By Jenny Bennett, contributing writer, GospelMusicChannel.com
Every once in awhile, an artist's success can't be defined by a platinum-selling album, sold-out tour dates and radio play alone - an occurrence that's even rarer when you're talking about "Jesus music."
That's what we'll call it even though Flyleaf hasn't been promoted by the Christian music industry for the majority of its nine-year history.
To say their second full-length album is highly anticipated would be an understatement. The band's success is difficult to articulate, but let's just say they have something special: the ability to play to and inspire any audience, coupled with a raw and energy-filled talent.
Very hard rock tempered by the astonishingly beautiful voice of lead singer Lacey Mosely (who puts so much energy behind it you almost expect her to physically explode at any minute) characterizes the band's second full-length album Memento Mori, which, true to form, is an honest depiction of the group's unique way of viewing the world through the eyes of faith. The album title is a Latin phrase meaning "Be mindful of death," which the band says is to remind listeners that life is precious.
"This album feels like an emotional rollercoaster," says Mosely. "While listening to it, I was holding my breath at points. The issues definitely got heavier and a little more intense."
The lyrics are obscure enough to be intriguing, dark enough to speak to those of us with demons (hint: all of us), yet tinged with a message of hope and redemption: this is a recipe for effective witness.
Not that Flyleaf is setting out to do that - they're just naturally good at it, encouraging people who are at rock bottom not to give up. Mosely writes songs honestly about her struggles with depression and abuse, and is never shy about proclaiming her faith as a response. Several songs on the album are directed at young women, teaching them they are precious and encouraging self-esteem.
From the strong Christian imagery of "Beautiful Bride" to one of the softest pop songs the group has attempted ("Tiny Hearts"), the album covers more territory than their debut. Mosely again demonstrates her incredible vocal range, with even more varying shades and colors than before. Flyleaf is still recognizably Flyleaf but the creative growth they've experienced is also evident.
Fans and newcomers alike won't be disappointed with Memento Mori for its uplifting message and intricately woven arrangements.
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