Evanescence review by Evanescence

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  • Released: Oct 11, 2011
  • Sound: 7
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 7.7 Good
  • Users' score: 7.9 (75 votes)
Evanescence: Evanescence
2

Sound — 7
Amy Lee began recording this self-titled album in 2009 with producer Steve Lillywhite with a release expected in late 2010. Amy later dropped Lillywhite as the producer stating that he was not the right fit and started over with producer Nick Raskulinecz. After dropping Lillywhite, Amy Lee left the studio and worked with the band to rewrite the album, and while keeping some of the same songs they were reworked with the band. The album that would have released under Steve Lillywhite's watch would have been an album of songs written exclusively by Steve Lillywhite and would have been heavy with solely acoustic arrangements. The album that was released under Nick Raskulinecz shows Amy Lee co-writing the songs with the band as a cohesive unit, and while retaining the Evanescence Sound', it is also bringing in elements that are only possible with a band writing together. Amy Lee has stated that the album is a statement about her falling back in love with the band itself and greater collaboration as a band than in her previous releases as Evanescence. Guitarist Troy McLawhorn has returned to the fold, which is a good sign in and of itself. This album could best be described as goth rock with elements of nu metal and a lot of electronic and string instrumentation added in for an almost chamber pop feel to it. While in the past the instrumentation was almost solely used for creating the right atmosphere to act as scenery for Amy Lee's voice, the instrumentation has taken a more important role having interesting elements of its own. Also, on this album there is now some harp added in, which is played by Amy Lee. Probably about half the songs are heavier, with good riffs and guitar lines, and a few simple yet effective guitar solos. The other half of the songs is more electronica or acoustic (with piano and/or harp as the main instrumentation). As a side bit of trivia, I have read that Kelly Clarkson has been making statements about wanting to do a duet with Amy Lee after hearing her single What You Want'. That would be interesting if it ever happens. I am reviewing the Deluxe Edition of the album which has 16 tracks and clocks in at just over an hour. The standard edition has 12 tracks and I would seriously recommend getting the deluxe instead as the bonus songs added New Way to Bleed', Say You Will', Disappear' and Secret Door' are solid tracks. Secret Door', while being a more acoustic track with a lot of harp, is one of my favorite tracks from the album. Really, the sound and instrumentation on the album is eclectic enough to remain pretty interesting throughout.

Lyrics — 9
Amy Lee's voice is as phenomenal as it has always been. Before moving forward with this section of the review, I want to say that my brother who is much more a fan of Amy Lee's voice than of Evanescence as a band says he feels like her voice is mixed too low and the music is too busy during a lot of her vocal parts, which I don't agree with. If you are primarily a fan of Amy Lee's voice, you may feel the same as my brother. I personally feel the music and her voice have found a really good balance on this album better than on past releases. The music manages to really help her voice shine and her vocal parts add value to the song as a whole. Amy Lee has stated in interviews that she did her vocals last during the recording of the album, as many parts on the album were very difficult to accomplish vocally. Well, the vocals really turned out pretty good. The lyrics are about the Ocean, being broken, and relationships (love songs), which is fairly normal faire for Evanescence with the addition of the Ocean as a theme in the song Oceans'. Amy Lee has stated a lot of the lyrics are like a love song to the band and to her fans, and the album's material is predominantly based on her relationship with Evanescence as a band. Really, listening to the album as a whole I feel like most of the songs are about Amy Lee working out her own self worth and identity. The lyrics from What You Want' start out Do what you, what you want / If you have a dream for better / Do what you, what you want / 'Til you don't want it anymore'. The lyrics from My Heart Is Broken say I will never find a way to heal my soul/ And I will live 'til the end of time/ Torn away from you/ My heart is broken'. Talking about the song End of the Dream', which seems to be a contemplation of mortality, Amy Lee has said 'It's about understanding that this life isn't forever, and how you have to live it, embrace even the pain, before it's all over. As much as it hurts, it just means you're alive. So don't be so afraid to get hurt that you miss out on living.'

Overall Impression — 7
There are five or six songs on here that really stand out, and then the rest while they seem pretty solid just kind of take a place in the background to me. My favorite songs on the album are Sick', What You Want', Made of Stone', Never Go Back' and Secret Door'. I really enjoy the direction that Evanescence seems to be going as far as becoming more of a band. I do enjoy Amy Lee's voice, but I enjoy it much more in the context of a well put together band. I will put a few of the tracks off the album on my mp3 player, but I do think it is worthwhile to purchase the whole album instead of just buying up the most interesting tracks. I would like to see the next release come sooner, and I would like to see the next album be an even more collaborative effort than this release. This self titled release by Evanescence' won't make my top 3 releases in 2011, but may make it in my top ten.

