Memento Mori, the highly anticipated sophomore album from Flyleaf, is a more mature and polished installment of the southern rock band’s trademark style. The album as a whole is not as raw as some of songs from the band’s 2005 self-titled debut album that went platinum, such as “I’m So Sick,” “I’m Sorry,” and “Red Sam,” but Memento Mori introduces a new collection of catchy riffs, heavy power chords and melodic choruses, as well as penetrating and poignant lyrics
This Texas-based Christian Rock band has released an album in Memento Mori with songs for all types of rock fans. The heavier songs, like “The Kind” and “Swept Away,” provide a fresh contrast from the more melodic songs such as “This Close,” “Missing,” “Uncle Bobby,” and “Break Your Knees,” and the softer songs like “Set This Dream Apart,” “Treasure,” and “Enemy.” There are also songs that show the band’s all-around talent and inventiveness, such as “In the Dark,” which is arguably the best song on the album.
The first two singles, “Beautiful Bride” and “Again,” are the first two tracks on the album. “Again” somewhat resembles “Fully Alive” from the band’s first album in style and tempo, as well as in likeability. The chorus lyrics are: “Here you are down on your knees again, trying to find air to breathe again. Only surrender will help you now. I love you, please see and believe again.” “Beautiful Bride,” on the other hand, is a more impulsive, piercing southern rock tune, itching to break loose in every measure but maintaining its control as a solid new song.
Lead singer Lacey Mosley showcases an impressive growth in her vocal ability and lyrical writing, such as in the opening verse of the song “In the Dark,” the lyrics of which are: “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, Those in the light know we die in the dark.”
“Stay,” a U2 cover offered as a bonus track, features a solo acoustic performance by Mosley, and shows a very different side of Flyleaf. The purity of Mosley’s voice and her emotional delivery of the lyrics, “You say when he hits you, you don’t mind. Because when he hurts you, you feel alive. Oh, is that what it is? … Stay and the day would keep its trust. Stay with the demons you drowned. Stay with the spirit I found. Stay and the night would be alive,” are sure to make this cover a fan favorite.
Several versions of the album have been released, including a bonus track version with 16 songs and an expanded version with 21 songs. Both versions offer “Tiny Heart,” a song that Flyleaf has been playing on the road for years but had not previously recorded.
Any Flyleaf fan will be pleased with the depth and maturity of the new album, and Memento Mori is sure to attract a whole new base of rock fans.