Former front woman of the band Flyleaf, Lacey Sturm, is ready to release her debut solo album Impossible. The of the promotion of the project extends to both new and old Sturm fans. Flyleaf fans, who were curious as to her relative quiet since her departure from the band, want to see what is next for the singer. New fans of her book The Reason follow Sturm, interested in another presentation of her artistry, that is hopefully as heartfelt as her book. In any case, with names like Kory Cooper of Skillet as the prime guitarist and producer David Hodges in the credits, expectations were extremely high. Even before its release, Sturm’s album found its way onto several lists of most anticipated albums of the year. I, having not much experience with the singer or her former band, was not quite sure what to expect. Rumors were flying about an acoustic, singer-songwriter, type feel for the album, yet at the same time there was also speculation about a hard-core, punk, themed comeback. In short, it was difficult to predict the direction Impossible could move in.
All thoughts of an acoustic feel to the album were encouraged for about 20 seconds at the start of the album’s title track “Impossible.” Once those 20 seconds were over, the listener was suddenly overwhelmed by the beat driven introduction to what was obviously a rock album. The first track immediately infected the listener with its monotonous, and measured rhythms. It was extremely easy to find oneself lost within the song. Sturm’s flawless lyrics coupled with the ballad of Cooper’s guitar composition made this song an anthem for the overcomers. It was easily relatable, and impeccably executed in every way. In the first minute of the song, the entire album was proven to have lived up to the hype that it was getting.
Each song brings with it a new section of the anthem. The song “Impossible” dealt with overcoming obstacles. The next track, “Soldier”, discusses battling antagonists. Living up to its name, the militaristic, almost march like quality of the track only adds to the war themed melody, which encourages the listener to again become lost in the music. The listing flowed seamlessly together. Each new song going perfectly from end to end, but unique enough to have their own feel. Tracks such as “I’m Not Laughing” and “You’re Not Alone” carried the signature Flyleaf sound, but had Lacey’s own originality on them. They are familiar enough to be comfortable, but different enough to draw attention.
A surprise for listeners came with the track “Vanity”, which acts as an interlude for the album. It was an entirely spoken track. Something that was never announced or speculated about was that it included spoken word artist Propaganda in a flawless cameo. Propaganda held to the theme of the album’s anthem and his words flowed with ease through the rock track. The effect that it created was an individualized experience for the listener on a lyrical perspective. It was a very different, yet a captivating move. Musically, the album could not have been better. Cooper’s signature rock sound was highlighted magnificently. In some cases it is difficult for music to follow such emotional lyrics, but not in this case. It almost seemed effortless to relate the mood of the music to the tone of the words.
This is usually the point in the review where I offer my criticism for the album. The point when I discuss something that did not go as well as I had hoped. However, this album lived up to and surpassed every expectation I could think of. To criticize any of it would only be a ploy to make this review longer. In fact, even if I tried, the only thing I could complain about is that the album has not yet been released yet, and I have to wait for a little while before anyone can sing the songs with me. In other words Lacey Sturm’s first album is an impossible success.
Impossible is available everywhere February 12, 2016