Tops’ fourth album I Feel Alive is a nostalgic journey back in time. The four piece Canadian band showcases their talent in this album through glistening melodies and soft-rock sound.
Exploring all sides of love – the good, the bad and the ugly – lead singer Jane Penny’s angelic voice tells the stories of heartbreak and new love. I Feel Alive is versatile but for the most part has a consistent positive vibe throughout its 11 tracks.
Direct Sunlight welcomes the listener to the album with an iridescent and upbeat feeling. It is radiant and summery. As the album progresses, you can hear all different sides to the band with some songs sounding very electric while others have a more organic and acoustic sound.
On the first listen the most impactful factor to note is Penny’s authentic and raw vocals. Paired with the rest of the band they produce seamless melodies, demonstrated on song Pirouette, which already sounds like a timeless classic.
The soft-rock album is romantic and real. Ballads & Sad Movies is vulnerable and could be the perfect slow dance song for an 80s teen movie prom scene. Her nasally voice paired with the wistful instrumentals in Witching Hour creates a vintage sound comparable to Fleetwood Mac. Colder and Closer describes the desperation of young love and Take Down is a dreamy breakup song that adds a darker tone to the album, while maintaining their distinct 80s inspired sound.
The closing track Too Much is a slow number that truly stands out both vocally and sonically. Penny’s almost Madonna-like vocals add an element of glamour complimented with the soft guitars and drums. This intimate song is the perfect finish to an already well rounded album.
I Feel Alive is an album that perfectly encapsulates the complexity of love. Relying on nostalgic sounds, Tops are able to produce songs that feel current yet could belong in the past.
I Feel Alive is out now, via Musique TOPS