by Jared Moser
The two man band from Columbus, Ohio, Twenty One Pilots, dropped a new single titled “Level of Concern” today. The song deals with the quarantine, and how it’s affecting lead singer Tyler Joseph, as he’s “concerned” for his loved ones.
The song sounds amazing, but it definitely sounds like something new for Twenty One Pilots: it’s their first song that features a guitar. Songs in the past like “Jumpsuit” have had heavy bass guitar, and many of their songs have featured a ukulele, but never an electric guitar. Regardless of the new instrument, it sounds fantastic. It kicks off with groovy synths and a pop-like keyboard. Joseph comes in with a smooth guitar riff to bring the song into the first verse, and Josh Dun follows with simple, crisp drums.
During the chorus, the drums cut out to reveal a short piano piece, which is followed by a break in the music. Everything stops, and the drums kick back in with everything else. Overall, the song carries a little less energy than most Twenty One Pilots songs, which is usually a ton. I’m not saying it’s dull, because it still packs a punch by getting you to move to the catchy bass line and consistent lyrics. The bridge has a long build-up of keyboard and lyrics, it brings the energy way up, then when the song drops, it kicks right back into the chorus.
The music video for “Level of Concern” is very clever. Playing on the shelter in place and quarantines that have been going on, it shows Joseph and Dun filming themselves performing their parts of the songs in their own houses, and sending the flash drive back and forth through mail. Joseph’s wife Jenna, and their new baby girl Rosie, as well as Dun’s wife Debbie, are all seen in the video to add to the “at home” effect. At the end of the video, it’s revealed that their houses are right next to each other, and that the six feet apart rule is affecting their ability to create the song together. It’s an awesome song and video combo that deal with our current situation.
Overall, the production is amazing, the vocals are very controlled, and even though it’s more “pop” than usual for the band, it’s catchy, groovy, and clean. My opinion changes the more I listen to it, so hopefully it only gets better. I’m a massive fan of Twenty One Pilots, so maybe my opinion is a little skewed, but I truly believe that this is a very well put together single that will liven the mood of any room it’s playing in.