Release Date: Sep 16, 2014
Record label: Loud & Proud
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Emo-Pop
Flyleaf’s founding frontwoman Lacey Sturm was a screamer, but her replacement, former Vedera singer Kristen May, is a belter, and the band’s first full-length since Sturm’s departure plays to its new singer’s strengths. Regime change can be a difficult tightrope walk, but Flyleaf haven’t changed direction under May (a smoother vocalist than the acrobatic Sturm), they’ve merely stepped on the accelerator. Recorded with noted emo producer Don Gilmore, Between the Stars is tight and melodic and unrelentingly hook-driven, poppy enough in places to recall Paramore or even (on the great new single “Set Me on Fire”) a more ferocious No Doubt.
The band's fourth long-player and first outing with new vocalist Kristen May, Between the Stars finds the nervy Texas-based rockers dialing back on some of the more abrasive emo-metal and post-grunge elements that dominated past recordings in favor of a tighter, more pop-driven sound that leans harder on the Paramore side of the modern rock spectrum. May, who joined the group on the road in 2012 in support of New Horizons, lacks some of the grit of former frontwoman Lacey Sturm, but she's not without her own significant power source. Sturm could roar like an F4 tearing through tornado alley, but her signature scream is really the only thing missing from Flyleaf version 2.0.
Flyleaf are still on the road to recovery...slowly. Rising up in the wake of nu metal, Flyleaf’s first incarnation became synonymous with the soaring, emotionally wrought vocals of Lacey Sturm. She left the fold in 2012, and by the sounds of ‘Between The Stars’, the band have yet to fully recover. Unfocused and indistinct, this is an awkward transition that skews towards by-numbers radio-rock.