44 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Biginjones07
    Damn, I was just in high school when their first album came out and all the little emoish pop-punk girls were wetting their black laced panties they bought from Hot Topic.
    grohl1987
    lpwjbklyn wrote: Countsluggo wrote: Thats cause ben moody was awesome. Listen to we are the fallen. I had heard people say that he was the source of the best songwriting on Fallen and I just didn't believe them. After hearing the new Evanescence album and the "We Are The Fallen" material, I have to believe that they were right.
    It became obvious he was the real talent when the second EVanescence album came out and sucked while his solo album came out and was really good, although he was on a tiny label so not many people ever knew he made one. The problem is that Ben Moody doesn't have star quality. He's great at what he does but he's not someone who's going to sell concert tickets and magazines by himself. The rest of the guys he took with him to We Are The Fallen are the same deal. They can get the job done but none of them are natural superstars. Amy Lee IS a natural superstar but she's not really a master of hard rock riffs and captivating lyrics. She's a great voice and a good frontwoman but she doesn't have that groundwork down. Her new bandmates seem only capable of cranking out the most generic nu-metal and post-grunge riffs possible. I really feel that if Ben and Amy had stuck around together for longer they could have ended up going down in history as one of the strongest rock & metal acts ever. Fallen was such a strong start and they've both proved they're not worn out yet. Just a huge shame they can't put the past behind them and do it together again.
    Sunk'nNorwegian
    Mobby32 wrote: great voice, but hate the music thats most mainstream music these days... Avenged Sevenfold
    If you haven't noticed, this article is about Evanescence, not about Avenged. Stop bringing Avenged up when they aren't relevant to the conversation. Just like those douchebags on youtube who think it's necessary to bring up Justin Beiber on a metal video. Anyway, I'm looking forward to this release, haven't heard any of the songs yet, but I am still looking forward to it.
    Neurie
    There occasional flashes of Origin in here, but tbh this is the worst Evanescence album yet, its just tired, retreading the same old sound which sounds way too polished this time around. Theres little edge or anything that just grabs you like they did when they came out with Fallen. They sorely miss Ben Moody as a writer and with We Are The Fallen having almost the complete original line up of Evanescence in it its not suprising they are, atleast creatively, the better band right now. Yes Amys voice is stunning, but its like constantly eating only the finest cut of same type of steak, it gets boring and bland due to repeatition. This is still the Amy Lee show, slowly becoming the female Axl Rose of the hard rock. Hopefully in thier live gigs they wont look like they have done the last few years: bored, disinterested and just there to get paid.
    Krauser
    dorissie18 wrote: How is it possible, that before the day of the release of the album, there is already an official review? damn... illegal shit kills the music industry
    You can always get an album early, whether by illegal means or legal ones... and for what it's worth, it's available on iTunes today and it's not technically out until tomorrow...
    katalyzt13
    rockcrab wrote: muh i like, and always when I play songs of her on guitar people ask me what great music that is, so to call it a vehicle, i don't know, it's more like the voice is the only thing attention is paid to.
    I think it is more a matter of how it is mixed where the vocals are definitely given a very drastic prominence, but yes, the only thing attention is paid to is the vocals, thus it has become a vehicle for Amy Lee's voice.
    Junior#1
    dorissie18 wrote: How is it possible, that before the day of the release of the album, there is already an official review? damn... illegal shit kills the music industry
    Are you kidding me? There were bootlegs of this album almost a month ago. That's how the internet works. It's not uncommon to get movies, albums, even games days or even weeks before their scheduled release dates.
    Loki_37
    Junior#1 wrote: dorissie18 wrote: How is it possible, that before the day of the release of the album, there is already an official review? damn... illegal shit kills the music industry Are you kidding me? There were bootlegs of this album almost a month ago. That's how the internet works. It's not uncommon to get movies, albums, even games days or even weeks before their scheduled release dates.
    ...And this is a bad thing.
    EpiExplorer
    Loki_37 wrote: Junior#1 wrote: dorissie18 wrote: How is it possible, that before the day of the release of the album, there is already an official review? damn... illegal shit kills the music industry Are you kidding me? There were bootlegs of this album almost a month ago. That's how the internet works. It's not uncommon to get movies, albums, even games days or even weeks before their scheduled release dates. ...And this is a bad thing.
