Tonight Alive's sophomore album “The Other Side” has suppressed the curse that comes with making a second album. The band took a slightly softer approach to this album, but the style of the band definitely shines through. Incorporating sounds of Paramore, Stars In Stereo, and even a hint of Kelly Clarkson. Tonight Alive masters the sounds of a modern pop-rock album at its core. With energetic intros, fast-paced verses and catchy, high pitched choruses, this album brings old school pop-rock back again with a twist.
The album opens up with “The Ocean” sporting a sound and style that closely resembles Paramore with a hint of Anberlin. With all of these comparisons to other bands, Tonight Alive still has their way of sticking out. Instead of mimicking the sounds of their sister bands, they comfortably blend them together in a style that doesn’t disappoint. Songs like title track, “The Other Side” and “Bathwater” show the newer, more progressive side to the band.
Tonight Alive delivers on their musical promise of keeping a unique sound in a genre where mimicry is just a layer of thin ice away. “The Other Side” has many unique qualities, but falls short in a few places. Tonight Alive seemed to follow the well trodden path of a typical album. The songs and styles themselves are unique, but the format on which the album was constructed is a bit stereotypical. The album opens with a fast paced, energetic song, followed by two more matching the pace only to get to the slower songs as the album goes on. The atmosphere of each song became predictable by the fourth track, but the songwriting and sound of the band makes up for it. Although album fluidity is vital, it can be outweighed by raw talent as shown on “The Other Side”.
The sophomore album curse is definitely still prevalent these days and it seems to draw a distinctive line between the bands that have the chops, and those that don’t. It humbles me to say that Tonight Alive has the chops and has lived up to the hype that is so often tossed around the fans of this genre. “The Other Side” stays afloat and shows a gradual and natural progression from the band’s last album. A progression that shows promise and should be embraced and supported throughout the rest of this band’s promising career.