- reviewed by Andree Farias Copyright Christianity Today International
- 2008 1 Mar
- You Gave Me a Promise
- Brand New Day
- The Hunger
- Stand Up
- Go Ahead
- The Love We Had Before
- So Help Me God
- Wrapped in Your Arms
With loads of publicity attention stemming from promotional placement in NBC's Bionic Woman, Fireflight seems poised to make a splash. Here's hoping the show's bad fortunes aren't a sign of things to come for Unbreakable. The band's sophomore effort is a tidy continuation of what the quintet started with their 2006 debut, The Healing of Harms, which spawned a couple of hits at Christian rock radio and earned the group a small following.
Fireflight's press materials liken Dawn Richardson to Patti Smith and Joan Jett—the nerve! Her voice is entirely too pretty and pristine and lacks the grit of either legendary rocker. Richardson is more reminiscent of BarlowGirl and Inhabited, with a slightly harder edge and a tad more attitude.
That's not to discredit Richardson—she is one potent singer, soaring and hitting every note with ease, like the female equivalent of Linkin Park's Chester Bennington.
Speaking of highly produced nu-metal, that's the most natural way of describing Unbreakable; the album rarely rises above chugging, Pro Tools-enhanced guitar layers. Linkin Park is again a good reference point, but with a thinner rock edge and minus the hip-hop affectations. Some songs are more melodic and pop-inflected than others, like the slightly symphonic "Brand New Day" and the acoustic-tinged "Wrapped in Your Arms," but overall, familiarity abounds.
Though not as gut-wrenching or achingly honest as Flyleaf, Fireflight's strongest calling card is their message: an empowering call for youth to take a stand for faith. Themes of loneliness, depression, and emptiness are scattered throughout, but they're always presented in contrast to God's everlasting hope. It's a commendable stance, one that could be made even more impactful were Fireflight to add more teeth and intensity to a sound that, contrary to this album's title, is less sturdy and powerful than it could be.