By Bianca Montes, Richland College
It has been a journey for Texas-based rock band Flyleaf. With nearly a decade of touring, 1,296,700 albums sold and a life of 155 weeks on Billboard charts, this band shot straight for the stars and never turned back.
With roots running from Arlington to Temple TX, this alternative rock band played over 100 shows in Texas in a two year span before being recruited by record label, Octone Records in 2004. Their hard work and dedication did not end there. The band went on to tour over 600 shows all-the-while gaining fans in every city.
It has been more than four years since Flyleaf released its self-titled debut album. The album influenced many lives, and I am not the exception. Involving myself with a review is not something I do often, but I think this is a day to play homage to all that Flyleaf has done in my life. Their music played a big part in saving my life, and has opened my eyes to love, forgiveness and grace. When my heart was broken, the lyrics of Flyleaf sang to it while addressing my darkest fears.
Once announced, the sophomore album of Flyleaf entitled Memento Mori became one of the most anticipated and slightly delayed albums of the year. The title, a Latin phrase which calls for people to remember their mortality, and is a perfect fit for this albums message. The urgency found in the debut album of Flyleaf is slightly toned down in Momento Mori’s tone, but once you dive into the lyrics you will find a whole new level of urgency.
The album bursts to life with “Beautiful Bride.” The track contains driving and forceful beats that perfectly capture what Flyleaf has been known for. While the song may not fit entirely with the Memento Mori phrase, the anthem that is just for us, the bride, is beautiful in its own.
Tracks such as “In The Dark,” “Break Your Knees” and “Chasm” hint at the styling we have grown to love from Flyleaf. “Chasm,” a personal favorite, set my heart on fire as I fell into the lyrics and meaning of this song. Based on a story in the Bible (Luke 16:22-31) the song warns that “The Chasm isn’t fixed yet,” and ties in with the reminder to remember our mortality.
“Set Apart This Dream,” an anthem for girls across the world, is said to be based on the book “Wild At Heart” according to lead singer Lacey Sturm; however, I believe it is most likely based on the sequel “Captivating” by John Eldredge and his wife Stasi. The song is a beautiful decree to women and girls to remember that they have been set apart. While the beats are less driving and more melodic the song still packs a powerful message.
The climax for the album shines in the 8th track “Swept Away.” The song starts off hard and ends hard. The lyrics “Evil fell from your pretty mouth, wrapped in your classic voice” are tough and in your face, and they truly showcase the maturity of the band.
Love song, “Treasure” starts out slowly and then builds as the song progresses. The song was written after lead singer Lacey Sturm was proposed to by husband Joshua, and the emotions she felt at that moment. The beauty of the lyrics speaks highly to their love, “Refined I’ll become the most dazzling precious treasure.”
Overall, Memento Mori is a wonderfully pieced together album that weaves a coherent and beautiful story. The album leaves the listener with the sense that all things have an ending, and that while we are fortunate enough to have time now, we must constantly be mindful of our mortality.
Posted by: Sam Moore
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