Flyleaf Flyleaf, Oct. 4, 2005 (Octone Records)
With the metal scene dominated by male vocalists, Flyleaf’s Lacey Mosely provides a welcome change. In Flyleaf’s debut album, Mosely makes her talent as a melodic alto/soprano singer and unclean vocalist well known to say the least.
“I’m So Sick,” comes in as one of the strongest openers a female vocalist could ever produce. Surprising listeners with her deft ability to switch seamlessly between beautiful melodies and gut-wrenching screams, Mosely sets the album up for success immediately. Cymbals accentuate Mosely’s transition from second verse to chorus in a haunting passage – “Hear it, I’m screaming it / You’re heeding to it now / Hear it, I’m screaming it / You tremble at the sound.”
Christian lyrics are obvious in the final single released, “Cassie.” Mosely captures listeners by using different biblical personas. Beginning with synthesized noise leading into the first verse, with a very rhythmic drum beat and driving guitar chords, “The question asked in order / To save her life or take it,” the song culminates in its chorus – “"Do you believe in God?“ / Written on the bullet / Say yes to pull the trigger.”
The final song of the album is much quieter, lacking Mosely’s usual unclean vocals. Starting with a simple guitar melody in complementary range to Mosely’s vocals, it leads into a verse with minimal drums – soft snare and hi-hat rhythm. Singing about change and lost love, the album ends on an expectedly emo-esque phrase - “So in love with you / So I thought,” on an unexpectedly acoustic-sounding note. Everything circles back to Mosely’s faith in the final, repeated verse – “And all these twisted thoughts I see / Jesus, there in between”. Feedback fades to silence as the record ends on an uplifting note.
The attraction of this album is that, while Flyleaf is a known Christian band, their music is arguably accessible to all listeners. Similar to how UnderOath’s songs are written, they can be read in both religious and, in some songs, secular terms.
To be fair, this album was rereleased in two years later with an extended track list that included acoustic versions of “Fully Alive,” “Red Sam,” “Cassie,” “I’m So Sick” and “All Around Me.” These acoustic versions included changes to lyrics, but also show Mosely’s strength as a vocalist and the beautiful range that she holds.
Listen to: “Red Sam”