Sound — 9
Its been four years since the Texas based group Flyleaf came onto the scene. Their first CD, self-titled "Flyleaf", opened with the memorable "I'm So Sick", with Lacey Mosley, the lead singer, leading with a beautiful soft voice one second, then the next roaring out a very vicious scream. It didn't stop, and for 11 songs listeners took an incredible musical ride. Now, the time has come from Flyleaf's sophomore album, Memento Mori (My review is based off the Amazon MP3 Exclusive Deluxe Edition) The first thing that must be said about this album is that Flyleaf put an incredible amount of creativity into this CD. While Lacey does not scream as much as she did in "Flyleaf", she uses her voice in "Memento Mori" in very unique ways. From the desperate shrilling of "Chasm", the mental breakdown sound of "The Kind", and everywhere in between, fans will not be disappointed in the sound of Lacey's voice (unless, of course, you were hoping that more screaming would be involved) Sameer Bhattacharya and Jared Hartmann have also evolved their sound as well. "Beautiful Bride", "This Close", "Set Apart This Dream" and others show how Lacey and the guitarists tag team for superior sound quality on both the vocal and non-vocal ends. While Pat is an excellent bassist, between Lacey and the guitarists his work is somewhat lost in the mix at times. James Culpepper's drumming has taken roles in the more experimental songs, but otherwise contributes solid work to the CD as a whole.
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics of Flyleaf have always taken a specific stance. Right out of the gate you know where they stand with "Beautiful Bride". You hear influences of their Christian faith in songs like "Uncle Bobby", dealing with the tragedy of loss, "Break Your Knees", dealing with themes of death, and "Missing" referring to the spiritual hole that only Christ can fil. Throughout the whole CD, references to the theme "Memento Mori" (Latin for "Remember you will die) can be heard in the majority of the songs. The only thing I didn't like about some of the songs is that while they are all written well, the sing-ability of some songs is lacking. Every song from the first CD has that element of being able to sing along with Mosley, but there are songs on this CD where the experimentation makes the song sound good but ultimately difficult to sing. There are exceptions ("Beautiful Bride" being the first exception), but that straightforward lyrical rush from Flyleaf is missing in certain parts. It is a mild complaint, however. Since I did not order the iTunes version with the bonus tracks "Bittersweet" and "Stay", I will make no comment on those two songs.
Overall Impression — 8
Does Memento Mori surpass the greatness of "Flyleaf"? It is too early to tell. Does Flyleaf deliver with "Memento Mori? Absolutely. There is plenty to like if you are looking for the rock, the creative, and even a new pop-esque sound("Tiny Heart"). Without compromising any part of their Christian faith Flyleaf will barrage the world again with "Memento Mori". The musical quality is top notch, the singing of Mosley cannot be found anywhere else, and the sound that Flyleaf brought with them in "Flyleaf" has now been passed to "Memento Mori". If you liked the first full Flyleaf outing, you will not want to miss the sequel.