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Where is the next Evanescence?

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I will admit it. The Evanescence record from last year intrigued me. I have always been into “heavier music” (whatever that means) and I have also been a big fan of female vocalists. Although I like to think of myself as an “indie” guy, it just doesn’t hold up 100% of the time. I love Natalie Merchant, Tori Amos, The Sundays, (gasp!) Sheryl Crow, Dido, Chrissie Hynde, as well as Pretty Girls Make Graves, The Postal Service and other indie groups that feature females on vocals. I know I just lost a huge amount of “scene points” for liking the Evanescence album, but as it turns out, I never had the right hair cut in the first place. In the second place, I am not insufferably skinny, so I am a double loser. Needless to say, I pretty much gave up trying to be a hipster a long time ago.

When the Evanescence record came out, I couldn’t help but buy it. Amy Lee has a very beautiful voice and I knew the music was a little on the heavier side. Seemed interesting enough, and I like the album. It has some well-crafted songs and it reaches highs and lows that are more than respectable. At the same time, the riffs get really tiring after a few listens and the lyrics are stale at best. Like other artists/groups in the past, their popularity is somewhat inexplicable. This usually means that the record company responsible for them got lucky. We all know what happens when a record company gets lucky. They start to copy each other.

Avril Lavigne hit it big with her debut album. Here comes Michelle Branch, Katy Rose, Fefe Dobson, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I am sure some of this stuff was in the works before Avril struck a rock grrl nerve (whether it is real or not) but all of a sudden marketing dollars are pushing these artists in our faces in order to capitalize on the fans of the first one to break. Do you remember the “The Bands?” The Strokes, The Vines, The Datsuns, The White Stripes, The The The The The. It happened with boy bands too. Backstreet and N’Sync were big. Here comes O-Town, 98 Degrees and a top-five candidate for the worst musical thing ever, LFO. If you don’t remember LFO, you can buy their CD used on Amazon for 9 cents. That puts them at 18% of 50 Cent, but I think that still might be too high.

So where is the next Evanescence? Their album came out March 3, 2003. There has been plenty of time to find the next group just like them. You know the record labels are thinking about it. I put Evanescence in Google and it returned 2,100,000 results and I am sure that is a low number. Let me help you out, record labels. Take one part Staind. Add in some Linkin Park and a whole lot of Alanis Morrissette and you have yourself a non-religious Evanescence. You want something a bit heavier? Ok, lets take a bit of Cold, add in a spoonful of Limp Bizkit and a whole lot of Kittie and you have a harder version of Evanescence.

I know it is coming, I just haven’t figured out when or from where. Mark my words, this year will be the attack of the clones and Evanescence will be on the top of the list of bands that need to be cloned. As the sun rises and sets, the music industry is very predictable. It is this lack of creativity that will keep them fighting an up-hill battle for entertainment dollars in the market place.

It is always easiest to pick the low-hanging fruit, and the major labels do this frequently. I wonder what would happen if they were willing to climb the tree every now and then. What would happen to their suffering industry?

(This article was first posted at RockDummy.com)

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About Craig Lyndall

  • http://blogs.salon.com/0003138/ Harald

    Evanenscence is the next After Forever is the next The Gathering. Let’s hope there is no more. It’s been done to death.

  • http://www.rockdummy.com Craig Lyndall

    Harald, I think you are dreaming. You know there will be more coming to a file-sharing service near you sooner rather than later.

  • http://www.cdbaby.com/X-15 Douglas Mays

    Well, we’ll see if they can do it. The next album is the test of their trip. How deep is it? Just have to wait and see if they are for real.

    My 14 year old daughter (private school, honor role type) is way heavy into the band. If they become no good, she’ll drop interest like a hot potato. The real test.

  • http://www.rockdummy.com Craig Lyndall

    Well, without one half of the songwriting team, Ben Moody, it will be very interesting to see if Evanescence can become the Amy Lee Band.

  • http://www.temptationwaits.com visualsimplicity

    Ahem! I’ll have you know that Michelle Branch was not the clone of Avril Lavigne. Their styles are different, but if you were to claim either a clone, it should be the other way around. Michelle Branch’s debut album came out about a year before Avril Lavigne’s.

  • http://www.rockdummy.com Craig Lyndall

    Are you sure that is the order in which they broke out though? I feel like Avril made the first push and afterward, the record company for Branch really started juicing her career with some marketing dollars.

    I could be wrong, but that is how I remember it.

  • http://www.geocities.com/mondoirlando Aaron, Duke De Mondo

    Craig, great post. This was thouroughly enjoyable, even though i couldn’t give two swear words for Evanescencesece. Really enjoyed reading this. Kinda Nick Hornby-ish, except with less references to The Housemartins. Nice.

  • http://chrispuzak.blogspot.com Chris Puzak

    The next Evanescense? Lacuna Coil. Mark my words.

  • Eric Olsen

    Very nice horizontal survey (or something) Craig, thanks!

    I don’t know who the next one is – they really struck a chord.

  • Smenkharon

    Um, guy, Hot Hot Heat has a male singer! Rockdummy indeed!

  • http://www.temptationwaits.com visualsimplicity

    Nah, I remember “Everywhere” was played all over MTV and the radios long before Avril came along. Plus although both target the younger audience, Avril is more punkish, while Branch is more of the easy-listening crowd. I would say Vanessa Carlton is more of a clone of Michelle Branch, while Avril Lavigne is sort of a clone of Pink.

    As for Lacuna Coil, I doubt it’d be them, similar musically, but Lacuna Coil has been around for quite some time (longer than Evanescence). If they were to make it big like Evanescence, they would have done so already.

  • http://www.rockdummy.com Craig Lyndall

    Smenkharon… you are absolutely right… I was thinking Pretty Girls Make Graves and I wrote Hot Hot Heat for some reason. Thanks for pointing me out as the rock dummy in this case.

  • http://blogs.salon.com/0003138/ Harald
  • Maudz

    I think Evanescence have got some of the grit and determination it takes to get beyond the mass produced market. Their first album, Origin, was a great taster of what was to come, and Fallen brings some of those initial ideas and styles further out into the open. I agree that their next album will be the real test as to whether they become ‘legendary’ or not – I believe the potential is there but they will need to ensure that they retain their originality and don’t make concessions in their music, style and appearance to attract to a wider market.

  • meh

    Michelle branch and Katy Rose had records out befor Avril ever did and from what I’ve heard, Evanescence is a rip off of Lacuna Coil. This article is full of inaccuracies.

  • Nicole

    hi, i’m 14 and is heavily into Evanescence. I am still yet to find a song by them i don’t like. Even if Ben Moody has left i still think they’ll be just as great. You might not know but Amy Lee writes most of the music herself. So with or without Ben, i’ll probably love it

  • Jessica

    Let me state some small facts for you kiddos. Evanescence will be less pop (Avril) without Ben Moody. Have you heard his solo work? Its not great. Lacuna Coil will stay out of mainstream America. And the members of Evanescence have never heard of Lacuna Coil until they started being compared to them. So the band did not rip them off. And Amy Lee has only a par-level voice. So what, its rock music, not Aguilara or an opera.

  • SeVen

    i am a huge evan fan. but i have to admit its been a long time.. and umm i hope the album will be worth it. but when i heard the name of the first single.. i mean.. hello????????????
    “call me when youre sober” it sound like a crappy punk song to me. anyway.. umm evanescence are great.

    .amen. ?