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?