    Yeah, but nothings going to change it. Anyway, films are more than likely to succeed so dont feel too bad for George Locust and Steven Steal-a-burger. CD's aren't even a reliable income source for recording artists anymore, new alternatives such as media syncing pay much much more anyway.
    Tiago Sa
    All that mainstream bands and artists accomplish by releasing their music as paid music is the perpetuation of outdated publishing businesses. I'm not against it, but there's little denying that an upstart musician or band can ONLY give their music away FOR FREE if they ever hope to reach stardom. They get more listeners, they get more revenue from gigs because they have more listeners, and they get all the free publicity of swimming against the tide. [/offtopic]
    katalyzt13
    Rockinguitar wrote: robertito696 wrote: The reviewer most likely received an advance copy to do the review in time for the release, in this case, a bit early. It's a very common practice. Even some of the larger music blogs get advanced copies to review. Really? You REALLY believe that's what he did?
    Have you not noticed that all types of websites, periodicals, both print and virtual have reviews of albums up before the release date? This is because labels release copies to these websites, periodicals, etc., in order to provide a review and build hype for the album release.
    FlyingPirahna
    I've developed a soft spot for this band in the past two weeks. First I found my old Fallen CD because I wanted to here Bring Me to Life, then I saw them on RiR. A tad of overdramatic, sure, and the goth thing is a bit played out, but goddamn that woman can sing. Makes it all worth it.
    lpwjbklyn
    Countsluggo wrote: Thats cause ben moody was awesome. Listen to we are the fallen.
    I had heard people say that he was the source of the best songwriting on Fallen and I just didn't believe them. After hearing the new Evanescence album and the "We Are The Fallen" material, I have to believe that they were right.
    david1707
    I have this in the car right now. I really like it. Perfect mixture of metal guitar riffs and an incredible voice.
    lpwjbklyn
    dorissie18 wrote: How is it possible, that before the day of the release of the album, there is already an official review? damn... illegal shit kills the music industry
    Funny how people were saying that [fill in whatever trite nonsense you'd like here] was going to kill the music industry six, seven years ago...and yet here we are, commenting on the review of yet another album of music. When will people learn that "the music industry" is an institution that's not going anywhere just like oil companies, big banking, and all the other myriad corporate entities in our fair land? Let it go! The only thing illegal downloading impacted was the bonuses lining the execs' pockets. Done.
    pailoong
    Biginjones07 wrote: Damn, I was just in high school when their first album came out and all the little emoish pop-punk girls were wetting their black laced panties they bought from Hot Topic.
    Details, please.
    XZero
    XZero wrote: Anyone notice how the beginning of "The Other Side" sounds a lot like the intro to "Around The Fur" by Deftones?
    oops! I meant to add, I'm not accusing them of ripping off Deftones I'm just saying they sound alot alike.
    milky14
    It's actually none of them.
    Magnificoamar wrote: Mobby32 wrote: great voice, but hate the music thats most mainstream music these days... Avenged Sevenfold Avenged Sevenfold? Isnt that...Great musi, but hate the voice lol?
    robertito696
    Rockinguitar wrote: robertito696 wrote: The reviewer most likely received an advance copy to do the review in time for the release, in this case, a bit early. It's a very common practice. Even some of the larger music blogs get advanced copies to review. Really? You REALLY believe that's what he did?
    Were it a normal or unregistered user I would have assumed illegal acquisition. But given that it is a member of the UG staff I;m inclined to believe they recieved an advanced copy.
    axeslinger0u812
    The original sessions were completely scrapped as being an evanescence record, and thus, this album is a collaborative effort... This is a solid album, in my opinion. Unlike their last effort, which seemed more like a soundtrack, the orchestral elements are not pushed to the forefront but instead complimentary to what the band is playing. Hopefully they can keep this formula of collaborative writing going. The melodies are strong, the rhythm section is much improved, and hopefully they can keep this unit together for a full tour and writing cycle. There's an energy here that's been lacking with them since fallen. My major critique is that it does need more use of the two guitars in lead lines and melodies. That is something that should come in time. They have two guitars playing nearly identical things on 90% of the songs. But on the whole, I was very surprised. "What you want" is not a good indication of this album, much like "call me when you're sober" didn't give a good impression of the last one. "Erase this," "Oceans," and the bonus tracks are highlights for me. Adding the bonus tracks, I would give it an 8/10.
