Memento Mori Review

artist: Flyleaf date: 11/27/2009 category: compact discs
Flyleaf: Memento Mori
Released: Nov 10, 2009
Genre: Post-Grunge, Alternative Metal, Hard Rock, Christian Rock
Label: A&M, Octone
Number Of Tracks: 15
"Memento Mori", Flyleaf's second full-length album, has much more promise than their first outing did.
 Sound: 8.4
 Lyrics: 8.2
 Overall Impression: 8.2
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reviews (5) 60 comments vote for this album:
overall: 8.3
Memento Mori Reviewed by: SawGuru, on november 27, 2009
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sound: Memento Mori, Flyleaf's second full length album, has much more promise than their first outing did. While their self-titled album gave many promising songs, the guitar tones were often muddy with too much overdrive, too much phaser/flange, and combinations of both. This album, however, has a much clearer guitar sound. The band has not lost their drive, but rather have made it much cleaner to hear. Also, Lacy's vocals have been cleaned up. While she still uses reverb and delay to enhance her overall sound, they are toned down on this album for a much smoother vocal track. Howard Benson also did well with blending Lacy's multi-tracked vocals together, which the last album lacked. Overall, Memento Mori has a much clearer, pure sound, while somehow taking on a darker tone than the last album had. // 8

Lyrics: Lacy has really stepped up the songwriting on this album, making the best of her artistic ability to tell stories while injecting emotive hooks to Flyleaf's songs. This album truly takes a darker sounding turn than their first did, while still maintaining a spiritual message. Whether or not a listener agrees with the band's faith, most listeners would agree that turning their backs on it to sell music would be selling out. Flyleaf gives no hint of selling out in that regard, as their lyrics are even stronger Christian imagery than their first outing gave. Songs like 'The Kind' and 'Swept Away' give listeners strong, dark lyrics, while songs like 'Beautiful Bride' and 'Again' give upbeat hooks. Overall, the lyrics have progressed into a stronger skill than their debut album had. // 9

Overall Impression: This album really improves upon what Flyleaf did with their debut. Memento Mori may have taken to long to put out, but with some good business decisions on promotion and single releasing, Flyleaf may yet be able to continue gaining popularity and an audience. This album has a darker, yet more enjoyable, sound than 'Flyleaf' did. I'd recommend buying this album. I certainly would buy it for you if it'd get you to listen to it. // 8

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overall: 8.3
Memento Mori Reviewed by: Shredlancer, on november 27, 2009
2 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sound: 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. // 9

Lyrics: 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. // 8

Overall Impression: 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. // 8

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overall: 6.7
Memento Mori Reviewed by: HATECREWofBODOM, on november 27, 2009
0 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: I went into this CD expecting harsh vocals backed by insane bass riffs and haunting melodic guitars, but all the songs seem to be focused on Lacey's singing rather than Memento Mori is Flyleaf's second full studio album, and it is a bit softer than their self-titled album- released in 2005. This album shows that Flyleaf isn't afraid of trying something new. Memento Mori translates to "Remember you will die." and they wanted people to remember their mortality so they could make the best of their lives. Sadly, each of the band members have had recent contact with death of loved one's greatly influencing this album. Another factor of their sound is that for this album they went with Howard Benson(My Chemical Romance, Papa Roach, Seether)to produce it. // 6

Lyrics: The lyrics are more religion based, and being that Lacey is Christian it doesn't surprise me. One song that stuck out to me because of their religious lyrics would be one of their first singles: Beautiful Bride. ("Body of Christ, One flesh abiding, Strong and unifying, Fighting ends in forgiveness, Unite and fight all division, Beautiful bride") This album goes half and half with lyrics though. Although there are a lot of times the lyrics are powerful and emotionally impacting, they sometimes end up being slightly cheesy in an attempt to rhyme. Lacey has a beautiful way of connecting her voice harmoniously with the rest of the music, such as in the last song on the album called "Arise. Towards the end of the song she really powers "Arise and be, All the you dreamed, all that you dreamed." several times and it sent shivers down my spine. She has definitely improved vocally since their last full studio album. // 8

Overall Impression: It's always hard for me to pick and chose favorites but I would have to say my favorites are: The Kind This Close In the Dar Arise Swept Away Why these songs? Well, because they all reflect more of their old sound, and most of these lyrics have a very intense emotional impact when she delivers them. I love the fact that they were able to try new things, but overall I wasn't to impressed with this CD. I do give credit to Lacey for being able to punch out those high notes, and still scream in a couple songs because she's been suffering from shredded vocal chords. I don't hate anything about this album, however, I am disappointed in their choice to focus more on Lacey's voice and less with the bass and guitar portions. If this was lost or stolen I wouldn't buy the album itself, but I'd definitely go online and buy my favorite tracks. // 6

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overall: 9.3
Memento Mori Reviewed by: blueboxdoctor, on november 27, 2009
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Ever since 2005 there has not been much news from the band. That is not to say they weren't busy touring and writing, but in terms of a full length album there has been relatively little activity. Luckily their newest release, Memento Mori, which essentially means to be aware that death is all around us (no pun intended)and that each moment should be cherised, proves to account for their four year absence, and perfectly displays the band's maturity both musically and arguably lyrically. Now, I say arguably lyrically because the lyrics are still good, but they were good on the debut, so starting off well in the field it is expected for them to continue in such a fashion; regardless they are quite good, and enjoyable. Just as on all of their other songs the album is a showcase of how to use various effect peddles to their full capabilities. // 10

