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Release Date: February 12, 2016
Life Screams is the debut solo release from former Flyleaf vocalist Lacey Sturm. Since leaving the multi-platinum rockers, she has gone on to be featured on Franklin Graham evangelistic tours and has written an autobiography about her life struggles. Given that information, I would have expected this album to “cozy up” to the CCM community. Sturm is full of surprises however with this loud and raucous batch of Hard Rock tunes and a tour with OTEP.
Life Screams kicks off with its best moment, “Impossible.” It’s very similar to Flyleaf and is a firm reminder of why people took notice of Sturm in the first place. It’s heavy and poppy and slightly off kilter and lyrically full of the power to overcome the darkness we see all around us every day. “I’m Not Laughing” takes a grittier approach, with Sturm wailing like a banshee during the chorus as the dirty guitars bounce along underneath it. “I’m Not Laughing” is easily my favorite track on this record.
The title track and a live cover of The Police’s classic “Roxanne” are highlights as well. The title track is a slightly mellower affair, but it’s thoughtful feel and triumphant chorus make it extremely lovable radio fodder. The good Lord knows we could use some better music on the radio so hopefully they’ll put this song in regular rotation. I find “Roxanne” to be both a challenging and interesting choice. Sturm’s breathy vocals lend the song a different kind of weight. The atmospheric guitar work is brilliant and I found myself effortlessly falling in love with this version on the very first spin.
Overall, this is an impressive debut from Sturm. I will be the first to admit that I didn’t give her enough credit. This is a tried and true Rock and Roll record and I’m stoked that she chose to rock out instead of taking the safe (and obvious) route. If you enjoy radio-friendly Hard Rock or bands like Flyleaf, Full Devil Jacket, and Evanescence then you should not miss out on this one.
Reviewed by mark1340