Three years since their album Now peaked at #14 on the Rock Billboard charts, Fireflight has returned with the electro infused sounds of INNOVA. In the time since their last record, much has changed for the Grammy nominated band. It marks their first independent release through The Fuel Music, and lead singer Dawn Michele welcomed her first child just this year. Yet the heart behind Fireflight remains the same, and their latest musical offering gives us rock anthems that will continue to win them acclaim.
“Keep Fighting” opens with an emotive guitar layered behind Michele’s vocals. A clear and distinct opening to INNOVA, as we enter the chorus heavy bass and an electronic guitar rift to bring down the house, lifting up the message that “Nothing’s gonna stop us now”. An insatiably positive track, the opener is strong enough to drop as a single. It will prepare you for the strength and conviction in the tracks ahead and excite you.
Following on, “Lightning” has the electric guitar out in full force, and the power in the vocals is reminiscent of Superchick in their heyday. This song stands out because the vocals cut through the intensity of the music with ease. Delivering a message that “You were never made to fit the mould, be a super nova and explode,” they manage to take what could be a cliché teeny pop ideal and make it an electric and powerful concept that infuses with your soul as you listen to the track.
“I’ve Got The Power” is a pop/rock anthem with a catchy hook that will get you dancing. Featuring breakdowns that are filled with the intensity to bolster you for any challenge (really, I highly recommend this tune next time you’re about to go for a run or are having a serious convo with your boss), the melody and vocal delivery prove worthy of the title. “Here And Now” is the perfect accompaniment, the soaring vocals in the chorus making it a victorious song that will both convict and embolden you to take the next step in life.
Featuring the vocals of Stephen Christian, “Safety” is rejuvenating and in many ways a juxtaposition. With lyrics like “Like afire running wild, can’t contain what’s deep inside. Ready to break free, I’ll be your safety,” the ferocity in the lyrics seems nearly separate to the ideal that there is peace and calm in safety. The addition of Christian’s vocals further implement this as the male and female tones work together, distinctive and different in sound, but painting a picture that shows us the wild and powerful freedom that we experience when we are truly alive and ‘safe.’
The single “Resuscitate” follows and we are given a grungy and raw take on redemption. Reaching #1 on the Billboard Christian Rock chart, of all the songs on INNOVA, this perhaps gives us the best example of how Fireflight embed their faith within their lyrics. There is nothing overtly religious in this tune or the album as a whole, but the themes of hope and redemption are imperative throughout, not shying away from the shadows of life but blasting through them with rifts and vocals that allow you envision the light exploding like fireworks before your eyes.
“The Fallout” is heavy in synth, and Michele’s vocals are breathy in contrast. An empowering take on the moments that make or break us, it is classic Fireflight. For something different, “Easy To Break” is a more stripped back track that shows us the various facets of Michele’s vocals. Bringing a heavy back beat and synth, the song still remains melancholy in nature which works to the advantage of album as a whole, as it shows us a different facet of the band and slows down the pace of the vibrant rock tunes.
The single “We Are Alive” is next, and the dance track seems to overflow with a hopefulness that is balanced out with the strength of the instrumental, especially the heavy electric guitar. “Out of My Head” takes the intensity to a whole new level, and from the first note the vocals and instrumental communicate the all-encompassing struggle we experience when we try to resolve the tension between faith and fact. The darker elements of this song are what make it so powerful, and the vocals and lyrics are unafraid to leap of the chasm of doubt and uncertainty that often remain taboo in spirituality. This makes it one of the strongest and most distinctive tracks on INNOVA.
“This Is Our Time” is a song made to be performed at live shows. The incessant back beat makes it easy to clap to before ushering fans into a frenzy during the chorus. Stripping it back here to focus on the vocals, the words, “This is our time” command the song, and you can nearly feel the crowd become increasingly revved up in exuberance through the song.
Finishing with “Light Inside,” a piano based melody paves the way for a ballad. Initially this feels out of place, the addition of electric guitar is the only element that joins in remotely to INNOVA. Yet as we enter the chorus, the full band comes in and allows the vocals to soar as we are implored with the plea, “Don’t waste your time chasing neon lights.” The power in this song is undeniable, and it is a perfect ending to what is a bold and honest album. I only wish there were more tracks like this on the album, because “Light Inside” is truly beautiful in its ability to navigate the light and dark while still paying homage to the pop/rock roots of the band.
Bold, convicting, strong and fearless; INNOVA was worth the wait. With melodies that will stir your spirit and lyrics that will make themselves at home in your head, Fireflight are back and they are soaring.