The first time I listened to Flyleaf I was in middle school. A friend’s older brother handed me this fancy gadget called an iPod and told me to listen to a song. The opening chords of “I’m So Sick” began followed by, what seemed like a deafening scream. I didn’t return to this mysterious band for a few years. However, when I did, they quickly became one of my favorites.
Glancing around their Facebook page, Flyleaf’s story appears to have ended. However, looking back, the band had a true rock ‘n’ roll career: they exploded with promise, crafting great songs with depth and meaning before fizzling into obscurity and finally extinction.
4) Between The Stars
After Lacey Sturm left the band, Kristen May filled her spot in 2012. While Kristen May is a great vocalist, she had big shoes to fill. On the album, at times she feels like an appropriate replacement, but ultimately her time with the band would be short. She left after only a couple of years.
As one may expect, Between The Stars was a vastly different album than Flyleaf’s previous records. This record resembles indie rock in some ways, rather than the hard-edged punk rock that brought them fame. Change is usually a good thing for artists, however, this album contains a lot of alterations. Unfortunately, this seems to have been the final chapter in an otherwise brilliant career. According to their Facebook page, they have no upcoming tours, or recent posts.
Between The Stars features a few good songs worth seeking out. “Marionette” sounds a lot like older Flyleaf, which is refreshing. “Platonic” is another good track, even though it features a weird electronic instrumental section. Lastly, “Traitor” feels like Kristen May’s version of an older Flyleaf song. Her voice soars way above the crunching guitars.
3) New Horizons
This is the last Flyleaf album to feature Lacey Sturm. She goes out on a high note. New Horizons is a solid album that has a different tone than the band’s first two records. While this may seem like a negative, it isn’t necessarily bad. The band retains its increasingly hardedge. Most noticeably, the band has shed its “emo” shell, opting for a more conventional atmosphere.
“Call You Out” is a high energy showcase of Lacey Sturm’s singing abilities, while the title track is more subdued and slightly reminiscent of their first two records.
Flyleaf’s first album is first and foremost a brilliant combination of punk instrumentals glistening with emo lyrics. The music is fun, and there are a variety of songs, spanning the spectrum. There is everything from tender tracks roasted with emotion and to fun punk rock songs. The album has dark tones, even though it is not a dark album. There are hopeful moments ripe with positive emotion. However, there are moments equally as upsetting.
Flyleaf’s debut record is built of singles. This entire album is worth checking out and listening to. However, “All Around Me” is my favorite, followed by “So I Thought” and “I’m So Sick”. “So I Thought” is a wonderful moody ballad, while “All Around Me” is a mid-paced track that evolves with a smart and smooth finish.
1) Memento Mori
On their second record, Flyleaf made a musical turn. They dropped some of the “punk” aspects and adopted more rock elements. The music is heavier, but their lyrics are still packed with meaning. The band did not sacrifice any grit or darkness with this album. Lyrically, it is similar to their debut album. This combination makes Memento Mori my favorite of their albums. Overall, their music still retained the same raw edge that made their first record a success.
There are numerous songs that could be labeled as “takeaway” tracks on this album. In my opinion, this album is made of songs that qualify as singles. However, when pressed for a decision, my personal favorites are “Again”, “Beautiful Bride” and “Arise”.