Thursday, January 30, 2014

Remember the "Memento Mori"

Has it really been over four years since Flyleaf's album Memento Mori came out? Flyleaf, along with Emma Shapplin, has remained one of my most-played artists; their music speaks to me over and over again, and I am in turn constantly creating my response to it.

Something recently put in mind the cover art for Memento Mori. I've always thought it had sort of odd imagery, but it is a rock band, after all. And I figured there was some sort of symbolic side to it, even if my own interpretation was only scratching the surface. The album title, you will recall, means "remember death" or "remember you will die." So when I went back to the digital album a couple days ago to look back at the cover art, I realized that the album contains the story of the songs. I must have assumed, four years ago, that the tiny words in the digital file were just the lyrics.

The story is told in journal entries, written by a fictional character, describing a sort of symbolic-spiritual world that reminded me of C.S. Lewis's The Screwtape Letters. There is one entry for each song. So for every song, there is a complete story. While I had understood the gist of the songs, these stories helped to give even more depth to the lyrics I had heard time and time again. They also helped me understand that cover art better.

I don't want to describe everything that is in the mini journal; I just wanted to make note of my discovery and pass it along to anyone else who overlooked it. Basically, the way the album text illuminates the songs is what I love about Flyleaf. I love the boldness; I love the artistry; I love the symbolic side. And I love the hope.

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