Twenty One Pilots’ ‘Clancy’: All 13 Songs Ranked

Twenty One Pilots don’t do anything small. The Columbus, Ohio duo of singer/guitarist Tyler Joseph and drummer Josh Dun are fans of expansive world-building who’ve cooked up an alternate universe filled with evil empires, oppressed subjects and mysterious forces across a series of albums featuring more hidden clues than Taylor Swift’s Easter basket.

But, like all good things, every story has to come to an end eventually — and for 21P, the final chapter in their long-running Blurryface saga has arrived in the form of their seventh studio album, Clancy. The 13-track collection was originally timed to drop exactly nine years after the Blurryface album, which introduced fans to a title character that Joseph has said represents his (and our) insecurities and anxieties.

On the 2018 concept album follow-up, Trench, the duo introduced the character Clancy and additional elements of a shadowy alternate cement-walled world called Dema on the continent Trench, governed by a group of nine totalitarian bishops and their leader, Nico, who are trying to keep down a rebellion by the Banditos. The story continued on 2021’s Scaled and Icy, a more pop-leaning effort on which Nico was betrayed and narrator Clancy escaped to a an island where he was give the same powers as the Bishops.

Always happy to let their music do the talking, the duo have not spoken at length about the conclusion of the story told on Clancy. The album opens with the ominous first single, “Overcompensate,” a classic combo of Dun’s skittery, hard-hitting drums and Joseph’s signature mix of singing and rap-like cadence over lyrics that sprinkle in bits of the ongoing mythology.

As always, Joseph’s storytelling seamlessly intertwines personal struggles with big picture storytelling, from suffocating anxiety that feels life-threatening (“Next Semester,” “Backslide”), to the dread of insomnia (“Routines in the Night”) and the knot-in-stomach ache of a painfully shy person forced to keep brave-facing it in public appearances to keep the show going (“Lavish”).

The album bears the expected hallmarks of the pair’s by-now-familiar rock-meets-beats sound and vision, layered with some new wrinkles of frenetic, punky new wave (“Navigating”) and gentle 1970s AM radio balladry (“The Craving (Jenna’s Version)”).

Keep reading to see how Billboard ranks the songs on 21P’s new LP Clancy, from worst to best, below.

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