Evanescence - Evanescence (2011)Release ID: 34394
"Hello, hello, remember me? I'm everything you can't control." Uh, yeah, hello, Amy Lee. Listen, did you really have to move away from your heavier sound for success? You were practically in pop territory then! And the name of rock was being soiled by pop artists having a rock makeover without playing that genre, like Lady Gaga in the VMA's.
Evanescence's self-titled 3rd album was released around the time when my brother was listening to these kinds of bands and I, having had it with that radio pop sh*t, wanted to dive into the rock zone for the first time, which has lead to where I am over a decade later. While not reaching the heights they had with Fallen, their goth/alt-rock/metal has still been around. This album loses a good amount of heaviness for a bit of pop, but keeps the guitars, strings, and vocals to sweep the American radio nation.
The beginning of the album pleases me with "What You Want", riding through bulldozing heavy riffing. There's a bit of mystical influence from Within Temptation at that time in "Made of Stone", with some sarcastic lines like "Speak your mind, like I care." Next up, "The Change" adds beautiful piano and strings to the heavy riffing that keeps up the direct hard rock guitarwork. "My Heart Is Broken" starts with soft piano which then ascends into a fire-stomper of guitars and drums. Lee sings like a mighty siren to make the album slightly more interesting, though some later songs might make it less...
"The Other Side" starts the side were the quality goes downhill. Sure, the heavy riffing is cool, but the vocal rhythm is way off. This is Evanescence's "Lying From You" (sounds a bit like that song too). Guitars chainsaw their way through the piano-powered "Erase This", as the vocal drama stirs up another favorite from this album. "Lost In Paradise" is a romantic-sounding gorgeous ballad. Lee's vocals awaken as she sings her regrets and apology for losing contact with an earlier loved one. This could also be directed to the fans who had to go through torturous anticipation. "Sick" has some lazy melody, but there is a tight chorus of anthemic chanting.
"End Of The Dream" sounds like they're trying so hard to shove the orchestra out of the front stage, but it messes up the otherwise thick metal guitar. Sonic synth and beat soars through the excellent highlight "Oceans" with clear guitar hooks. Another attempt at prettiness goes off-rails in "Never Go Back" where the otherwise great guitar and bass gets f***ed up by clumsy piano. Closing track "Swimming Home" adds some gloomy harp played by Lee, but the rest of the instrumentation is so weak and odd.
Yeah, Evanescence's self-titled album does get battered quite a bit, but I know the band has the ability to resist the gateway into "Barbie Girl"-style dance-pop. They preferred to stay in the rock zone with this half-lively half-dreaded album and would carry the torch into later material, with the exception of an orchestral twist after another long gap....
Favorites: "What You Want", "Made of Stone", "My Heart Is Broken", "Erase This", "Lost In Paradise", "Oceans"