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Evanescence - Topic

The Open Door Play

It seems like a minor miracle that Evanescence released their second album at all, given the behind-the-scenes toil and trouble that surrounded the aftermath of their 2003 debut, Fallen, turning into an unexpected blockbuster. Actually, so much drama followed Evanescence that it's hardly the same band anymore. Certainly, pivotal songwriter/guitarist Ben Moody is no longer with the band, leaving not long after Fallen had become an international success, and sometime after that, they lost their bassist -- leaving behind Amy Lee as the indisputable leader of the band. She always was the face, voice, and spirit of the band anyway -- dominating so that it often seemed that she was named Evanescence and not fronting a band called that -- but by the time the group finally released their long-awaited second album, The Open Door, in October 2006, there was no question that it was her band, and she has learned well from the success of Fallen. Pushed to the background are the Tori-isms that constituted a good chunk of the debut -- they're saved for the brooding affirmation of a closer, "Good Enough," and the churning "Lithium," which most certainly is not a cover of Nirvana's classic (that song never mentioned its title, this repeats it incessantly) -- and in their place is the epic gothic rock (not quite the same thing as goth rock, mind you) that made Lee rock's leading witchy woman of the new millennium. And she doesn't hesitate to dig into the turmoil surrounding the band, since this truly is all about her -- she may artfully avoid the ugliness surrounding the lawsuit against her manager, whom she's alleged of sexual harassment, but she takes a few swipes against Moody, while hitting her semi-famous ex, Shaun Morgan of Seether, directly with "Call Me When You're Sober," as blunt a dismissal as they come. To hear her tell it, she not only doesn't need anybody, she's better on her own. Yet artists aren't always the best judge of their own work, and Lee could use somebody to help sculpt her sound into songs, the way she did when Moody was around. Not that she's flailing about necessarily -- "Call Me When You're Sober" not only has structure, it has hooks and momentum -- but far too often, The Open Door is a muddle of affections. Sonically, however, it captures the Evanescence mythos better and more consistently than the first album -- after all, Lee now has no apologies of being the thinking man's nu-metal chick, now that she's a star. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

Fallen Play

Fallen is the major-label debut of Evanescence, a Little Rock, AR-based quartet led by the soaring vocals of 20-year-old Amy Lee. Emboldened by the inclusion of its single "Bring Me to Life" on the soundtrack to the hit film Daredevil, Fallen debuted at an impressive number seven on Billboard's Top 40. But "Bring Me to Life" is a bit misleading. A flawless slice of Linkin Park-style anguish pop, it's actually a duet between Lee and 12 Stones' Paul McCoy. In fact, almost half of Fallen's 11 songs are piano-driven ballads that suggest Tori Amos if she wore too much mascara and recorded for the Projekt label. The other half of the album does include flashes of the single's PG-rated nu-metal ("Everybody's Fool," "Going Under"). But it's the symphonic goth rock of groups like Type O Negative that influences most of Fallen. Ethereal synths float above Ben Moody's crunching guitar in "Haunted," while "Whisper" even features apocalyptic strings and a scary chorus of Latin voices right out of Carmina Burana. "Tourniquet" is an anguished, urgent rocker driven by chugging guitars and spiraling synths, with brooding lyrics that reference Evanescence's Christian values: "Am I too lost to be saved?/Am I too lost?/My God! My tourniquet/Return to me salvation." The song is Fallen's emotional center point and defines the band's sound. ~ Johnny Loftus, Rovi

Evanescence Play

Released five years after The Open Door, Evanescence’s third album picks up where the last one left off, with vocalist Amy Lee singing songs about death, angst, and brokenness over her band’s dark gothic grooves. Evanescence also finds room to experiment with other influences, working drum loops and synthesizers into an otherwise guitar-heavy sound. Although Steve Lillywhite was originally scheduled to produce, he was eventually replaced by Nick Raskulinecz, who brings the same sort of bottom-heavy crunch to Evanescence that he gave to the Foo Fighters’ In Your Honor., Rovi
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