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Music Review: Evanescence – Evanescence

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Evanescence is a band worth its goth salt. And with the release of their new album, they hope to once again skyrocket to the same fame as their debut.

There’s just a slight problem, though. Like an ailing mother or a battered car, Evanescence coughs and sputters in uneven measures, ranging from the glorious moments to the absurdly cliche. The fact remains–there is no originality left in the band that once gripped our hearts. Amy Lee, one of the most recognizable voices in music, can still hit the perfect notes, which is a good thing.  But it seems the rest of the band have a lot of catching up to do.

The main problem is not the musicianship: they manage to do a good enough Evanescencejob of playing. The problem is that they play almost the same way throughout the album, leaving Moody, Hodges, Gray, and LeCompt-sized holes of originality. I do not know if this is on purpose (I certainly hope it isn’t), but a single listen and it becomes clear that the descent since Fallen and Moody’s exit has all of a sudden steepened. They sound too forced, and by sounding too forced they leave Lee’s excellent vocal work hanging.

There are some good songs on the album such as the amazing “Sick” and the beautiful “Oceans,” but other that these and a couple of others, the rest sound the same. Take the first six songs, for example: “What You Want” sounds like Evanescence all through, which is good. So do “Made of Stone,” “The Change,” “My Heart is Broken,” and the last two, and frankly it becomes really boring after the first three. There is a lot of filler, obviously, but it somehow manages to sound like a true Evanescence record without winning anything for originality.

The good thing about the album is it really rocks. Yes, it is not original, and yes, Lee should either apologize to her former bandmates or get better, more innovative musicians. But the current lineup knows how to rock, which is awesome. If you want to simply rock out and breathe in that Amy Lee essence Fallen first introduced us to, this is the album. If you want the intensity of their debut, maybe you’ll like some of Evanescence. But if you want the creativity of their debut, or its writing skills, look elsewhere. It is a beautiful album, but overall it is nothing special.

The overall defining statement of this album, and by extension, Evanescence themselves, would be: Evanescence is a great band, capable of great music and reaching the top of the musical pyramid. They would be nothing without graceful singer Amy Lee, but without Ben Moody, David Hodges, Rocky Gray and John LeCompt, they wouldn’t be Evanescence, either. I recommend this one to fans of the band, but if you’re looking for innovation, creativity or originality, or if you want to begin listening to this band or gothic rock in general, please skip this one if you’re short on cash.

Overall rating: three and a half out of five stars.

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About Tolu Awobusuyi

  • Jason

    I don’t know which album you are listening to. I just bought this album yesterday and think its one of the best albums I have heard in years. There is nothing boring about this album it’s the heaviest album they have ever done. My HEart is Broken is one of the best songs I have ever heard in my life. I looked around for other reviews on this album and yours seems to be one of the only negative ones. But that opinions for you I guess.

  • Paul

    Not sure what album the previous commenter was listening to but it can’t have been the new Evanescence one. I loved Fallen……I really liked The Open Door….but I struggled to get through this latest one. Amy Lee sounds well…like Amy Lee…and the noise behind her sounds like Evanescence…but where did the songs go? Dull, dull, dull.

  • Paul

    oh and “one of the only” doesn’t make sense…either something is “one of the few”…or “the only”.

  • Nikki

    Best album/music by Evanescence yet, love all others, however, this one really shows the progression of Amy’s amazing musical ability, vocal, instrumental, continues with her amazing writing talents, magical ability to mezmorize across all cultures near and far….she sings from the heart and it shows with all of her essence ;-)

  • cosmo

    You don’t know what you’re talking about.

  • http://www.justelsa.com Elsa

    I think this self-titled album is their best yet. No doubt.

    It’s just pure rock (no choirs) and it’s heavier.

    Troy, Will, Tim, and Terry really brought great stuff. They are all amazing musicians. Plus, Nick Raskulinecz (Deftones, Stone Sour, etc) as a producer made the band sound better.

    Troy and Will are now having various projects that are different from Evanescence.

    Will is now playing (touring member only) with David Draiman in Device, even though he didn’t write the songs.

    Troy is playing with Seven Dust (to fill in for Clint Lowery). He has also did a project for the soundtrack of “The Battlefield of the Mind” by Staind’s Aaron Lewis.

    And…

    “Lee should either apologize to her former bandmates….” – There’s no need to do that. Her former bandmates should apologize to her for making a similar band – We Are The Fallen.

    ” if you want to begin listening to this band or gothic rock in general, please skip this…” – Evanescence is not gothic rock. They are a rock band, but in an interview they said they don’t want to be classified in a certain genre. But if they had to, Amy said the band is more “alternative”.

    Just my 2 cents.