Twenty One Pilots ‘Scaled and Icy’ | Album Review

As the Twenty One Pilots Icy Tour closes in a week, I wanted to look back at the album that made the tour happen. ‘Scaled and Icy’ is the sixth studio album by the American musical duo and was released on May 21, 2021. Many fans were intrigued by the new, upbeat sound and missed their older songs that touched on topics of mental health. But as someone who went on the tour, I can tell you the songs are certified bops and amazing to hear in person. Let’s dive into each song one by one!

“Good Day”

This is a great opening song, it introduces the band’s new sound and sets the tone for the rest of the album. I love the upbeat vibe of the song and the groovy beat that anyone can bop their head to. Unless you’re really listening to the lyrics, people may miss out on its true meaning. This song is about what would happen if Tyler Joseph lost his family, and represents the denial one might feel. Overall, this song demonstrates the band’s versatility in sound and got me excited for more.


The beginning percussive intro reminds me of “Heavydirtysoul” from their Blurryface album. I can definitely see the chorus being screamed during the concert, as the song has a sing-along quality to it that makes it catchy. I like how they slowed the last chorus and added a drum beat, it makes the song dynamic and less repetitive. The song is about working through moments where people feel like they messed up and if they can change. Although this song has similar features to other songs in older albums, they do a good job of putting a new spin on it.

“Shy Away”

I swear I’m not trying to be basic, but this song is my favorite. It has a contagious beat that makes me want to dance. I can imagine myself holding a hairbrush and jumping around my room singing along to this. The beginning synth part is catchy in itself, and adding the drums during the chorus makes it a head-banger. The song is about trying to find your own purpose while also watching someone you care about trying to find their purpose. I think choosing this song to be the lead single was a great idea, as it’s one of their bests on the album.

“The Outside”

This song has such a funky groove to it, I can just imagine myself strutting along the street to this. It reminds me of “This Is How We Do” by Katy Perry. Both are simple but effective in providing listeners with a cool, laid-back melody. The chorus has a lot more impact because of the lower octave backup vocals, specifically the “up and down” part. The rap parts are also hype, I really enjoyed his flow during the “I am a Megalodon” line. The song is a critique of the music industry as a whole, and it’s a fair one at that. 


This might be my least favorite song out of the album, but it’s not all bad. To me, it sounds like a song that would be played at an Old Navy, and not in a good way. I like how Tyler included a sample of a conversation with his wife, Jenna during the bridge. Also, I love how the last chorus delays the last word in the line, “might get loud,” as it adds some variety and surprises listeners. The song is about how days can start to mesh together and you lose track of time, which is represented nicely by the inconsistent rhythm near the end. 

“Never Take It”

What amazes me is Tyler has a mini guitar solo in this song, mind you, he learned to play during the pandemic. It brings a new sound to the band that we may not have heard before. The song has a great message to it, calling out the spread of misinformation and saying, “You better educate yourself but never too much.” As a journalism major, I learn a lot about fake news and how to spot it, but sometimes it can be difficult when articles look realistic. Always check if your source is reputable and make sure a picture or video isn’t altered!

“Mulberry Street”

This song has a chill, relaxed vibe. When performed during the tour, Tyler had us do a call and response to the “Mulberry Street, so good to see” bridge which was fun. The song was a take on the “kid going to the big city moment,” something Tyler experienced when going to New York City for the first time. After listening to it, I felt like I was a tourist walking around a new place taking pictures of everything. That is one thing I like about Twenty One Pilots in general, their songs have a deeper meaning to them that makes them relatable. 


This isn’t my favorite song, but it is apparently Jenna’s favorite song. The song is a letter to her that recounts the emotional depths of her and Tyler’s marriage. It sounds like the start of an anime opening where they show the main character leaning on a tree in a grassy field. The “yeah, yeah, yeah’s” in the verses are catchy and make it a song that can be played on a coastal drive with the windows down and hair in the wind. It is a calming song that lets the guitar riffs shine on Tyler’s newfound instrument.

“Bounce Man”

As the song title implies, the song is very bouncy with its repeating vocals. I imagine people swing-dancing to this song with those colorful skirts that flare out when you spin. It makes me want to smile and jump from side to side. The song is about people drifting in and out of Tyler’s life over time, an interesting juxtaposition with the happy-go-lucky melody. I find myself singing along to the instrumental more than the lyrics because it is so quirky and uses unique sounds. Now, we can “bounce, bounce, bounce” our way to the second to last song.

“No Chances”

This is a stark contrast to the previous song, incorporating loud and resonating bass sounds with gang vocals. Inspired by crowds at stadiums, the chants were sung by Tyler, his brother, and a few other friends. It sounds like people preparing for battle, leaving their base with no fear and no regrets. The reverb makes it sound futuristic and technical, like a robot and its rhythmic march. It is my third favorite song of the album, as it makes me feel confident and powerful. No chance that you leave before the final song, right? 


I guess saving the best for last does exist, as this was one of my favorite songs on the album. The beat transports you to another world and it is easy to space out when you listen to it. The chorus is unique and is paired really well with the track. I especially liked the lines, “I don’t wanna go like this, at least let me clean my room.” The song was inspired by a friend whose son had sadly passed away and how they didn’t redecorate his bedroom. No instrument is dominating this song, which lets Tyler’s voice shine. It is a sad, yet powerful ending.

I hope you enjoyed that review! While the album is quite different than what Twenty One Pilots fans are used to, I think it is still a fun addition to their discography. If you haven’t given this album a listen, I highly recommend you do so.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.