Sunday, July 7, 2013

Artist of the Day: Tonight Alive

I should probably dislike "Breakdown." On first listen, this was certainly true - I despised the new hyper-poppy edge Tonight Alive displayed, I didn't enjoy lead singer Jenna McDougall's lower voice, and I thought  the appearance of Good Charlotte's Benji Madden detracted greatly from the song. However, I found myself coming back to the song over and over again. Now, I realize it's mostly a logical progression from the excellent pop-punk record What Are You So Scared Of?. The band is embracing its infectious edge, and they're harnessing the power of the quasi-mindless distorted guitars in a slightly different (but not worse) way than their previous outing. As time went on, McDougall revealed herself to me as the bubbly, charismatic lead singer I once knew her as, and the rest of the band fit snugly behind her voice, skilled if not overly impressive. What's more, I actually began to enjoy the slight shift in the band's sound, as the move even closer to Paramore's looming and omnipresent sound sounded a hell of a lot better than I once thought on subsequent plays. Madden even fit well into the song, something I never would have thought possible. "Breakdown" sets the stage nicely for the band's upcoming album The Other Side, to be released September 6, and if the album is anywhere close to the song it's sure to be a winner.


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