Wednesday, October 1, 2014

FLYLEAF: "Between The Stars"

Rating: RRRR
Label: earMusic/Loud&Proud 2014
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom

I'm a sucker for simplicity. Then again. The same goes for complexity. So what's my point? I guess... great music is great music no matter genre or style. Yeah. Let's move on. Flyleaf are at the same tricky situation as when Nightwish replaced Tarja T. and thus the old saying of 'you can't please them all', etc. Simply wave goodbye to singer Lacey Sturm and the alternative/metal sound of the past (including the deranged cookie monster in the background) and say hello to Kristen May (ex. Vedera) and their new Power-Pop sound.

I like this a lot actually. Very poppy, sunny, funny, catchy. The hooks and keys are literally flying across the album as it seems to be tailor made for their new vocalist aka Vibrato May. The completely new band, you say? Sort of. Possibly also the most anticipated CCM album of the year and the real surprise in my opinion. First single, "Set Me On Fire", the heaviest track off the album and it's still softer than a kitten. Power-Pop heaven starts with track two, "Magnetic", vibrato May at her best and it's all about the hook. It def seems like they're ready for a new and challenging direction

"Platonic" sounds like an improved version of The Cardigans and the mix of indie rock/pop. "Head Underwater" is just fun and uplifting stuff (very poppy). "Sober Serenade", one of those lift your hands towards the sky anthems and power-pop to the extreme. The pure 80's styled tracks of "City Kids" (which actually sounds like Stevie Nicks doing the Flyleaf cover) and "Blue Roses" (Belinda Carlisle doing circles in the sand) are just catchy and radio-friendly to the extreme. Not to mention the super fun, "Home", that in all honestly could have been the work of anyone from Taylor Swift to Miley C. "Avalanche", excellent power-pop and Kristen does the Stevie Nicks and Belinda Carlisle-light thingy (vibrato) with her voice again (yeah, baby!). "Ship of Fools", great alternative power-pop.

Also included on the Euro release is the demo (Tied To The Broken), an live version of "City Kids" and the two bonus tracks of "The Haunted" and "The Wedding". A total of 18 tracks and merely just a couple of fillers. Power-Pop supreme, baby! They are definitely turning over a new leaf and I like it.

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