Oh my! What a total and sad downgrade from the heights of Fallen to this album, kind of unhappily named Evanescence. Only that the evanescence – true to its name – of this gig seems to have finally disappeared completely.
First signs of this to happen already appeared in their former record The Open Door, where one could observe a certain lack of direction and oomph. But still, the latter record contained a lot of good stuff to render it memorable.
This one here, however, tops it in the negative arena.
Evanescence sounds like Amy Lee propped on top of a bunch of studio musicians. And this is exactly what it is. The essence seems to be out of Evanescence.
Too poppy, no metal to speak of and – as it appears – a bunch of disjointed musicians all trying to get something going again that died before. Just distorting a few electric guitars does not make it metal, guys.
It is just like so much noise.
After the departure of Ben Moody from the band and a lot of the original members with him (or shortly thereafter), the band never quite recovered. Old style dead, new style yet undiscovered. That kind of thing. With an outcome in this concoction that is VERY mainstream, and a dime-a-dozen style of music. Makes me want to switch off my music player. Like after five minutes or something.
To add insult to injury, the aforementioned Mr. Moody and a bunch of ousted Evanescence members founded some sort of a back-up band aptly named We are the Fallen. They went ahead, hired Carly Smithson (Ultimate High, American Idol) and produced … a copy of the Evanescence sound with a bunch of very powerful tracks. They – of course – vehemently declined any such similarity. But the album is exceedingly well done.
But back to Amy Lee and her latest.
Amy needs to be lauded, though, by trying to bring out her own style in the way she wants it. Like the first lines of lyrics in Do What You Want so expertly tell “Hello, hello, remember me? I’m everything you can’t control“. And I am all for re-inventing the music and not to dwell on old styles for too long, as this can get strenuous, too.
All of this is of course underlined by the fact that the band now finds itself enjoying a hiatus. Or should I say lack of direction and purpose? Also, I am not sure of the significance of this statement. Judging by some of the interviews Amy gave lately, this seems to be of the lasting kind.
As usual, not all is bad in this album, of course, and the first tracks are rocky enough, interspersed by a couple of soft ballads. Lost in Paradise is hauntingly beautiful after all. But after that it goes downhill big time.
In the end, this record is not something I would buy again. Listening to this album felt like having a well-trained race horse replaced with a donkey cart. Go figure!
But I for sure hope that any follow-up album will again be of the crunchy, metal kind that give credit to a talent of Amy Lee’s caliber. And perhaps, Amy Lee should just try to manage without Evanescence and truly live by her own style, unencumbered by the past. This would give her more credit. And some stuff she produced so far in this direction clearly speaks to that.
Record Rating: 2/10 | Label: Wind-Up Records | Web: Official Site