Sound — 8
After breaking into the music scene with three successful albums, including a platinum certified debut, as the lead singer of Flyleaf, Lacey Sturm has begun to make the transition from rock band frontwoman to solo artist. Lacey's debut solo album, entitled "Life Screams," features her signature vocals accompanied by guitar work from her husband, Josh Sturm, as well as songwriting collaborations from Skillet's Korey Cooper. Fans of Flyleaf will find familiarity in Lacey's first solo album as the record displays a mixture of hard rock songs coupled with moments of acoustic-based songwriting. "Life Screams" features quality production, high energy, and a display of raw emotion from a singer who often chooses to wear her heart on her sleeve.
Lyrics — 9
Ever since Flyleaf's debut album was released in 2005, Lacey Sturm has been recognized in the rock community for her unique voice, signature scream, and genuine lyrics. Lacey recently became an author with the release of her first book in 2014 entitled "The Reason: How I Discovered a Life Worth Living." Her writing style as an author is prevalent in her lyrical themes throughout her first solo album. Lacey tells stories of perseverance and hope through her lyrics, and this message is evident in songs such as the album's lead single, "Impossible," as well as other tracks including "You're Not Alone" and "Feels Like Forever." Vocally, Lacey reveals her power and angst in tracks such as "Rot" and "The Soldier." She also highlights the serenity of her voice in the acoustically-driven "Run to You" and the piano-accompanied title track, "Life Screams."
One of my personal favorite traits about Lacey's songwriting is her ability to build lyrical and musical themes together. An example of this occurs in the album's title track during the third chorus. While being accompanied solely by a piano, Lacey uses a vocal crescendo to sing the opening chorus line, "Life screams out... it's calling you by name." The softness in her voice emphasizes the song's meaning of taking the time to listen to what life is saying to you. The following transition in singing style displays the power behind Lacey's voice, driving home the lyrical idea that life is screaming out to those who are willing to listen.
Overall Impression — 9
"Life Screams" is a welcomed album from Flyleaf fans who were saddened to learn of Lacey's departure from the band, and the record also highlights Lacey's unique abilities as a solo artist. My favorite songs from the record include "Life Screams," "Run to You," "You're Not Alone," and "Rot." The album also includes a live cover of "Roxanne" by The Police. The band puts its own twist on this song by performing it slower and heavier in comparison to the original, but this is also a track I find myself skipping on occasion.
I have kept this album in my car's CD player since it was released, and I would definitely buy a second copy if I lost this one. "Life Screams" highlights another successful moment in Lacey's musical career, and I look forward to listening to her future work for years to come.