So, let’s say you’re a band that I’ve never listened to before. How would you get my attention? Lots of great reviews? Yeah, that’s a possibility. Recommendations from other bands? Possibly. Including two of the best modern rock singers in the world on your album? Definitely.
The band in question are Tonight Alive, and the singers are PVRIS’ Lynn Gunn, and Slipknot’s Corey Taylor. So, my attention has been piqued. But how is the album itself?
Well the first thing to notice is lead singer Jenna McDougall’s voice. It never dips below incredible on this album, and it is clear to see that she is the leading light of this band. On tracks like ‘The Other’, she holds everything together with a performance that mixes perfect pitch with perfect delivery. To say that she outshines the rest of the band would be an understatement, but their performance doesn’t lack much either- the crashing guitars in the chorus of ‘Temple’ just act to show that.
There are plenty of strong songs on the album as well. ‘In My Dreams’ has an infectious chorus, while ‘Crack My Heart’ is a stadium rock anthem. They’re not afraid to mix things up as well – ‘For You’ is a poppy ballad, that, while a little predictable, is incredibly catchy. The fusion of pop and rock sensibilities with no hesitation or doubt is part of what makes this album so endearing.
But what I was waiting to hear, and what I’m sure you’re interested in hearing too, is how good the guest appearances are. Firstly, there’s ‘Disappear’, featuring Lynn Gunn. The track is good enough, and there are no substantial criticisms I can make of it. It doesn’t particularly stand out though, and if anything, is one of the more forgettable tracks on the album. Corey Taylor’s appearance in ‘My Underworld’ is something else though, as he transforms an average track into a great one. In the first minute of the track, I wasn’t particularly impressed, but as soon as Taylor started singing, I had no doubt that this track would be a favourite. This is one of his best vocal performances I’ve ever heard.
To conclude, this album is so close to being great. It shows the band picking itself back up again after the polarising Limitless, and really trying to make a name for themselves. And if they keep going on like this, their next album will truly be one to savour.
Best songs: Temple, My Underworld, The Other