Tonight Alive - Limitless
Artist: Tonight Alive
Genre: Pop-punk, alternative rock, electro-pop
For Fans Of: Set It Off, PVRIS, Paramore
Reviewer: Angelica Nicolle Abalos
Australian pop-punk quintet, Tonight Alive, recently released their third studio album Limitless on March 4. The album is filled with a variety of songs spanning a multitude of musical genres. Seeming rather ambitious, Limitless bears little to no resemblance to their first two albums What Are You So Scared Of? and The Other Side. Many will agree the album feels like a full force effort to reinvent their sound, and the band’s loyal fan base will be split on whether they feel Tonight Alive’s attempts should be considered successful or “selling out.” Limitless, regardless of the verdict, is clear evidence of a maturing band as it breaks new ground and showcases a group that is willing and able to defy genre limitations.
Compared to their previous releases, Tonight Alive takes a sharp turn towards a more mainstream sound with Limitless. From the first few moments of the opening track, listeners will notice the obvious change in sound. The album leans towards being more pop heavy with the amount of electronic influence on each track. It is overwhelmingly uplifting with airy, atmospheric synths included in the band’s instrumentation, Jenna McDougall's elevating vocals, and the empowering anthemic lyrics spread throughout.
Listening to Limitless as a whole begins with a burst of energy that lulls into an array of calmer melodies to contrast the explosive, upbeat moments. The tracks range from mellow ethereal/atmospheric sounds to catchy pop tunes, each erupting into a full chorus. There are moments of calm in between overwhelming instrumentation with Jenna’s vocals uniquely highlighted throughout the album.
Limitless begins with an energetic opener that descends into a valley of softer tracks. The album slowly builds from the pop tune “Drive” into the dynamic “How Does It Feel”, which may be the track closest to the familiar Tonight Alive sound on this album. Limitless then travels into more medium paced songs and hits a climax with “I Defy.” This hard-hitting track explores Jenna’s lower range of vocals and boasts a musically stirring sound, making it one of the strongest songs on the album. The album then begins its descent towards the finale with a medium-energy track, “We Are” filled with empowering lyrics on top of mellowed out instrumentation. “The Greatest” completes the album as more of a ballad, which slowly fits after the previous song. Its full acoustic intro accompanied by strings and subtle percussion makes for a perfect end to the album.
Those expecting an identical follow-up to The Other Side will be completely disappointed. Limitless is an album independent of the band’s previous releases and stands on its own merits. Those willing to embrace new changes may find themselves enjoying this new release. Tonight Alive have shown maturity and growth with the risk taken to incorporate a wide variety of sounds. Though the album may not fit every listener’s taste, one thing can be agreed upon: Limitless is a clear sign that Tonight Alive have more to offer than we realize and their journey as a band has only just begun.
1. To Be Free
3. Human Interaction
5. How Does It Feel
8. Power Of One
9. I Defy
10. We Are
11. The Greatest