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Scaled And Icy (Crystal Clear Vinyl)
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”Scaled and Icy,” the sixth studio album by the American musical duo Twenty One Pilots, was released on 21 May 2021, through Fueled by Ramen and Elektra. The title, a play on “scaled back and isolated,” reflects frontman Tyler Joseph’s association with music produced during the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, it serves as an anagram of “Clancy is dead,” a reference to the protagonist of their preceding album, “Trench” (2018). The album garnered positive reviews from critics.
In terms of background and production, the band confirmed their work on the album in March 2019, shortly after the release of their fifth studio album, “Trench.” Frontman Tyler Joseph hinted at a new narrative character during this period. The song “Level of Concern,” released on 9 April 2020, marked the duo’s first musical output since “Trench” and addressed themes of hope during the COVID-19 pandemic. The album’s production, largely led by Joseph in his home studio over a year-long period during the pandemic, involved drummer Josh Dun engineering drum tracks remotely.
Notably, “Scaled and Icy” saw the inclusion of Joseph’s youngest brother, Jay, who provided backing vocals on select tracks. The album’s title, associating with the pandemic’s impact on music production, was also a deliberate effort to create a contrasting album. The cover artwork, featuring a teal dragon named Trash, was designed by Brandon Rike, incorporating elements inspired by a dragon figurine in Joseph’s home studio. The dragon symbolised “inspiration, fear, and magic.”
The album’s composition has been described as the band’s most upbeat and optimistic since their emergence in 2009, reacting to the challenging conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic. Critics noted its departure from the darker tones of previous albums, returning to the playful alt-pop sound of “Vessel” (2013). Despite the upbeat sound, serious themes were addressed in the lyrics.
The band embarked on the Takeover Tour, spending one week in each city for performances, starting on 21 September 2021, in Denver, Colorado. The Icy Tour, a second North American tour in support of the album, began on 18 August 2022, in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
The release and promotion involved teasers starting in January 2021, with updates on social media and symbols hinting at the new era. A Livestream Experience, described as a convergence of live theatre and a Twenty One Pilots show, received high praise for its innovation. A limited theatrical release of the Livestream Concert was announced on 8 April 2022.
A1 Good Day
A3 Shy Away
A4 The Outside
A6 Never Take It
B1 Mulberry Street
B3 Bounce Man
B4 No Chances
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