Review Summary: Fireflight easily topple what was previously thought to be their magnum opus.
Fireflight’s history has been an interesting one. Although their debut album somewhat lacked consistency, Fireflight found themselves releasing a shockingly mature second album. Recorded in a chaotic six months, Unbreakable was an emotional/lyrical breakthrough and a consistent album to boot. Expectedly, anticipation amplified for their next release, as fans expected a fantastic album. In came For Those Who Wait. There was one question that plagued me before I listened to the album - would it be as solid as Unbreakable? Let me assure you that it is. Although the first song makes it seem that Fireflight has not progressed at all musically, this is thankfully not the case.
The album-titled track (also the first single) basically tries to capture the glory of their former single (and ironically album-titled track), ‘Unbreakable’. It does to some extent, and is a powerful track, but better songs are still to come. Unfortunately, the lead single ‘Desperate’ is not one of those. The track showcases Fireflight’s ability to write catchy songs, if derivative. The song sounds like the band tried too hard to compete with other Christian bands by overloading on chunky guitars. Luckily, as mentioned before, the first two tracks are false indications as to the direction of the album.
After two ho-hum singles, the album picks up the pace with killer songs: ‘Fire in My Eyes’, ‘Core Of My Addiction’, ‘What I’ve Overcome’, ‘New Perspective’, and ‘You Give Me That Feeling’. True, these songs basically make up half of the album, but who’s complaining. These songs are exactly what make Fireflight a great band: catchy, emotionally-driven hard rock songs with massive choruses. Every song is a bit different: ‘Fire in My Eyes’ claims an atmospheric verse and a massive chorus; ‘Core Of My Addiction’ has relentless guitars and possibly the best chorus of the album; ‘What I’ve Overcome’ has a subdued verse and is generally a melancholy track; ‘New Perspective’ is a quick-paced, bouncy effort with a bit of angst; ‘You Give Me That Feeling’ constantly switches from 4/4 to cut-time and back, and the result is a danceable song that would fit well on their last album. An extra bonus to the album is that the guitars are a touch heavier than their previous work. Also, this time around songs are a bit more atmospheric – a change that is not surprising, and is definitely welcome.
Undoubtedly, the highlight of the album is the lead vocalist. As always, Dawn Michele’s strong female voice soars over every song making already compelling songs entrancing. In ‘Recovery Begins’, Dawn’s gentler side is beautiful as she croons away in the hypnagogic song. Another tear-jerking track is ‘Name’, an especially powerful song with sorrowful and hopeful lyrics combined:
“Four doors down there's a man who just won't wake up
He crashed so hard and the doctors want to pull the plug
Your wife is by your side, saying not tonight
Praying God will just show up”.
Delicate strings and piano benefit ‘Name’, as does the haunting atmosphere. In the same light as ‘Forever’ and ‘Wrapped In Your Arms’, ‘All I Need To Be’ is simply a majestic song. It starts slowly with an acoustic guitar and soon builds with electric guitars crashing into the masterful chorus. The three songs mentioned are easily the most emotional songs from the album, and are an excellent way to suck the listener in. If there was any doubt in this album before-hand, these tracks settle all worries that Fireflight would simply be going though motions.
Although ‘Unbreakable’ was a great album, it showed that Fireflight was too similar to other bands to stand out – For Those Who Wait has changed all that. Now, Fireflight is not another faceless band, they have matured in numerous ways. The album is a bit same-sounding at times, but the band have never created so many gorgeous songs before. It is even more focused than their last album in terms of songwriting, and is also a bit more varied. If the prospect of a mainstream-oriented hard rock band is too much, imagine that band releasing a magnum opus and then releasing a second magnum opus – For Those Who Wait is the latter.
- Core of My Addiction
- New Perspective
- You Give Me That Feeling
- All I Need To Be
- Recovery Begins