Best of 2016 Playlist

March 8, 2016

Tonight Alive - "Limitless" Review

Well it's finally here! After about six months of singles, and patience, fans can finally get Tonight Alive's new album! Was it worth the wait? You judge for yourself. To buy the album on iTunes, click this (link). And be sure to catch them on tour this month with Set It Off, The Ready Set, and SayWeCanFly (Ya, weird lineup right?)

To read reviews of singles "Human Interaction", "Drive", "How Does It Feel?" or "To Be Free" click any of the corresponding links. 

You have to appreciate a band that's willing to do whatever the frack they want. And then find a producer who's willing to go along with whatever vision they've dreamed up. Long story short, someone at some point during the writing or recording process should have put their foot down. 

We all knew the band's pop punk days were numbered. And they couldn't have made their intentions more clear with this album. The band don't hold back with all the electronics and synths in their album. But unlike We Came as Romans or even Bring Me The Horizon, who have made the shift gradual and subtle, Tonight Alive are jamming the stuff down your throat. 

The lyrics in this album might try to be inspirational, and self-empowering, but it just comes off cheesy. An example, "Power of One". Sorry, but that chorus is like something off a Coldplay album. Mainstream radio rock full of all manner of cliches. Those "one-two" drum beats, and the "na nas" just make this one of the many. In fact, aside from the electronics and the sub-par drum beats, the entire album is devoid of any real great guitar riffs, or bass lines. 

You go from songs like "The Fire" or "Lonely Girl" which put a huge emphasis on the heavier guitars, to tracks like "We Are" or "Waves". Songs that must have been real boring for Whakaio Taahi, Jake Hardy and Cam Adler to record since they don't have to do much. In fact they don't do much in the entire album, except in "How Does It Feel?" or "I Defy"

"Oxygen" is one of the better songs from the album. It showcases the band's new electronic style, but is reminiscent of "Bathwater". The soft ballad tone to the song is backed by a chilling piano melody, the airy orchestra, and Best's steady drum beat. "Oxygen's" is intro sounds like something straight off Hands Like Houses' new album, or even Bring Me the Horizon's "That's the Spirit" (think "Run" or "Follow You"). 

"I Defy" is another standout. It's got the driving guitar riffs and verses we love. And it pumps energy into the otherwise monotone album. The chorus explodes with life, and if the band make it one of those songs in their setlist rotation, it'll be a treat live. Most unexpected are the electronics in the second verse. They work, as odd as they may be. 

You know what really sucks though? The band were working with the same man who gave us Mayday Parade's "Anywhere but Here", All Time Low's "Nothing Personal" , There For Tomorrow's "A Little Faster" and (most notably) Paramore's "Riot". That's just a sliver of David Bendeth's work. The guy has been producing alt. rock and pop punk hits since the early 00s. What the fuck happened? Maybe We Came as Roman's self titled record should have been an indicator that the guy was jumping on the electronic bandwagon. 

Summary -
Heartbreaking to say, but this record does NOT live up to the reputation the band have been building these past 5 or 6 years. After "The Other Side" and "The Edge", fans were expecting more high octane songs, with power choruses and Jenna's angsty lyrics. Instead, this is a crossover attempt overwrought with ballads and songs without any energy or life. The bright spots can't outweigh the negatives. Tonight Alive are certainly growing up, and trying new things. We appreciate that. But this album is the stumble that every great band takes. So here's to hoping the next one will be better. 

Favorite Tracks - 
"How Does It Feel?" takes the cake. Runners up include: "To Be Free", Oxygen", and "I Defy

Rating - 6.5/10