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JTindie.com Review of Memento Mori
Posted October 25, 2009
By jtindie,


Artist: Flyleaf
CD Title: Memento Mori
Style: Post grunge
Website: www.flyleafmusic.com
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Release Date: November 10th 2009

Playlist
1. Beautiful Bride – 3:03
2. Again – 3:05
3. Chasm – 2:54
4. Missing – 2:55
5. This Close – 3:21
6. The Kind – 2:47
7. In the Dark – 3:47
8. Set Apart This Dream – 3:15
9. Swept Away – 4:09
10. Tiny Heart – 3:07
11. Melting – 0:57
12. Treasure – 3:24
13. Circle – 3:03
14. Arise – 4:18
15. Uncle Bobby – (Hidden Track not on Preview)

The other day I opened my E-mail to find a short, cryptic email from someone whose name I remembered but just couldn’t place. The email held nothing more than a web address, user name and password (and no I’m not going to share). Following the address I was rather pleased to see that it led me to a preview of Flyleaf’s new album which comes out November 10th , titled “Memento Mori” Which is a Latin Phrase meaning “Be mindful of death” or “Remember you will die”. The Sophomore album while clearly flyleaf shows a great deal of maturity. Each song is layered with enough separate dimensions to make a quantum physicist giggle with glee.

Straight out of the gate this album rocks with “Beautiful Bride“, a perfect opener. The song sets a fevered tempo for the rest of the album. As I started to listened to the album I had two fears. The first was that somewhere on the album I would find a poor remake of “all around me” from the previous self-titled album. Secondly I was afraid I would find of Cd full of music trying very hard to not sound like a poor remake of the previous self-titled album. At no point while listening to the Preview did I feel like I was listening to anything other than Flyleaf. Also while I listened i did hear reminders of the previous albums, the reminders serve to show just how the band’s sound has changed since their first album.

From the subtle strings in the background of “In the Dark” to later in the same song when the verse screams “Jesus kill me inside this, raise me up to live again like you did, like you did!” The songs on this album are clearly taking no prisoners as it also clear that the band has a serious statement to make. With songs like “Chasm” that I believe was written about the parable of “Lazarus and the Rich Man” (Luke 16:19-31) with a Chorus that rings out “Please give me something I’m so thirsty, I’m so thirsty Oh please, let me warn them, Don’t you come here, don’t bring anyone here.” Song after song I find the CD full of these references.

I find that “Memento Mori” to be far more of “Christ influenced” Album than their first album. While all the members of the band are professed Christians, they don’t refer to their music as “Christian Music” instead they simply allow their life experience to reflect in the music they make. That being said I was taken by surprise by the obvious references to Christ, faith, and belief. I am hoping that with the obvious success of their first album they were given a freer hand in what songs went onto the CD. While I have decided that Beautiful Bride is one of the best songs on the preview “Treasure” is easily the most powerful song on the CD. The Cd is So different from the previous one that I have to wonder just what happened between the creation of the first album and the second to cause such a change in the feeling of the individual CDs. I for one am ecstatic over the fact that while this CD is so much more than just music, it never forgets that it is first and foremost a Flyleaf album. While it is true that the Message and not the Method is what is important it as also true that The Method should not be overlooked either. This CD Rocks hard, Takes no prisoners and like life, leaves no survivors.

there are several songs on the Preview I am really looking forward to seeing live, as I believe they would make great concert songs. “Beautiful Bride” For its total rock-ablility along with “Set apart this Dream” for its sing-ability. I can already hear a couple thousand fans singing “Set Apart this dream for me..” There are just some songs that are perfect for audience participation segment of every concert. Other songs are destined to become one of the live show “must plays” The song that everyone is waiting to hear. “Swept Away” is destined to be one of those songs. From a distinct opening and verses that can be described as “Spoken Word” this song defines a style all it’s own.

I have to admit that there is very little about this CD to complain about, One of the things I noticed on the First CD that is repeated on this cd is that for the most part the Cd is split into two sections with a rockier front end and a mellower ending. I would of preferred the songs intermixed where the change of rock to mellow and mellow to rock can serve to make each song stand out even more. Still I understand that this is simply a personal preference and in the age of MP3 players and thousand song shuffles I have to wonder if song order even matters at all anymore?

You are probably expecting me to talk about the technical aspects of the CD, however since this an A&M/Octone production I expect the Technical aspects of the CD to be flawless. Lets face facts, a CD like this is on a whole different level from Indie Productions and cant really be compared to or analyzed like an Indie Production. All the Music is crisp and clean, and the vocals are clear in a way that leaves me envious. Even the 57 second Instrumental “Melting” makes for an interesting interlude between “Tiny Heart” and “Treasure“. Overall “Memento Mori” is easily one of the better CDs I have listened to for quite a while and is a strong step up for Flyleaf from their self-titled freshman album. I am giving this CD a solid 4.5 stars out of a possible 5 stars, and I am already looking forward to November 10th when the album drops and November 11th when Flyleaf plays a live concert in Pittsburgh. You know I’ll be there.. “Memento Mori” is in my opinion a must own album, your collection simply isn’t complete without it.

this review is put out under a creative commons, attribution, non commercial, no derivatives, 3.0 united states license.

