Album Review: “Vessel” by Twenty One Pilots

Twenty One Pilots recently celebrated10-year anniversary of their first album, Vessel. It  was re-released in January.

Courtesy of Fueled by Ramen.

Twenty One Pilots recently celebrated10-year anniversary of their first album, “Vessel.” It was re-released in January.

Yesenia De La Torre, Staff Writer

“Vessel” by Twenty One Pilots is the band’s first studio album. Although the band had two albums before hand, those albums were not produced under a record label.  In honor of the 10 year anniversary of the album’s release, what better way to commemorate it by reviewing it?

“Ode to Sleep” 

Starting off strong, we enter into the small world of “Ode to Sleep.” The way I see this song is broken down into two parts, day-time and night-time. The verses of the song represent night-time while the pre-chorus and chorus represent day-time but with a sad twist. The pre-chorus reveals a bouncy bass line that prepares the listener for a small breakdown that the lead singer Tyler Joseph has composed.

“Holding On To You”

With a catchy melody, this song has you hooked by the pre-chorus. This song somewhat introduces the rap element that Twenty One Pilots is known for in slower paced songs. The bridge of this song turns into a ballad. Joseph is singing “Entertain my Faith” as his vocals and percussion played by Josh Dun are building up, becoming more intense. The bridge did its job by tying together the beginning half of the song to the end of the song. It breaks into a hip-hop portion with the lyrics, “Lean with it, rock with it.” You can dance along with it if you want to.


Although this song has some corny lyrics, Joseph describes writers block in a way most people can understand. Instrumentally, I noticed that this song has some of the same piano that phases in and out just like in “Holding On To You.”  The whole song gives off a sentimental feeling mostly based on the lyrics. Some lyrics talk about having a battle with your mind while others remind you how far you’ve made it.

“We’ve made it this far, kid” is a great example of a sentimental lyric because no matter what you’re going through or have been through, you’ve made it this far. It is a sweet message.

“House of Gold”

Simple, short, and sweet. My perception on this song is that Joseph and Dun are torn between their band and family. Fun fact: in the song’s music video, both members are literally torn apart.  There is an instrumental element in this song that reminds me of “Oh Ms Believer” a song off the self-titled album. That element is what I’m guessing a keyboard playing violin sounds.

“Car Radio”

I personally have broken this song into three parts. Spoken word, mosh pit, conclusion. “Car Radio” starts off with Joseph performing a slam poetry piece talking about how sitting in silence without music playing is difficult because you are left alone with your negative thoughts and emotions. After the spoken word portion of the song, we get into the mosh pit portion. It’s clear in some songs that the band makes their music for live shows. This is the case for “Car Radio.” You can almost imagine yourself in a mosh pit jumping around while strong and heavy synthesizers are playing in the background.


Within the lyrics of this song Joseph uses day-time and night-time to state what happens to him mentally as his is double-sided. The synth foreshadows the melody and vocals Joseph performs towards the bridge of the song. “Semi-Automatic” is what I like to think a march to your own beat song filled with synths and drums.


No sadly this song is not about the Teletubbies. I know based on the lyric “there’s a screen on my chest,” it may seem like it’s about them but it is not. My perspective of this song is that we’re scared of being vulnerable around people and that is an okay thing. Another sweet and simple song with deep meaning behind it.

“The Run and Go”

This song was made with the intention of having the crowd at a concert participate. The harmonies throughout this record are notable and make the song catchy.

“Fake You Out”

I will start off by saying that “Fake You Out” is one of my top favorite songs off this album. Based on the way this song is instrumentally composed, I feel like I’m floating in space. It’s very synth heavy with the bass line sounding distorted and notes twinkling here and there especially during the lyrics “You say that you are close, is close the closest star? You just feel twice as far.”

“Guns for Hands”

This song is another one of my favorites. Right from the start you can clap your hands to the beat or tap your foot.  Joseph wrote this song for the fandom. In the Guns for Hands Bonus Commentary, Joseph explains how he recognizes that people in the fandom struggle with certain situations and he doesn’t want the fans to negatively impact themselves but to direct that negative energy elsewhere.

There is a small breakdown in the song where the tempo slows down so that Joseph can get his main message across.


“Trees” has the same lyrics repeated throughout the song but holds more impact as the song progresses. As the song moves along, synths are holding deeper notes and more beats are added from percussion as if everything is falling apart. If you haven’t been to a Twenty One Pilots concert spoiler alert, they end their concerts with this song. At the concert, everyone is up on their feet during the chorus jumping to the beat. Everyone sings along with the “Na na na’s” and “Hello’s.”

I personally will look at this as a bittersweet song because of my experiences at Twenty One Pilots concerts.


The final song off this album “Truce” holds nothing but lyrics and piano and is the shortest song off this record. This song is a true ballad with Joseph’s mesmerizing vocals. Something that stood out to me recently was how Joseph changed the lyric from “I hope I’m not my only friend” to “I know I’m not my only friend” during the “Vessel’s 10th Anniversary Variety Stream”

It’s nice to see that the person who wrote this song has grown along with the fandom.

Album’s Achievements

As of July 2019, each track on the album have been certified gold or platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.

As of June 2021, all songs on the album have surpassed 100 million streams on Spotify.