Fireflight formed in Eustis, Florida in 1999. NOW (2012, Essential Records) is the band’s fourth album. It was produced by Jasen Rauch, a founding member of RED. Fireflight is: Dawn Michele (vocals), Justin Cox (guitars and vocals), Glenn Drennen (guitars and vocals), Wendy Drennen (bass and vocals), and Adam McMillion (drums). Of their newest album the band says: “NOW is a call to move beyond your circumstances. To not accept the way things are because life is difficult or you have been hurt in the past. It points to God as your refuge who not only provides a place of safety and comfort, but who also challenges you to get outside your comfort zone...to join with something greater than yourself.”
‘Stay Close’ starts things off in great rock fashion and contains these words of one in distress: “Every turn leads me to a new dead end/Lost again, I’m screaming your name/Come close, come close/And call my name/How can you turn your back on me/When you know my pain?/Stay close, stay close/Light up the night/Save me from the part of me that’s begging to die.” ‘Ignite’ is another rocker. This one teaches us how to overcome overwhelming forces that are piled up against us: “They pour the shame/Till we can’t stand/The sight of our own face/They pin us down/Till we can’t win/It’s a game we can’t escape/But we don’t have to let them beat us/We can take control/In the flames we find our freedom/Don’t hesitate to explode/Burn the pain inside your soul/Don’t hesitate, let it go/Start a fire, embrace the light/And ignite (start the fire)/And ignite.”
‘Escape’ is a motivational song: “This is our time/We can’t let our fear define us/This is our time/From this nightmare we’re reborn/This is our time/This is our time to escape.../You’re not hopeless/You’re not worthless/You are loved/Don’t give up/This is your time.” ‘He Weeps’ is one of three songs that lists Ben Glover as a co-writer. This effective ballad shows God to be ever present and compassionate: “Where is God when she won’t eat/When her bones start to show?/Is He there when she’s lost control?/Where is God when a father/Turns his back on his son?/Can someone tell me what He does?.../He weeps, He weeps with you/He weeps with me/When you’re on your knees and you taste defeat/He weeps, He weeps/He weeps with you.”
‘Keeping Me Alive’ is a light pop/rock number that depicts a God who sustains even in the darkest of times: “I don’t trust You to save me/At least I never wanted to/So I dare You to love me/When I can’t even love myself/Cause I don’t want to feel You/Try to break through to me/Oh, I know I’ve done it to myself/I see that You’re the only One left/Who wants to stay by my side/Your love is keeping me alive.” ‘Stronger than you Think’ is a fist pumping rocker that seems addressed to Satan, our adversary: “I’m tasting freedom/Something you will never know/Just give up now ‘cause/You will never have control/My life is paid for/So what are you here for?/I’m safe inside the light/So leave me alone, alone.”
‘Prove Me Wrong’ is essentially a testimony: “I thought there was nothing left/I thought all my hope was dead/You brought me to life/Your love’s become the air I breathe/You mean everything to me/I am finally free from the lies.” ‘Dying for Your Love’, one of the album’s heaviest tracks musically, was penned by Fireflight with help from Rob Graves who has produced for the likes of Pillar and Kerrie Roberts, and Jasen Rauch. The song speaks of the faithfulness of God: “A ray of light cuts through the night/Fire burning, never changing/You’re the only hope for me/Now I’m awake, don’t want to wait/I’m reaching for You/I know I have to/You’re the only hope for me.../If I run to the ends of the earth You will find me/When I fight You, You hold me more tightly/There is no escape from Your love.”
‘Rise Above’ is a light pop song that encourages us to press on in life: “Can’t give up on second tries/Leave the pride that blinds our eyes/No one taught us how to say goodbye/Now’s the time for broken hearts/Embrace today a brand new start/Leave the past and let love lead the way.” The title track ‘Now’ is a peppy song of encouragement closing the album: “The clock is ticking/The seconds pass you by as you lie frozen/You are petrified of one more failure/A swing and a miss might break your heart in half/Yeah, I know you feel alone/Don’t let it break your back.../You’re not hopeless, you’re not worthless, no/You are loved, don’t give up now/This is your time now.”
I’m recommending NOW to fans of other spiritually minded, female fronted rock bands such as Inhabited and Flyleaf. Granted Fireflight’s lyrics aren’t as explicitly Christian as some other CCM bands, but that will probably expand their fan base beyond the walls of a church, which is a good thing for a band that wants to share the hope they have found with one and all. I’m rating NOW 84%. For more info visit www.fireflightrock.com and www.providentpress.com.