Music Review: Tonight Alive

By Spenser Webb, Entertainment Writer 

Australian pop punk band Tonight Alive recently released their third studio album “Limitless”. The eleven track album is the band’s first release sense “The Other Side” and is musically comparable to that album. While there are no personnel changes since the band’s first release “What Are You So Scared Of”, this album does feature a new producer and co-writer, David Bendeth, who has produced numerous albums for bands ranging in style from Elvis Presley to Taking Back Sunday and Paramore.

Like many other pop punk acts featuring a female singer, Jenna McDougall and the rest of Tonight Alive are often compared to Paramore, so the choice of Bendeth as the new producer is unsurprising. However, at least on this release, Tonight Alive fails to meet or exceed this comparison. Overall, Tonight Alive’s style and lyrical themes feel a bit muted and generic compared to their first album despite some moderate changes, most notably the slightly auto tuned and echoed vocals from McDougall.

The album does have some modest highlights though, with the opening track and second single “To Be Free” being the most distinguished. This track features some solid drum work by Matt Best, and is comparatively heavier than other tracks on the album, though not by much. The main appeal of “To Be Free” is found in McDougall’s vocals which capitalize on the echoed effect mentioned previously. Lyrically however, “To Be Free” is less than special and a bit repetitive, a theme present throughout the album. Next is “Oxygen”, one of the stronger tracks lyrically though musically the song leaves much to be desired, despite marked and otherwise appealing tempo changes. Musically one of the better tracks is “How Does it Feel?” featuring a strong riff and slightly heavier feel punctuated by McDougall’s slightly more aggressive vocals. The guitars come together well and are juxtaposed by a slower bridge with a piano interlude, though again the band fails to come together to make a lasting impact on the listener. Finally there’s “Waves”, which is thematically well done touching on love and wonder. McDougall’s vocals carry the song, though not by much, as again the band fails to really impress.

Overall “Limitless” is just an ok album. Songs fail to captivate the listener and keep the attention of the audience. Tonight Alive really fails to live up to their prior standards and this makes for a somewhat disappointing album. Unless you’re a huge Tonight Alive fan, “Limitless” isn’t really worth the time.