“Limitless is a record that is just as much about redefining boundaries as it is about challenging the illusory concept of boundaries itself” – Jenna McDougall.
Formed in Sydney, Australia, rock band Tonight Alive recently released the highly anticipated album, Limitless. After hearing the emotive ballad promo single, “Human Interaction”, fans waited on edge for the full record. The minute the album dropped on March 4, the die-hard fans purchased it, needing to hear the rest of the unique sound.
Proven to be a remarkably brave piece of work, Limitless dissolves restriction and repression of the mind, body, and soul. After crushing Warped Tour and sold-out shows and progressively obtaining the confidence to challenge their listeners, Tonight Alive takes a leap of faith musically by infusing mainstream and sensitive ballads with synthetic rock songs.
Tonight Alive embraces their new sound of electronic rock and power pop, teasing fans with the slightest inkling of their original pop punk music. For every song that conjures memories of prior glories, there are two new ones that dare to evoke unfamiliarity. With Jenna McDougall’s compelling, powerful vocals and lyrics packed with self-discovery and infinite possibility, this album combines smooth pop hooks, soul-searching songs and thrilling power-ballad crescendos.
The songs themselves are ones to remember. For instance, the eerily robotic vocals and synths of the opener “To Be Free” pack a punch. The lyric “I am limitless” echoes throughout the song in an almost whisper-like fashion, while drums that sound like a heartbeat remind fans to be limitless. That one lyric defines the entire album in one fell swoop.
Following “To Be Free,” a mixture of acoustic guitars and lavish keyboards represent a complete departure from Tonight Alive’s original sound in the song “Oxygen.” The lyrics “Rules were made for us to break/Chances meant for us to take” demonstrate their new start and beginning again in more than just their music. Fans immediately recognize a song that could be sung at the top of your lungs with windows down on the open road. “Drive” is a complete turn-around from the tracks leading up to it and sounds distinctly fun. You want to dance around like no one is watching.
The high point of the album, the song “How Does It Feel?”, hints at their roots while incorporating their newfound electric sound. This song delivers an adrenaline-pumping, head-banging sense of amazement for the beauty Tonight Alive can still create. Jenna McDougall sounds as confident and comfortable as she does when singing tracks from her previous two albums. While “How Does It Feel” is upbeat and outgoing, “Waves,” though confident in its singing, is a true lighters-in-the-air song.
Pulling listeners further into the nostalgia of the genre Tonight Alive built their name on, “I Defy” balances magnificent choruses with an injection of angst. As the old sound of this band still hints through this album, “Everywhere” is sung with the same intensity that rung through the first album. These few songs bring back the pop punk sound the die-hard fans adored since the beginning.
The incredible vocals that accompany the memorable lyrics “Here I am/Unbreakable/Here I am, the greatest” prove that the final song, “The Greatest”, was, without a doubt, the right choice to end an album with. Limitless ends on a remarkably positive note, one that embraces a powerful message that we are all unbreakable.
Limitless is an album that is well worth the wait from The Other Side. Music is a way for people to understand themselves as well as the artists behind it. With a huge soar between genres, proving a way that a band can grow, Tonight Alive is reinforcing self-love and determination within their fans. The intentions of Tonight Alive are unmistakable: to be limitless in who you are. You’ve got to admire a band who’ll risk it all in the name of creative freedom.
Pop Punk | Fearless Records