Flicker Records rock act Fireflight made an impression on music fans when they debuted in
2006 with The Healing of Harms. For their sophomore release, titled Unbreakable, Fireflight ups the ante
with a ten-track album brimming with hooks, catchy choruses, and a relevant message of hope through dark times.
While their debut offered several standout tracks and a promising formula, the album - like many debuts - left room for growth,
something that was rectified on this second outing.
Unbreakable opens strongly with the title cut, a powerful anthem about finding strength in Christ to persevere
through trials - a theme that Fireflight carries through album's duration. While "Unbreakable" has been the album's most
celebrated track, it's hardly 'all downhill from here.' This is merely the tip of the iceberg as each succeeding track - yes,
each one - has a driving rock sound and a memorable, often soaring chorus. Dawn Richardson's vocals are as confident and
emotional as ever, and they sound just right for crying out the album's anthems: "You Gave Me A Promise" declares, "I will hold on to this hope that
I have / You gave me a promise." "Brand New Day" opens with a rather bleak feeling of failure, but the chorus breaks wide
open with glaring hope, "And I can hear you say 'It's a brand new day' / The pain goes away / And I'm headed for the door /
And I'm going home." "Stand Up" is a call for the brokenhearted to find strength in their weakness and reassurance that they
are not alone in their struggles. "Forever" gives a false sense of an impending acoustic ballad before it gives birth
to a bold chorus, "Oh, tell me you're here, that you will watch over me forever / Oh, take hold of my heart, show
me you love me forever."
Fireflight tackles the everyday pains and trials people go through in a way that feels natural and real. Instead of
writing bitter musings about depression or going to the opposite end of the spectrum and writing a blissful worship song,
each deliciously catchy progressive rock track stares at a situation right in the face and turns right
around to recognize Christ as the solution. It's never heavy-handed, never forced, and never cheesy. They're not only songs
you can nod your head in tearful agreement to, but songs you can rock out to. Even when the album gets soft, it's only for a
few verses. The album closer and thematic summary, "Wrapped In Your Arms," is merely a quasi-ballad that gets a rousing
finish to take the record out on a high note.
But the record isn't entirely about depression or low moments in life. "Go Ahead" is a surrendering to God, giving Him
control as well as our trust, "The Hunger" is an aggressive urging for the lost to stop trying to fill the void in their lives
with temporary fixes when Jesus is the only solution, and "The Love We Had Before" is yet another tasty, riffy rocker that
addresses the problems that arise when conflict and poor communication threaten relationships. Finally, "So Help Me God" is a
plea for divine help in letting go of things we cling to that aren't good for us, before "Wrapped In Your Arms" concludes the
record with a loving acknowledgement of the solace we can find in the arms of Jesus.
Some may be tempted to write-off Fireflight's Unbreakable as a pop/rock album or simply as "chick rock," but
there's enough maturity wrought throughout the songs on this album to attract the indie rock fans. More serious and accessible
than the youthful exploits of other female-fronted acts like Superchick, Inhabited, or newcomers Addison Road, Fireflight have
an intelligent, cultivated rock album on their hands with Unbreakable. While it may not be the most groundbreaking
record you'll hear, it's a thematic winner possessing a bit of an epic feel. Using personal experiences to fuel the album's messages,
it carries with it a great deal of heart, helping to make it an album that is likely destined for year-long play and then some.
It's safe to say that Fireflight has arrived.
- PReview date: 12/29/07, Review date: 3/2/08, written by John DiBiase of Jesusfreakhideout.com