The Deal: Texas quintet Flyleaf releases long-awaited follow-up to 2005 self-titled debut.
The Good: All Christian-rock ties aside, Flyleaf sold more than one million albums of its debut, and fans have been clamoring for new music. The follow-up album kicks off with "Beautiful Bride" that remains on the same sonic path as its predecessor, if the vocals lean a little more toward the Paramore side of audio comparisons. The lyrics on the album are definitely more religious than previous offerings – something the band has never hidden from. It's interesting – if you take the lyrics at face value, they have a general positive meaning behind them. Do a little research online and you'll find there are direct ties to Bible passages and other religious themes.
The Bad: Lyrics were expected in the liner notes instead of brief descriptions of the songs' inspirations written as journal entries. While they were interesting to read, I still wanted to read lyrics and find more out that way. While the debut strayed toward metal more often, this one is definitely going toward pop. Singer Lacey Sturm (now married, formerly Mosely) doesn't seem to stretch out for the screams and gothic side of the music that was so evident on the debut. Her gutteral scream only shows up on one song, "Swept Away," – bad if you're a fan of that side of the band, good if you want to hear more of her vocal abilities.
The Verdict: True that the band is marketed toward Christian fans, and the band doesn't hide from that fact. Their religious overtones are also existing more in the lyrics than on their debut. Some people may feel it's a little too preachy.