Between the Stars

Written by: LF on 17/12/2014 21:24:28

While this is the fourth album overall from the hard rockers Flyleaf, it is only their first full-length with their new vocalist Kristen May who replaced Lacey Sturm back in 2012. To my ears the band had an interesting edge on their very first record that they seem to have lost increasingly through the years, and while May sings beautifully and isn't too far off from Sturm's style, she sadly only helps pull the band further towards blandness.

The album is filled with big and catchy songs that thrive on a volatile combination of heavily distorted guitar riffs, soaring vocals and a firmly forward-marching rhythm section. Most of the songs feel almost majestic in their greatness and the ease with which May hits her highest notes seems angelic. All this would be intoxicating if any kind of edge ever entered the compositions or if the entire one hour of the album wasn't filled with songs that sound exactly the same in terms of overall composition, melody and sound. What makes some songs better than others then is quite simply the quality level of their melodies, and to my ears the strongest of these are clearly in the extremely dramatic single "Set Me On Fire" and the following "Magnetic" that has a catchy rhythm in its chorus that won't let me forget it.

Some of the other songs have interesting parts that stand out slightly like the ominous "woah-oh" towards the end of the twinkling "Thread", the muffled keyboard-riff in the chorus of "Well of Lies", the octave jump of the heavy-set "Traitor", or the screams that feature in "City Kids". The trouble is that these serve mostly as curiosities and lose their novelty value very quickly as they are never really used for creating any kind of intriguing dynamic in the songs. They feel like glittery ornaments that are supposed to blind me from the fact that these songs are way too similar overall and that even the most catchy parts of the album only make for decent songs on an otherwise boring album. That being said, it's all produced so smoothly that I'm most likely going to have some of these tunes stuck in my mind whether I want to or not, and if that doesn't point to effective songwriting, I don't know what does.


Download: Set Me On Fire, Magnetic
For The Fans Of: The Letter Black, Bullet For My Valentine, Skillet, P.O.D.

Release date 29.10.2014
Ear Music

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