The third album from Texas rockers the Afters reveals the band effortlessly crafting singalong hooks. Continuing with their familiar formula, the band firmly latches onto a OneRepublic-meets-Snow Patrol sound that targets millennial listeners. Several tracks from their first two albums make their way onto TV shows from The Hills and Rachael Ray to Army Wives and more. "Light Up the Sky" follows suit with track after track perfectly fitted for the small screen, skimming the surface of the human condition with themes of love and faith that can easily be condensed into 30-second snippets. Lead singer Josh Havens' tenor is a transcendent blend of Coldplay's Chris Martin and OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder, particularly in the captivating falsetto on "Start Over." The group has never sounded more resolute and practically punk-like as they do on "We Won't Give Up," which is propelled by the album's hardest rocking guitar riff. "Life Is Sweeter" and "I Am Yours" are carried by the band's characteristic buoyant, alternative rock energy that shows that this is still the Afters that fans know and love. Credit producer Dan Muckala for evoking more authentic emotion than on the band's previous two efforts and for helping the talented songwriters craft this collection of upbeat and, at times, breathtaking, rock.
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AllMusic Review by Jared Johnson