I remember when Fireflight debuted with their radio single “You Decide” back in 2006. At that time I was just starting to get involved with the Christian rock scene, as that year, we also saw another of my favorites, RED, debut with End of Silence. I was mesmerized by Fireflight’s grunge rock, and later decided to add their albums to my collection, upon hearing “Unbreakable,” “Brand New Day” and “Forever,” off their album Unbreakable. The band followed up their successful sophomore project in February of 2010 with For Those Who Wait, which focused more on the ballads. It did, however, offer some wonderful hits, such as the title track, “Desperate,” and “What I’ve Become.” Fireflight is finally back with their fourth Provident release, simply titled NOW. Ironically, as their last album was about waiting on God, NOW speaks of taking a stand and refusing to wait. Also, many of the tracks take on a more mild rock sound, which may be disappointing to the listeners; but they do make sure to offer a handful of grunge rock tracks that will be appealing to long-time fans, making NOW a very enjoyable listen.
It’s no question Fireflight knows what they are doing through the opening track and first radio single off NOW, titled “Stay Close.” The haunting and electrifying guitars, mixed with Dawn’s absolutely fantastic vocals have made it a track I’ve had on repeat since it’s release earlier this year. Watching the music video and acoustic performances have accentuated the meaning for fans, as it is a powerful track of feeling confused and wanting to come closer to God. Guitarist Justin Cox also adds a ton with his supportive manly vocals.
Following is my second favorite off NOW, “Ignite,” actually co-written by RED’s drummer, Joe Rickard! With strong guitars, the highlight, again, is the duet of Dawn and Justin, especially through the high-energy chorus: “Don’t hesitate to explode/ burn the pain inside your soul/ don’t hesitate, let it go/ and ignite (start a fire)!” Sounding most like “Core of My Addiction” from For Those Who Wait, “Escape” follows, a bit more mellow, but it contains a strong message of refusing to be held captive to the enemy.
The ballad “He Weeps” follows, very much like “Name” also off their previous album. It is very candid, asking “Where is God?” when tragedies happen in our lives, but it answers that “He weeps with you,” a very touching track. It seems Fireflight was following the trend of their success, so the track is a bit too close to their previous works, but it’s a good track nevertheless. “Keeping Me Alive” also is on the softer side, speaking of how Jesus Christ is the only one we can cling to when things go wrong.
To my delight, “Stronger Than You Think” is another of the fantastic grunge guitar tracks Fireflight has to offer, a relationship type track – “I’m safe inside the light/ so go on do your worst, your worst/ I am stronger than you think…” “Prove Me Wrong” is a little slower, but does have very clever lyrics of how, when we think we are unworthy, Jesus Christ tells we are loved: “You prove me wrong/ You see the me that no one does, and You show me at last I can be loved.” The strong bridge is another highlight. “Dying For Your Love” follows on the same note, but more upbeat, that God’s love is unfathomable –even when we betray Him, He still loves us.
The beautiful “Rise Above” features strings and an electric-sounding drumbeat. Mixed with Dawn’s soft vocals, it is simply breathtaking, as it makes the fantastic point: “Sometimes we’ve got to face the fall before we rise above it all.” The title track follows, as an anthem for the listeners to get up and refuse to be silent any longer, one of the better tracks off Fireflight’s new album NOW.
As previously stated, many of the tracks off Fireflight’s NOW CD are more mellow, but they do offer several grunge rock tracks that made The Healing of Harms and Unbreakable chart-breaking albums. I wouldn’t say that NOW is Fireflight’s best album yet, but it’s clear that they have matured their lyrics, vocals, and even sound in certain aspects. It was also great hearing from their new drummer Adam McMilllion for the first time!
Release date: March 6, 2012
1. Stay Close
4. He Weeps
5. Keeping Me Alive
6. Stronger Than You Think
7. Prove Me Wrong
8. Dying For Your Love
9. Rise Above