Memphis May Fire sets the world on fire with their new record “Unconditional.” This album ushers in a different direction for the band lyrically, vocally, and instrumentally. Unconditional was released on Rise Records. Hope is the overriding theme of this album.
No Ordinary Love is the first single of the album and sets the tone for what follows. This song is fast paced and full of screaming, vocals, and breakdowns. The song is based upon the story of The Prodigal Son as referenced by Mattie Montgomery in this YouTube video.The premise is God provides us with love in the midst of our sinful ways. Sleepless Nights is the second single. The theme is overcoming your demons and being yourself and is based upon Mattie’s struggle with anxiety. The Answer is a song in which you can hear the symphony sounds mixed with the instrumentation and vocals. God is the answer to all of our questions and we need to have faith in him through all circumstances.
Beneath the Skin starts with a breakdown then goes to vocals. This song is the life story of a teenage girl who is weighed down by the world’s view of her. Do not underestimate people’s beauty and impact on the world are this song’s themes. Possibilities continue the adrenaline rush a listener gets while listening to this record. This song is a call for people to get out of their bubbles and stand up for those in need around them. Speechless is the slow song on the record that provides a contrast and diversity within the album. There are only clean vocals and the symphonic instrumentation is prevalent. The subject is God’s abundant love through all we do.
The Rose is an angry track that transitions into calm at its ending. This song is about using underestimation from people as motivation and then forgiving others for their doubting Not Enough is another reference to Mattie’s anxiety issues over the last couple of years. This is one of the softer songs of the record with a twist. Realizing that we aren’t better than the problems people face is the theme of this album. Need to Be is a soft reflective song. You can predominantly hear the keyboard and drums. The topic is being an example of Christ to the world.
Pharisees is the most aggressive, honest, and raw sounding song on this record. The first part of the song is illustrating the truth about the “holier than thou crowd” who believe they are better than everyone when they are actually living a lie. The second part portrays the truth that God’s grace is the only way they can be saved and not by words. Divinity closes the record where No Ordinary Love started. The premise is we all have a purpose and impact everyone around us.
Kellen and Mattie’s vocals on this record are done very well and the two voices complement one another. Mattie’s screams and clean vocals set this record apart.
The lyrics are done proficiently. At times they come off as generically cheesy which hinders the album but I do understand their place within the record and the audience the band is striving to reach. Instrumentation is what sets this record apart from every other hardcore band. The implementation of the symphonic sounds provides a depth and balance to the record that others in this genre do not achieve. There are plenty of breakdowns but they are not over done or put in the record without thought.
My favorite song of this record is Pharisees. I love the message, instrumentation, and vocals. I would rate this record a 4 out of 5. I can’t get enough of this album and am anxious to hear their next record.