Today’s scene is a bit more bleak. The formula has obviously been set and repeated into oblivion (I’m looking at you, Breaking Benjamin!). But I’m not here to talk about bands with a bunch of dudes faking masculinity, I’m here to talk about one that has a chick that does it better.Evanescence’s self-titled (which I always find lame) third album is a refreshing turn for the hard pop scene. It was released November 8th and promptly landed in every Hot Topic wearing pre-teen’s iTunes playlist shortly thereafter (Mine too, not ashamed). It’s pretty formulaic as far as song structure (intro, riff 2 times, get quiet during verse, riff/chorus, quiet again…etc) but this time I can handle it. In the past, Amy Lee co-wrote her albums with guitarists Ben Moody on Fallen and Terry Balsamo (Cold, Limp Bizkit) on The Open Door. For their latest album though, it was a group effort and it shows.The album opens with the pre-release single “What You Want”. I remember sitting in my car and hearing the DJ lead in the new single and I thought to myself then, “Well this could go either way.” It was either going to be something that got me excited (I like the potential of Evanescense) or what I honestly expected; a disappointment. But when I heard the chorus, the “Hello, Hello” part in particular, I knew that this album had promise.
Some of the other songs of note on the album are “Erase This” which is a dark, dance-ish tune, “Made Of Stone”, a heavy song with some interesting ambient features and a great chorus, and “The Other Side” which, again, is heavier than I would expect and showcases Lee’s vocal prowess.
Of course, there is the token Evanescence ballad “Lost In Paradise” which I’m not really interested in. “My Immortal” from Fallen was okay, if not wildly over-played, but this one really didn’t even hold up to that. I’d skip it if I were you. And don’t think I’m saying that because I’m a guy either. Remember: I said I liked an Evanescence album. It’s not like I’m fishing for man-points here.
Throughout the album, Amy Lee sings her, one can only assume, goth-corsetted butt off. As a trained vocalist, I have nothing but respect for the harmonies and overall solidity of her vocals from beginning to end. And as an audio engineer, I know that a majority of it is probably tuned and corrected. But to me, it’s still a valid album. It still had to be written and it’ll have to be performed. She’s got a voice that’s pleasant to listen to and it’s a great match to the music.
If you’re a man who is secure enough in his sexuality or doesn’t mind taking flak from his friends, check out this album. Girls, I don’t know what criteria you need, but you should check it out too. On a scale of 1 to 10, I love it. I won’t be calling Evanescence my guilty pleasure but I will be buying the bumper sticker.