On the Subject of Moving Forward is Fireflight's sophomore album, an EP containing five songs. It shows a maturing of dynamics and lyrics, and whether intended or not, the title, in part, sets the stage for FireFlight's musical tone for the next two or three albums. Some of the songs in this album would go on to experience minor revisions in their next album.
"Call" is the original version of what you might recognize as "Serenity" from The Healing of Harms. "Call" is the first Fireflight song I know of that has just a touch of thrash metal screaming in the background vocals. Wendy keeps a strong bass presence throughout, complementing Phee Shorb's drumming and leading Glen and Justin on guitars. To me, this song is about God reaching out to someone in need but with His will in mind, not their desires. "I offer down My hand but without your plans." God goes on to suggest to the listener that they have done enough, need to let go, fall, and open their hands to Him in their lament.
"Waiting" gives us a primer on what's to come in later albums. Here, we find excellent raw yet refined bass, guitar, and drums, all nicely stitched together, with Dawn's clear, confident voice leading it all. Dawn is singing what we all think to ourselves, asking for God's protection and healing, longing for Him to call our name.
In "Last Kiss," we find an energetic and fast beat throughout the song. Contrasting the guitar and drums are Dawn's incredible, powerful, raw vocals and lyrics in just three refrains sung from Jesus' perspective at a seemingly alternate pace. In two of the refrains, it's almost as though the instruments are on one time signature and Dawn is on another. It is an amazing composition that may have benefited from an additional refrain to highlight those contrasting time signatures. To me, this song is clearly about Judas' betrayal, Jesus' trial, His torture, and His ultimate triumph; "Where are your nails now?" says it all. This is one of those songs I wish Fireflight would perform again today.
"Are You Alone?" is about finding redemption in Christ's love. I like the quiet intro passage about being alone and ears being clogged, followed by the strong verses about redemption, "You hold my hand so tight / That it spills Your blood." One aspect I struggle with in this song, and "Liar," is the use of thrash metal screaming. It seems distracting from an otherwise congruent flow of music.
Finally, "Liar" offers a darker glimpse of others or of ourselves. I wonder if this song relates to difficulties one or more band members may have been experiencing, as the theme is of someone obsessed with themselves, fame, fortune, and deceit. Nonetheless, this song is well-executed and highlights Justin's accompanying vocals (even if some of it is that thrash metal screaming). Overall, On the Subject of Moving Forward is a good EP that gives Fireflight fans a tease of bigger things that would come with succeeding albums.JFH Reader Review: Review date: 5/24/20, written by Paul Novelli for Jesusfreakhideout.com
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