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Evanescence – Evanescence Album Review

11 JanuaryComments Off
Author: Sam

Evanescence is back, five years after the group’s last album, with a new self-titled record.  Given the history of the band and the events leading up to this release, it was quite fair to wonder whether it would ever see the light of day.

You just kind of get the impression that Amy Lee can be a bit hard to work with, despite all the public outward displays of friendliness to the contrary.  I mean, just look at how many lineups this band has been through (11 distinct combinations – thanks wiki!).  Founding member Ben Moody packed up and hit the road way back in 2003, citing creative differences, and within the last four years, the entire rhythm section was churned up and overhauled.  Halfway through the recording of this album, the producer Steve Lillywhite was ditched in favor of Nick Raskulinecz.  It’s a little shocking for a young band with only three albums to its name to have already amassed enough former and studio-only members to field their own softball squad.

Of course, the one and only band member to be present in every lineup is Ms. Lee.  Maybe that says something to you about the band’s personal dynamics, or maybe you just have to listen to the music to figure it out: The musicians backing up Amy Lee are insignificant.  Evanescence has always been and will always be Amy Lee featuring a nondescript group of guys who are paid to simply play along and stay out of the way.  On this third album, self-titled no less, why would things be any different?

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I suppose this raises two questions.

1) Is anyone other than the goth girls who fawned over Amy Lee and Evanescence back in the mid-2000s still excited about this?

and

2) What will the music sound like, and will it seem terribly dated in today’s sonic landscape?

Well, I have partial answers to both those questions.  For starters, I’m sure a good majority of the girls who dyed their hair black and ran out to the nearest Hot Topic to buy a fashionable corset in an attempt to emulate Ms. Lee will still be itching in their spider-web stockings to hear this new music.  But then again, so am I.  Well, maybe excited isn’t the correct word; I’m more interested.  I’m not embarrassed to say that I like Evanescence, and I think Amy Lee is a pretty good singer.  I’ll gladly lend my ear to someone who sounds like that.  So yes, people will be interested in this.

As far as what the music will sound like, the band just released the first single from their upcoming self-titled album which is due to hit stores in October, and you can hear that below.  It doesn’t really do a whole lot for me, but I was always more a fan of Evanescence’s more instrumental, slower-tempo stuff that featured Lee’s piano playing and sullen operatic pipes.  This sounds super-generic to me.  I’m just glad it doesn’t sound like an amalgamation of Lee’s previously stated influences during the writing sessions – Bjork, MGMT, Portishead, etc.  There’s nothing wrong with those artists, but even at the time Lee made those statements, they sounded a bit far-flung and were hard to envision coming off well.  Though maybe the rest of the album will adhere more closely to those original ideas.  I’m hoping not, but at the same time, I’m also hoping it sounds different (and better) than this single.

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-Sam