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Album Review: Flyleaf – New Horizons

New Horizons is a terrific send-off for departing front-woman Lacey Sturm – its lively melodies exploding in the ears. It is full of youthful vivacity and emotion. This is Flyleaf at their best – and they’ve proven that the band has not run out of steam.

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By Alexei Summers (The Cascade) – Email

Print Edition: November 7, 2012

It is autumn now – my favourite season for discovering new music. There’s nothing better than walking under the barren trees, as the leaves fall, with a newly-discovered album pulsing through your headphones.

New Horizons is Texas alt-rock band Flyleaf’s third studio album. It is the last Flyleaf album that lead vocalist, and front-woman Lacey Sturm, will be involved in. Due to the recent birth of her son, she has decided to step down as lead singer, and take it easy for a while. She is slated to be replaced by one Kristen May. Much of the band’s draw, however, is the talent of its lead vocalist, whose raw energy and powerful voice has enchanted fans since their self-titled debut album Flyleaf came out in 2005.

New Horizons is a terrific send-off for Sturm – its lively melodies exploding in the ears. It is full of youthful vivacity and emotion. This is Flyleaf at their best – and they’ve proven that the band has not run out of steam. Stylistically, the album is reminiscent of early Paramore, but it also has grungy riffs, and intros that remind me of early ‘90s Soundgarden.

The album has 11 tracks in total, and you get a real bang for your buck. Out of all of the tracks, they’re all quality tunes, with no fillers detectable. The band truly poured their hearts and souls into these tracks, and each of them leaves you with something.

The album’s themes are vague and emotional, often dealing with issues such as difficult childhoods, and family issues. It’s a bit angst-filled for my taste at times, but it doesn’t come off as immature or adolescent, as some bands do.

The genre for this album could be best described as hard rock. The first track, “Fire Fire” was my personal favourite; the chorus catches you off guard and gets you in the mood for the rest of the album. The titular track is a little lighter than Flyleaf’s usual songs – and is a bit of a departure from the hard rock theme of the rest of the album. For this particular track Sturm’s vocals become less aggressive.

It is an album that leaves you wanting more – mostly due to Sturm’s vocals. However, that is a wish that may go unfulfilled for a very long time due to her absence from the band. The album is an exciting new release, and definitely worthy of a listen. In my opinion it’s one of the most riveting albums of the fall of 2012, and I look forward to see what new directions the band will take with the departure of their lead singer.

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