Tyler Joseph has a way of speaking openly and honestly about his own mental health problems, making me feel like the problems I had at the time were okay, and that I could address them, talk about them, and fight back against them. For once it was okay to not be okay- something I’d never felt before- my shame was gone, replaced by a desire to fight get better.
This album didn’t only open my mind musically, but so many ways. You could say without it, this blog wouldn’t be here, because I’d still be stuck in the same one track mind, listening to the same bands I always had. And that’s the story of one album changed my life. I don’t know where I’d be without it.