Music Favourites – Car Radio

Twenty One Pilots has been creating incredible one of a kind music that explain their ever growing popularity. With the gargantuan following rolling in, Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun, the duo, realise the potential they have to change lives and make an impact on society. With this in mind, they constructed an album in 2013 called “Vessel”. Tyler removes his mask in this album and shows that, he too, is human. He touches on issues like loneliness, anxiety and depression which are common problems teens in today’s society face. He wants to convey a message to people who are struggling, that being vulnerable is okay and that everything will be okay in the end. When the going gets tough, we keep our masks on – the purpose of this album is to allow us to see past the masks.

The song “Car Radio” is featured in this album. With simple lyrics, the song actually intensifies loneliness and overthinking. The persona in the song has a mind running at a high speed and mostly thinks about the negative aspects of his life. His car radio is his only distraction from all the buzz in his life, listening to music supposedly gives his mind a break to prevent him from going berserk. He then realises that the unstoppable silence will be his downfall because he cannot stop perusing everything. He finds dissatisfaction in the ugly truths of his life and lacks dignity when he learns that he will only succeed with the price of hurting others and himself. Unable to hide behind music anymore, he feels that he should kill himself so that he no longer has to deal with the stress in his life. He is suddenly enlightened that the reason people kill themselves is that they do not understand the purpose of the fight in life and are fearful of facing the unknown future. This sudden enlightenment scares him and makes him want to stop over analysing situations.

The persona realises how to end the pain, which is to have faith that he will be able to succeed and that life will get better, or to kill himself. The obvious option is to think through his problems and not allow them to overwhelm himself. He ends the song with what he started off with which is that he “ponder[s] of something great” and then he continues to “sit in silence” again. But instead of continuing with the lyrics, the song gets hyped up, suggesting that he stopped over thinking. This is the part of the song where you feel most alive, telling us that he found peace with his over analytical thoughts and allowed himself to live a more enjoyable life.

Tyler once said, “I don’t want to be listened to, I want to be heard”. Allow your mask to fall and hear the things of importance being said.


Giselle Cho



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