Tonight Alive
Underworld


3.5
great

Review

by McTime50 USER (25 Reviews)
January 12th, 2018 | 24 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: we always get what we ask for, just not in the way we expect

Do you guys remember Limitless" It was only two years ago, sure, but it marked such a downward shift for Tonight Alive that many dropped any excitement or love they might’ve had for new material. It’s hard to really blame them for doing so too. The 2003 ‘spacey’ pop rock thing they had going on for that album was so inconsistent and shallow, it had appeared the band had forgotten how to construct interesting and catchy music. It seems, however, that Tonight Alive also realized this and decided to correct their mistakes. The result is one hell of a return to form.

If there is one thing that is impossible to escape in Tonight Alive discussion, it is their frontwoman Jenna. Her vocals are at peak performance throughout the entirety of Underworld. Soaring vocal melodies and saccharine high notes absolutely make this album. Jenna has managed to write chorus after chorus and sing the ever-loving *** out of them. Her voice blends perfectly with that of PVRIS frontwoman’s Lynn Gunn in “Disappear” to a truly orgasmic effect. The Corey Taylor guest spot is an admittingly weird one, but works better than it looks. His clean vocals on the final track, “My Underworld”, serve as a nice opposite to Jenna’s. All in all, the vocal work makes Underworld worth the price of admission alone.

The instrumentation is also a nice throwback to earlier times for the band. An easy way to describe it is to take the good parts of Limitless and combine it with The Other Side. The result is a plethora of sweet guitar lines and a tiny atmospheric feel to everything. Honestly, it’s more of logical progression than Limitless could’ve ever hoped to be. The drumming is competent and works for the songs on display here, but aren’t terribly interesting either way. On the other hand, guitars are extremely varied throughout the album. “Temple” kicks off with a pretty catchy riff that serves as the foundation for the entire track. “Burning On” uses the guitars to a much more mellow and melodic effect, creating quite the slow jam. The synths are also back, but not in full force. They intertwine with the guitar lines in such a way that elevates the songs to a much more interesting level. It works here much more than their previous effort.

The lyrics on display here mark sort of a lower point for the album. Nothing here is particularly deep or interesting per se, working more as vessel for Jenna to deliver melodies. Another issue here is that the songs begin to blend together and feel ‘samey’ by the second half of the album. At the end of the day, we’re dealing with a pop rock/pop punk group here. Depth and variety are just not strong points that can be found on albums like this. What can be taken away is a fun time with the amount of huge choruses and varied melodies that present themselves on this album. Underworld marks a return to form for Tonight Alive for sure, and hopefully regains some of the lost fans from the aftermath of Limitless. All that’s left is to see if they continue and expand in this direction, or again go somewhere a bit more….limited.



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user ratings (31)
Chart.
3.2
good
other reviews of this album
Shamus248 (4)
Tonight Alive uses the vantage point provided by where they've been to forge ahead with one of their...


Comments:Add a Comment 
McTime50
January 12th 2018


228 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Pretty neat release. Lots of stuff to listen to next week though.



Corrections, edits, feedback; all that stuff is appreciated!

Digging: Jeff Rosenstock - POST-

ZombieToyDuck
January 12th 2018


3277 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Gotta let this settle but huge step up from Limitless, I agree on that fact. I wish this was the next album after The Other Side but I'm glad they at least kept the idea of atmospheric moments that were interesting in Limitless.



"An easy way to describe it is to take the good parts of Limitless and combine it with The Other Side"



was happy to read this because despite the shit talking it gets there were some genuinely interesting moments scattered in the mix.



also more of a side note than correction you tend to say "catchy" a bit much and it becomes noticeable I'd just maybe swap out a few with "memorable" or change the phrasings a bit. I do like the idea of the overall review though and its well written otherwise, have a pos!

Digging: Tonight Alive - Underworld

McTime50
January 12th 2018


228 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

thanks for the nice words! I'll work on taking the 'catchy' repetition way down right now.

ZombieToyDuck
January 12th 2018


3277 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

No prob! Glad someone else didn't hop of the Tonight Alive train after Limitless

McTime50
January 12th 2018


228 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

One poor album isn't enough to turn me off from anything



also side note: the chorus of "temple" really sounds like new paramore for me, mostly in the way Jenna sings it.

ZombieToyDuck
January 12th 2018


3277 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Temple grew on me hard at first I wasn't thrilled but now I really enjoy it

zaruyache
January 12th 2018


18272 Comments


Glad to hear this band the good again.

JesperL
January 12th 2018


105 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

nice review, album is solid tho I feel like there are some missed opportunities. lynn's guest vocals aren't quite as powerful as I hoped they would be and temple could've done with a more powerful chorus, to name a few.

Divaman
January 12th 2018


1720 Comments


Good to see Tonight Alive going back in a less poppy direction.

Digging: The High Kings - Decade: The Best of the High Kings

McTime50
January 12th 2018


228 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, I really hope they continue down this path on the next album. I'm sure they can do much better things if they play their cards right.

Sabrutin
January 12th 2018


4796 Comments


Saw them live in 2014 somehow, might as well give this a whirl

sempiturtle
January 12th 2018


1275 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Don't be mistaken, this is very much a pop album. But it's good.

Digging: I the Mighty - Connector

SteakByrnes
January 12th 2018


5845 Comments


I'm not gonna dampen the parade with what I thought about this, so carry on

ImmortalPaper
January 13th 2018


157 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

jenna's vocals are divine man. in spite of some of the lyrics and the instrumentation taking me back to my younger years (which I'd rather forget), this is a pretty solid release. gotta agree that the corey taylor feature struck me as odd, and i couldn't help but laugh, but it panned out better than i'd expected. honestly i didn't even recognize his voice for a brief moment.

Digging: Suicideyear - Japan

sempiturtle
January 13th 2018


1275 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

The Corey Taylor feature is weird as fuck, yeah. Jenna's voice in some songs like Looking for Heaven is godly, I don't even care when they do soft tracks cause she carries them with ease.

JesperL
January 13th 2018


105 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

the melody in the chorus of 'just for now' sounds exactly like some other song, I can't exactly pinpoint what song tho. does anyone here have a clue? I'm thinking of some early 2000s radio rock song but not exactly sure.

Willie
Moderator
January 13th 2018


17331 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Loving this. Great return to form.

sempiturtle
January 13th 2018


1275 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

JesperL it's Muscle Memory by Lights, I noticed it immediately too

JesperL
January 13th 2018


105 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

ah damn thanks sempiturtle, that's it yeah!

BlackMalachite
January 13th 2018


2408 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Loving this. Great return to form. [2]

Also, Willie sighting!

Digging: Black Veil Brides - Vale



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