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Twenty One Pilots climb to No. 1

Kevin Winter/Getty Images/Getty

Ohio duo Twenty One Pilots make music that’s of a piece with the age of streaming music and multistage festivals — hyperactive, genre-agnostic, relentlessly self-referential, and full of choruses that verge on the bombastic (the better to lure distracted concertgoers over to the stage).

Their second major-label album, “Blurryface,” which came out in May, smashes together power pop’s big-ticket hooks, trap’s sparse beats, emo’s soul-baring, and ad-ready indie’s ukulele-aided sweetness, and then adds a large dollop of reggae on top. It’s kind of like that Mark Twain aphorism about New England weather: If you don’t like what Twenty One Pilots happen to be doing in a song, just wait it out, because whatever’s happening next will probably be very different.


That sprawling approach seems to be paying off for vocalist Tyler Joseph and drummer Josh Dun, who have played increasingly bigger stages since signing to Fueled by Ramen in 2012. (They headline Blue Hills Bank Pavilion in September.)

And now they have a chart-topping album: “Blurryface” moved 147,000 units in the week ending May 24, enough to make it No. 1 on the Billboard 200. Album sales accounted for 134,000 of that total, while US listeners streamed tracks on “Blurryface” 9.7 million times during that week.

maura johnston

Maura Johnston can be reached at maura@maura.com.