STYLE: Rock RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 154888-22766 LABEL: 0859713510524 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RRP: £9.99
Reviewed by Paul Ewbank
You'd never know it from listening to 'Innova' but Florida's Fireflight rose to fame back in 2008 as one of Christian music's most dynamic hard rock acts. Like so many CCM artists they've subsequently been edging towards a poppier, more electronic sound and on their latest release they fully embrace the pop sound while trying to retain some of the rock attitude they're known and loved for. The resulting album has a couple of individually bright moments but lacks the cohesion or character to be particularly memorable. "Keep Fighting" trades out the powerful guitars and theatrical vocals of old for driving club synths and auto-tuned vocals more reminiscent of Katy Perry than Evanescence. Long time fans hoping for another "Unbreakable" will likely turn up their noses but it's actually a pretty neat song with a great chorus hook. Follow-ups like "I've Got The Power" and "This Is Our Time" follow the same formula with less success owing to a rather limited palette of sounds, predictable song structures and Dawn Michele's increasingly shrill vocals. On the rare moments when the guitars are centre stage Fireflight rock as powerfully as they ever have. "Safety" is the clear highlight with its tense, urgent verses and a knockout guest vocal from Anberlin's Stephen Christian. "Out Of My Head" likewise finds time for an anthemic rock chorus amid all the spacey electronics, but these gripping moments are too few to stop 'Innova' ultimately being something of a disappointment. The band's fighting spirit is still burning strong but it's not enough to stop this attempt at modernization feeling like a step backwards.
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