    vppark2
    Neurie wrote: There occasional flashes of Origin in here, but tbh this is the worst Evanescence album yet, its just tired, retreading the same old sound which sounds way too polished this time around. Theres little edge or anything that just grabs you like they did when they came out with Fallen. They sorely miss Ben Moody as a writer and with We Are The Fallen having almost the complete original line up of Evanescence in it its not suprising they are, atleast creatively, the better band right now. Yes Amys voice is stunning, but its like constantly eating only the finest cut of same type of steak, it gets boring and bland due to repeatition. This is still the Amy Lee show, slowly becoming the female Axl Rose of the hard rock. Hopefully in thier live gigs they wont look like they have done the last few years: bored, disinterested and just there to get paid.
    totally agree with u man
    XZero
    Anyone notice how the beginning of "The Other Side" sounds a lot like the intro to "Around The Fur" by Deftones?
    rockcrab
    muh i like, and always when I play songs of her on guitar people ask me what great music that is, so to call it a vehicle, i don't know, it's more like the voice is the only thing attention is paid to.
    CloudStrifeNL
    dorissie18 wrote: How is it possible, that before the day of the release of the album, there is already an official review? damn... illegal shit kills the music industry
    Lol, welcome to the internet No like robertito696 explained most of the reviewers get their copies early. And not only in the music industry but also with games and movies/series. Think of it as free advertisement.
    Shinsen88
    This album marks a small change moving more towards Evanescence being a band instead of a vehicle for Amy Lee
    Actually, this might be something I want to check out... Goof review.
    krizzlybaer
    dollyDagger wrote: "vehicle for Amy Lees voice". What does this mean? And why is it said twice?
    meant that the instruments were just the background behind the great voice
    Suitepee7
    krizzlybaer wrote: dollyDagger wrote: "vehicle for Amy Lees voice". What does this mean? And why is it said twice? meant that the instruments were just the background behind the great voice
    amy lee. great voice. classic
    ayreon37
    I have heard Do What You Want, and I'm really not all that impressed. Early on the songs were raw and full of emotion... now it seems repetitious and over processed. They wrote my high school soundtrack, but I think I have outgrown this band...
    robertito696
    dorissie18 wrote: How is it possible, that before the day of the release of the album, there is already an official review? damn... illegal shit kills the music industry
    The reviewer most likely received an advance copy to do the review in time for the release, in this case, a bit early. It's a very common practice. Even some of the larger music blogs get advanced copies to review.
    Mobby32
    great voice, but hate the music thats most mainstream music these days...
    Avenged Sevenfold
    Magnificoamar
    Mobby32 wrote: great voice, but hate the music thats most mainstream music these days... Avenged Sevenfold
    Avenged Sevenfold? Isnt that...Great musi, but hate the voice lol?
    JimBonJovi
    The new album rocks pretty good. I've always been a fan of Nick Raskulinecz's production. I think this will bring in a new group of fans and maybe(and hopefully) drive away the pop fans with some...giant...big...meaty...riffs. What did you think I was going to say sicko! Good album front to back.
    Raven_Flight
    I will surely give this a few spins, there are some catchy choruses and melodies. However I will surely get tired of it quickly as it happens with every Ev release. Thing I noticed when I saw the Rock In Rio performance is they have a pretty cool drummer now. And yeah, it is more band oriented
    grohl1987
    Not quite sure how it can be more about Evanescence as a band than Amy solo considering that she got rid of all the original band memebrs and Evanescence now is just Amy Lee + long-term session musicians, but if it sounds good then that's what matters.
    katalyzt13
    grohl1987 wrote: Not quite sure how it can be more about Evanescence as a band than Amy solo considering that she got rid of all the original band memebrs and Evanescence now is just Amy Lee + long-term session musicians, but if it sounds good then that's what matters.
    Well, its been a while since there were any original members besides Amy Lee. Maybe it is coming back around to being a band again, even if without the original members.
    dorissie18
    How is it possible, that before the day of the release of the album, there is already an official review? damn... illegal shit kills the music industry
    Rockinguitar
    robertito696 wrote: The reviewer most likely received an advance copy to do the review in time for the release, in this case, a bit early. It's a very common practice. Even some of the larger music blogs get advanced copies to review.
    Really? You REALLY believe that's what he did?