For those unfamiliar with new Texas-based alternative rock band Flyleaf, here's a quick refresher.
In 2003 the band signed to mainstream label Octone Records and released a self-titled 4 song EP a year
later in October of 2004. Their EP was produced by famed 3 Doors Down producer Rick Parasher and had
Kevin Shirley (known for his work with the Black Crowes and Our Lady Peace) mix the entire EP as well.
Fast forwarding to the fall of 2005 finds the band with the release of their debut self-titled full length
LP that includes a tour with Taproot and Staind to promote the new album.
Musically, the album is an extended version of last year's effort with critically acclaimed producer
Howard Benson being the man behind the sound quality of the band's talents this time around.
Given that the songs from their self-titled EP have already been provided with a prior critique, the
focus of this review will be directed towards Flyleaf's newer and fresher material. However, their older
songs "Cassie," Red Sam," "Breathe Today," and "I'm Sorry" have been re-recorded and given a musical
makeover that differentiates from the songs' original raw and brutal intensity. Overall, the LP evokes
raw emotion and contains songs that address the issues of abuse, negelect, addiction, and dysfunction.
Songs like the radio single "I'm So Sick" has haunting and creepy lyrics that portray an individual who
has a viral disease of self and wants to break free from earthly passions. "Sorrow" begins as a mid-tempo
rock piece that contains glimpses of depression, but shows a yearning for spiritual guidance as Lacey Mosley
utters the words "Sorrow lasts through this night and I'll take this piece of You, and hold for all
eternity; for just one second I felt whole... as You flew right through me."
The song "All Around Me" speaks about desiring to have a stronger relationship with the Father, while
the Evanescence feel of "Fully Alive" is about a young girl who yearns to escape the abuse of her family
by finding comfort in the arms of a loving God. The beautiful ballad "There For You" is all about finding
trust and strength in a true friend who will never let one down despite the selfishness of their past
mistakes. Arguably the best song on the album lyrically is "Perfect," which is blatant in proclaiming
"Perfect in weakness, I'm only perfect in just Your strength alone."
Unfortunately, some listeners may tire quickly of Mosley's voice as her chords and screams tend to
sound the same vocally in many of the album's songs. Regardless, with amazingly blended guitar work from
members Sameer Bhattacharya and Jared Harmann, as well as smooth bass work from Pat Seals and heavy drum
rhythms from James Culpepper, Flyleaf has crafted a debut effort that has proven to be a step higher
from their accomplishments with their EP last year. This quintet has already toured with some of the
biggest names in mainstream rock today and have been acknowledged as one of the most aggressive and
powerful new alternative rock acts of 2005. Move over Courtney Love, a new rock princess is in town and
she has brought her band with her.
- Review date: 11/8/05, written by Paul Portell