My introduction to Flyleaf was actually unintentional. I was checking out at a local music store and the guy behind the counter kept insisting that I pick up the Flyleaf EP that was out at the time. I had no idea who they were, or what they sounded like, but to shut him up, I put the few bucks down and in exchange discovered a damn fine new band! As I heard the first song “I’m So Sick” (which, like all the songs on the EP, re-appears here) I was hooked. The vocals of Lacey Mosley were not only hard-hitting, but also intriguing and sweet at the same time. There sure aren’t a lot of good female fronted hard-rock acts out there, but Flyleaf are definitely one of them!
Now, over half the material on their self-titled full-length debut is recycled material from the debut, as reproduced by Howard Benson (Cold, Hoobastank) so I have to admit, it wasn’t as exciting listening to this as it was the EP. And another thing I must admit, is that the EP was actually better! Due to the lower production values, the songs had more charm and just hit a lot harder. Here, a lot of the music is overproduced and just doesn’t have that same spark. But, if you’ve never heard anything to compare this album to, I’m sure you wouldn’t think the same. The great thing about Flyleaf is that they can’t be categorized. You can’t say they sound like “X” band, because, really, they don’t. It’s a bit nu-metal, it’s a bit alternative and Lacey’s vocals are often angry, but never distorted or processed. The girl has some powerful pipes and definitely outshines some other male frontmen in the genre. It’s hard to imagine how Flyleaf would sound like with some dude front and center…
There isn’t much variety on the album, but that can be forgiven, because this is just a debut, and a damn fine one at that. The strongest songs are “I’m So Sick,” “I’m Sorry,” “All Around Me” and the ballad “There For You” (which features Dave Navarro on guitar). If you are depressed by the lack of good female vocalists in the genre, then Flyleaf will serve as a worthwhile listen. Perhaps on their next album, they will show a little more range, but as it stands, they’re onto something good.
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