1. Beautiful Bride – 3:03
My Favorite song on the CD. A truly hard rocking song, classic Flyleaf sound, this song will be a great live performance and as the First single released (available on Itunes) I would be very surprised if there wasn’t a music video in the making for this song even now as I write this. The songs sets the Tempo and structure of rest of the CD as Lacey sings
“Beautiful bride body of grace.
One flesh abiding strong and unifying.
Fighting ends in forgiveness.
unite and fight all division.
beautiful bride.
Beautiful Bride body of Christ
one flesh abiding strong and unifying”

2. Again – 3:05
The melodic beginning of this song belies it’s rocking core. Lacey’s voice is clearly the instrument that pushes this song. This song of all of them reminds me the most of the previous album.

3. Chasm – 2:54
Chasm begins with a thumping beat that becomes just a bit repetitive. This song is perhaps my least favorite on the Album. The song itself has a start stop feel that I find disconcerting.

4. Missing – 2:55
This song makes shows me the depth of the musical talent. I find that the music is the strength of this song. the depth and dimension of the instruments make for a song that I can listen to over and over again and find something new each time.

5. This Close – 3:21
after four songs a Power/Rock ballad was inevitable, I have to say if I am going to listen to a Power Ballad I want it to be by someone like Lacey. Here you find all of your typical angsty Ballad-dy goodness.

6. The Kind – 2:47
A hard song about sin and forgiveness. The song throbs and repeats, throwing in our faces how we sin and justify our own actions until we can’t lie to ourselves anymore and finally go to God in desperate need of healing.

7. In the Dark – 3:47
darkly melodic, this song opens with the words
“I’ve written songs in the dark
I’ve felt inspired in the dark
I hide myself in the dark
used to be afraid of the dark”
All through the song you will hear the haunting undertones of what might be a harp.This is one of those songs that clings to you. The words get a hold of you and demand your attention. The songs builds in intensity until the Climaxing silence, drawing even more attention to the chorus of:
“I’m scared to death of light and silence, Jesus kill me inside this, raise me up to live again like you did, like you did!”

8. Set Apart This Dream – 3:15
the dichotomy between this song and “In the Dark” just places both of them into such contrast. Like a sunrise after the long night, Set apart is a song full of hope. Easily the most singable song on the CD, sure to be a concert favorite for audience participation.

9. Swept Away – 4:09
A Song about fake faith and hypocrisy. The opening words say it all:
“The evil fell from your pretty mouth wrapped in your classic voice
angelic in your syntax, demonic in your motive your eyes don’t know
that the water flowing from this well isn’t fresh
demolish all that sets you up against your rising up
confessing all that’s broken and watch the healing come”

Taking on the current form of Traditional Church, while a pet peeve of mine I will admit that all to often the current form of the Traditional church has all to often made a target of itself.

10. Tiny Heart – 3:07
Very light and melodic opening, Lacey’s voice in the opening reminds me of Leigh Nash from Six Pence, Again I am taken by the feeling and emotion caught up in this Cd. The song could easily be written from the point of Jesus to all the people in this world He loves and is just waiting for them to realize just how much He loves them. Likewise the song could also be written from the point of one person to another. The metaphor of Jesus as boyfriend/girlfriend is pretty common in music.

11. Melting – 0:57
Instrumental that makes for a good transition from Melting to Treasure.

12. Treasure – 3:24
Easily the most powerful Song on the CD. Lacey begins the song by talking instead of singing. This sets this song apart from the rest at the very beginning when Lacey says “That night I felt like I’d become something treasured. different.” There is no metaphor in this song, but simply the statement that Jesus (named in the song as “Yes Shua“) and the meaning of the song is also clear
“I am treasured over all the earth
just look at what he’s done
how he’s laying down his life”

13. Circle – 3:03
Throbbing drums and melodic the music behind this song serve more to set the stage than on any other song on the cd. The song rips through emotions as the words take hold
“I left his arms empty and tied
outstretched for me until he died
no man shows greater love
than when a man lays down his life
for his beloved”
Again, taken straight from the Bible.

14. Arise – 4:18
This song almost sounds like an 80’s alt-pop song in the beginning. There isn’t a weak song in the bunch, Arise may be the least of the songs. While the rest of the songs on the CD seem to go out of their way to make their presence known, Arise is more of the wallflower in the corner waiting patiently for you discover just how intelligent and beautiful she actually is.

This review has been reprinted on NRT with permission from JTindie.com. Click here to visit JTindie.com today!

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