Sunday, October 16, 2011

Evanescence - "Evanescence"

Evanescence - Evanescence
2011, Wind-Up

1. What You Want
2. Made of Stone
3. The Change
4. My Heart is Broken
5. The Other Side
6. Erase This
7. Lost in Paradise
8. Sick
9. End of the Dream
10. Oceans
11. Never Go Back
12. Swimming Home
Bonus Tracks
13. New Way to Bleed
14. Say You Will
15. Disappear
16. Secret Door

I guess Amy Lee has some rule about releasing new albums less than five years apart, 'cause dang. She sure does take her sweet time, doesn't she? Well, no matter. The new Evanescence is here and... it's a grower. Not bad, just a grower. There are a couple reasons for this. For one, some of the textures of the earlier albums have been replaced with a giant wall of distortion that runs through most of the album. The guitars are really up front in the mix and LOUD! I love chunky guitars and the riffs here are cool. The problem is that they get in the way. It feels like you have to listen to the song around the guitars instead of them being a part. This would be great if Evanescence was a shoe-gazer band, but alas. Second, during the first listen or two Amy Lee's vocal melodies tend to sound too similar from track to track. I grew to appreciate them after awhile but the combo of the guitars and vocals make a lot of the songs sound the same. Thankfully, after a few listens I began to pick out the songs, enjoying them more.

I also think this album is more commercial than the artsy The Open Door. "What You Want," "Sick," and "Oceans" are all cool hard rockers designed for radio airplay. My favorite songs are probably "Swimming Home," an ethereal ballad and "Say You Will" - a hook filled bonus track from the deluxe edition. Seriously, people, what's with leaving some of the best tracks as bonuses? If I had my way I would have swapped out "My Heart is Broken" and "Lost in Paradise" for "Say You Will" and "Disappear." Don't get me wrong, I enjoy Evanescence but it's definitely not breaking any new ground.

Now let's talk lyrics for a second, shall we? Amy Lee is married, rich, and famous. Just how tortured can she really be? I mean, I know that celebrities can have problems but the angst in these lyrics seems rather manufactured to me. As my wife mocked, "My heart is broken... from being so rich and famous!" At one point Amy Lee sings, "I now know what it's like to be lost" or something like that. Really? It just feels fake to me, especially hearing about how recording this album was so much fun for her. I would rather she just write happy lyrics. That's okay, y'know!

Useless Fact: There were several pre-order packages offered and we, of course, got the deluxe edition with four extra tracks and a DVD. Haven't watched the DVD yet though.

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