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Flyleaf - Between The Stars

Between The Stars
by Matan "Shouter" Yaniv at 04 October 2014, 8:07 PM

FLYLEAF is a band where it's very hard to not know the name. The band became very much known for her strong and powerful music, all this with a great mix between Alternative Rock and Alternative Metal. They released 3 studio albums, included one of the most powerful debut albums I ever heard, and reached unprecedented achievements which are very rare in the last decade. Also, they got themselves a good place in the ear of the writer of the review.

But, to this album I came with a lot of concerns. Why? Because, with all the respect to Kristin May (who proved herself in her great performance in their last tour), to say FLYLEAF without Lacey Sturm is like to say GUNS N ROSES without Axel Rose. I got used to Sturm's angry lyrics and emotional singing, it's also an unsupported part from the sound of the last albums. Aldo, I know that FLYLEAF isn’t a one woman band, and also I know that they got the legendary Don Gilmor as a producer, and with my concerns, I listened to the new album.

The album opened with Pat Seals' great bass skills in the first song in the album and the lead single, "Set Me On Fire". The song is doing the job good, he continues FLYLEAF's legacy with the mix of Alternative Rock with some Metal elements and of course an addictive chorus (which is also one of the band's strong elements). But, it's hard to say that this is one of their greatest singles, it's hard to say that the song got those strong emotions that the band done before. I can say that the song is really doing the job but not beyond it.

In "Magnetic", Sameer Bhattacharya is churning a great guitar solo, its could been a great song but it deviates dangerously far towards cheesy pop dimensions.. But in "Traidor" we are finally getting what we want, the drama and the anger in FLYLEAF's music. The song is just genius and addictive, absolutely the best song in the album so far and the band surely deserves respect for it.

After the band returns in the previous track, in "Platonic" the band turns for more electronic directions. Its giving a different hue to the album and against all the expectations, its sounds great. "Head Underwater" continue the direction of the previous track, but it’s a song that stays the same, with no genius changing, and in some place it sound too much expected. So as "Thread" and "Sober Serenade", in some place he sounds like PARAMORE, but in the bottom line it’s a predictable and mainstream pop songs that goes nowhere.

"Marionette" is bringing back a bit of the dramatic and old school emotional FLYLEAF. Some of the weakness of the last 4 tracks but the savior of this one is his amazing chorus. "Well Of Lies" reminds me EVENECENCE and 30 SECONDS TO MARS in their good days, Kristen May is not afraid to show the skills of her amazing voice. The song is the perfect Alternative Rock fan. The Song got all the elements of a stadium's song, but also continues himself too much long.

"City Kids" got some good screams, but they are not related to the other parts of the song. The result is a really confused song. "Blue Roses" is not just my least favorite song in the album, it’s the worst song that I heard from the hands of this otherwise excellent band. The song is just so needless and corny, its like that the band is pushing in strength the song right into MTV's hands. "Home" is not that better, trying to touch people's hearts but doing the exact opposite. And in the end the band is closing with a massage of optimism ("We are looking for a better days"), so not fit to a FLYLEAF album.

I'm thinking that the band is trying to go to a different direction and Kristen May is very helpful with her amazing voice.  I'm understand that at some point they may be sick of playing an angry music, but in some songs it sounds like a pop band, as if all the feelings that the band expressed so well over the years, have all but disappeared in some tracks.

But there are also the good parts. Above everything there's "Traidor", and behind it there are songs that point out that not that all hope is gone. It's as if there is one great side of the album and one that can be sent to VH1. Don Gilmore, who if you are asking me is one of the best producers in the Rock and Metal these days, is doing a great job in merges some electronic parts to the band but it's too forced, and it's creating some kind of chaos.

The band need time to get used to her new sound and give something that is not totally getting away from what they already done.

3 Star Rating

1. Set Me On Fire
2. Magnetic
3. Traidor
4. Platonic
5. Head Underwater
6. Sober Serenade
7. Thread
8. Marionette
9. Well Of Lies
10. City Kids
11. Blue Roses
12. Home
Kristen May– Vocals
Sameer Bhattacharya – Guitar
Jared Hartmann– Guitar
James Culpepper – Drums
Pat Seals – Bass
Record Label: earMusic


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