Twenty One Pilots made their mark on the mainstream music scene with the release of their fourth studio album Blurryface. Lead single "Stressed Out" put the alternative hip-hop duo on the map and the album rode high on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart. Their sound has evolved to a more polished grungy electronic vibe over the years since their debut album in 2009. The two self-released the first two albums and in 2013, released their first major label album Vessel under Fueled by Ramen, a Warner Music Group imprint. In 2016, they contributed to the Suicide Squad soundtrack which debuted at No. 1 on the Aug. 16 chart refresh with the song "Heathens." The track became a top five hit peaking at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart. Here is a look at the top 10 best songs from Twenty One Pilots.
In 2013, Twenty One Pilots released their third studio album Vessel, the first on a major label. "Screen" is unique in a sense that it's the duo's evolving sound merged with a Jason Mraz-like reggae hip-hop track. Its simplicity is catchy while swaying to the beat and flow of lyrics that sing of quite the opposite feeling. "I do not know why I would go/ In front of you and hide my soul/ 'Cause you're the only one who knows it/ Yeah, you're the only one who knows it/ And I will hide behind my pride/ Don't know why I think I can lie," he sings.
Twenty One Pilots self-released their self-titled debut album in 2009. The set was more dramatic and cinematic vocally and "Friend, Please" is reminiscent of the later work by Muse. "Friend, Please" is an ode and plea to friend who is finding themselves in darkness but a hand is being extended.
Unlike what mainstream knows of Twenty One Pilots today, "Addict with a Pen" is also taken from their debut album. Emptiness, struggling with only his faith at his side, "Addict" is reaching out to his savior and looking for a drop of life. The somber ballad is one of the deepest songs lyrically by the duo and a track to keep on hand for those times when less than stellar days arrive to relate to.
Found on Blurryface, "Polarize" can be considered the climax of the album with a progressive groove and lyrics of separating what he has done and the man he would rather be. The line "Domingo en fuego" (Sunday on fire) can be linked to the religious background trying to ask for help finding himself again.
Originally released on sophomore album Regional at Best as a bonus track, "House of Gold" featured a new vocal track on third album Vessel and impacted radio in August 2013. The song was written about Tyler Joseph's mother Kelly. It performed moderately on radio peaking at No. 18 on Rock Airplay and No. 10 on Alternative Songs. "She asked me, son/ "When I grow old, will you buy me a house of gold"/ "And when your father turns to stone, will you take care of me," he sings along a sweet folk-like melody.
In 2016, "Ride" followed the successful "Stressed Out" as the mainstream single to hit all formats from Blurryface. The reggae influenced track was considered a sleeper hit and climbed its way to No. 5 on the Hot 100 songs chart. It did however reach No. 1 on the Hot Rock Songs, the airplay only Pop Songs (also known as Mainstream Top 40) and Alternative Songs. "Ride" also became a top five hit on Adult Pop Songs (also known as Adult Top 40, a radio airplay chart geared at listeners age 25 and older). The track has sold 1.3 million downloads and has been certified Platinum by the RIAA.
4. "Car Radio"
"Car Radio" was released on 2013's Vessel and was also the final single from the set. Another track taken from the sophomore album, it is considered one of Twenty One Pilots' most experimental songs in their catalog. The first pieces of the song consist of a rap but soars into a chorus-less euphoric rave anthem. "Car Radio" peaked at No. 20 on Hot Rock Songs and has also been certified Platinum.
"Doubt" is an album track from the top 10 set Blurryface that is summed up simply by the title. The song is littered with uncertainty with a catchy rhythm with lyrics like "Don't forget about me/ Don't forget about me/ Even when I doubt you/ I'm no good without you." It's a highlight on the album carrying it through the first half.
Taken from the No. 1 Suicide Squad soundtrack, "Heathens" has darker undertones and became yet another monster hit for the duo. It peaked at No. 2 on the Hot 100, Adult Top 40 and Mainstream Top 40 while crowning Hot Rock Songs. "Heathens" is the most successful songs in their catalog being certified 3x Platinum by the RIAA for over 3 million downloads.
The track was released near the end of 2015 but didn't take off until well into 2016. "Stressed Out" reached No. 2 on the Hot 100 while commanding Hot Rock Songs and Pop Songs (Mainstream Top 40) and landed the duo two Grammy Award nominations. The song saw Twenty One Pilots having a nomination in one of the four most prestigious categories, Record of the Year, an artist/producer award. It also received a nomination in the Best Pop Duo/Group Performance category.