Lyrics: As previously mentioned, the lyrics are very hard to complain about. They do everything you would want from a Christian Rock band. Rather, they make the listener feel happy, but not a superficial happy. Instead the lyrics are uplifting, and, as cliche as this sounds, and I am sincerly sorry for this, inspirational. This is largely due to how well all of the lyrics mesh with the music behind it. Throughout the album it is obvious that the band has matured to the level that everything perfectly blends together, and that is applaudible considering their first album had a few songs, but not many, that at parts appeared broken. Naturally, the lyrics revolve around getting through struggles, finding hope in the dark, and as the title suggests, living each moment to the fullest. Also worth noting that Lacey Mosley lends a special mood to the music with her vocals. Unlike countless other bands that copy each other, most notably the five hundred Paramore knockoffs, her voice is unique, and her emotions seem to blend with the lyrics and music to give each song it's own distinct feel. // 8

Overall Impression: There are a lot of people who find the need to compare Flyleaf to Paramore. Honestly, that is a horrible comparison. This is why; they are not the same type of music. Paramore are a pop rock band and Flyleaf are a christian rock band. Naturally the lyrical themes will be different, and to compare two different themes and styles would be quite difficult. Surprisingly the single, "Beautiful Bride" is actaully good. It would be hard to describe each song and their ups and downs since there are 14 tracks on the standard edition of the album, but two notable tracks are "Treasure" and "Swept Away." That is not to say the others aren't good, but upon the first listening these two stuck out as the most memorable. Being full of fourteen tracks, or thirteen depending on whether or not you count the minute interlude as a full song, that are quite amazing I would definitely buy the album if it was lost, and if it was stolen I might just have to hunt whoever stole it down. // 10

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overall: 8.7
Memento Mori Reviewed by: sg4ever, on march 24, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Flyleaf has an interesting sound for sure. They have a dark and heavy sound with the softer edge that a female front-man inevitable brings. You can say what you will about some band somewhere in this vast world somehow getting past the girl lead singer vibe, but in most normal situations, there is always a certain sound that a female singer brings. As stated before, Flyleaf is no exception to the rule. The one exception is that they truly rock and their sound really works well with the girl singer vibe going on. Flyleaf impressed me from the get go when they released their first major album. They had a great rock sound. The guitarists wrote great parts with an emphasis on good riffs and songwriting rather than shredding. The bass and the drums provided a solid rhythm section, although neither really went out of their way to impress anybody (aside from the gloomy bass intro in the opening track). Lacey had an interesting voice that suited the music. Much of that sound is still quite intact in this album, but it sounds more mature. The guitarists write some good riffs and seem more tasteful in their selection of tones, effects, and playing. There is no real soloing, but they have great hooks. The bass and drums are still the solid but not spectacular rhythm section, although the drummer does seem to have written more skilled parts. Lacey seems to have acquired more control over her voice, but there is less screaming. I find this a favorable change as her screaming is not so appealing although it sounds good when used sparingly. The one thing I find missing is a great closing track for the album. The ending track is a good song, but it doesn't quite have the punch that 'So I Thought' had on the last album. // 9

Lyrics: The lyrics are actually telling a story that is centered around two armies and their struggles as the liner notes make quite apparent. This story can be taken metaphorically about the struggles of Christians against their opposition. If you are offended by religious themes in lyrics, you will probably not like these lyrics. Some of them can be taken metaphorically, but they are largely Christian without any mistake. Songs such as 'Beautiful Bride' speaks of believers being the body of Christ and how they shouldn't be so divided as they are now. In "The Kind" you hear someone lament over giving into greed and selfish desires and consider their shortcomings a sin. There is also a direct reference to a Bible verse applicable to the subject of the song. Another song is a clear plea to Jesus. You have been warned if you find such subject matter offensive or irrelevant. On a different note, I actually like the lyrics. They are clear and unmistakable in the message, but they have this thing missing in Christian music called creativity. I am a Christian and enjoy Christian music, but I don't want to hear "I was lost. You found me. You gave me a purpose" written to a rock song. Such is not the case with Flyleaf and to hear words like "I've been looking in your window. I've been dressing in your clothes. I've been walking dead, watching you long enough to know I can't go on." showcase that they have some skill in penning lyrics that are deep yet convey a clear message. As far as the singing goes, you love it or hate it. I rather like the singing and think that Lacey's voice compliments the music. Her voice is dynamic and goes from a mournful and passionate high voice to a soft and sensitive quiet voice to a chilling whisper. There is still some screaming on the album, but it is toned down. I think this is a good thing as she doesn't handle it so well and still needs to work on it. She also had a tendency to place screams in odd places in the previous album, but this has been rectified. It's solid effort all around. // 8

Overall Impression: I can't really say who they sound like. I'm sure they sound like some other people out there, but they handle their sound in a way that is unique and interesting. I rather enjoy 'Beautiful Bride', 'Chasm', 'This Close', 'Swept Away', and 'Treasure'. Those are my favorite tracks, but I enjoy all of the album. I don't hate anything, but I wish that the ending track had more punch to it. I would definitely get the album again if I lost it. // 9

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