I purchased Flyleaf's debut, self-titled album yesterday and heard it for the first time just a few hours ago.
... I'm still speechless.
This album was above and beyond what I had expected. I had set out to purchase the album after falling in love with the group's single I'm So Sick, and after hearing that hardcore track, I expected an album with a lot of screaming and not a lot of depth. Boy, was I mistaken! I knew Flyleaf was a Christian crossover band, but the blatant references the lyrics made to Christ surprised and impressed me at the same time. The group's lyrics are not only written extremely well, but they speak a message of hope and courage that one can relate to, no matter their beliefs.
The talent the lead singer of this group has is apparent in every song Flyleaf has recorded. Lacey Mosley heads this band, and this chic can scream! But not only is Lacey powerful in the heavy metal songs, she can come down and sing a beautiful ballad, hitting high notes that give you chills. Lacey's impressive vocal range paired with the band's tasteful combination of complicated guitar riffs and hard-hitting drum lines make for an album full of instant favorites.
So, here's a review for Flyleaf's debut album.
Flyleaf - Flyleaf (2005)
1. I'm So Sick - The song that made me determined to purchase this album in the first place. Lacey had me sold from her blood-curdling scream at the very beginning of the track; from there, the track calms down a bit, becoming more melodic, until the end of the track, when Lacey achieves a truly desperate tone to her voice, hitting high notes that die off as her band mates scream in the background. An angst-filled track that's sure to please.
2. Fully Alive - Sure to get stuck in your head. With lyrics that speak a powerful message, this track moves along at a steady pace, with in-your-face verses and a chorus that immediately catches your attention. A great single, full of impressive vocals as well as instrumentals.
3. Perfect - A very hard-rock track, with crashing symbols and impressive guitar parts. The lyrics - the first on the album which speak an obvious religious message; "I tried to kill you / You tried to save me // You save me...") - are delivered in a punch-y, punk-rock fashion which suits the song while staying within Flyleaf's style.
4. Cassie - Without a doubt Flyleaf's most controversial track to date, it may also be one of their harshest on the album. Often misunderstood as a song about teenage suicide, Cassie's lyrics actually refer to a young woman who was killed because she wasn't afraid to admit that she believed in God ("The question asked in order / To save her life or to take it ..."). This song's deep and painful lyrics are paired with intense guitar parts, crashing drums and plenty of screaming to round off a great track.
5. Sorrow - This track starts out harsher and then softens into an extremely melodic track. Lacey expresses the emotion of this song perfectly, alternating between soft high notes and harsher lower notes in the chorus. This song ends in screaming and impressive guitar parts that wrap up this song of "sorrow" perfectly. A heart wrenching track; simply lovely.
6. I'm Sorry - The album picks up with another fast-paced track with a hard-rock essence. This song starts off strong and doesn't let up, with plenty of high notes on Lacey's part and the fair share of guitar riffs from the band. Not a stand-out track in my opinion, but not a disappointment.
7. All Around Me - This song starts out strong and delivers the whole way through. Another single which is sure to get stuck in your head; the lyrics are powerful, speaking an important message to someone of any belief. A strong drum beat carries the verses and the guitars pick up in the chorus. The emotions in this track are real to the band members, and it makes all the difference in this song.
8. Red Sam - With lyrics that speak of finding comfort in a situation of unbearable pain, this song is emotional and the band delivers it perfectly. Another song with several obvious references to their beliefs; however, on a non-religious aspect, this song's lyrics give hope and courage to the suffering. A beautiful track with such a powerful message, Red Sam is impossible to ignore.
9. There For You - The group really tones down for this soft rock track without compromising any of their talent or passion in their work. Another song packed full of heartbreaking lyrics, the emotion in this track is presented beautifully. This is a fairly simple track - both melodically and lyrically - compare to their others, but it is this song's simplicity that makes it, without a doubt, one of my favorites on the album.
10. Breathe Today - This track opens with more punchy, in-your-face lyrics that lead to a chorus you can't help but headbang to. While you may be too busy rockin' out to this song to notice the lyrics at first, they are for sure not to be ignored. More screaming and a few killer guitar solos keep up the intensity throughout this awesome song.
11. So I Thought - An unbearably powerful final track. The group slows it down again for this one, and it's as if all of the emotion, the passion and the meaning from all the tracks previous are packed into one to make this track what it is. Remorseful, reminiscent lyrics have a painful sting while still radiating hope and courage. Lacey delivers these words beautifully, and when the drums and guitars pick up in the chorus, it nearly breaks your heart. Another of my favorites; I can't imagine a better end to the album.
If you purchase the special addition of this album, as I did, you get all of the above tracks on a CD, plus acoustic recordings of Fully Alive, Red Sam, Cassie, I'm So Sick and All Around Me. All of the acoustic covers are beautiful and worth spending the extra money on the special addition album. The special addition also comes with a DVD with footage of all the acoustic covers, plus the music videos for I'm So Sick, Fully Alive and All Around Me.
I know Flyleaf stands out for me; what about you? Interested in learning more about this group?
Check out Flyleaf's website to learn more about the band.
The lyrics for all the songs on the debut album as well as Flyleaf's newly released Much Like Falling (2007) and more can be found on this website.
It was hard choosing which music video to post here, because I have fallen in love with all of Flyleaf's videos. In the end I decided to post the video I first fell in love with; the video which essentially made me a Flyleaf fan.
Here's I'm So Sick by Flyleaf.
Flyleaf - I'm So Sick Music Video