Evanescence has been a household name for the past few years, and for good reason. Their emotional, dramatic, addictive brand of hard rock, quite honestly, has barely left my CD player ever since I discovered them. Good stuff, Ev. Good stuff. So...yeah, the Arkansas-based band has certainly had their ups and downs. Co-founding member, guitarist/songwriter Ben Moody split with the bunch all the way back in 2003, to eventually be replaced with ex-Cold guitarist Terry Balsamo. The extraordinarily talented vocalist/songwriter Amy Lee has certainly came out of her shell since Evanescence has first exploded onto the scene. Now more people are fully aware of the fact that she's not a creepy, scary, dark, depressed girl that's sad all the time (see Anywhere But Home for proof that she can be quite the contrary. Yippee!).
"Going Under" was Evanescence's second single. One might call it one of the heavier tracks on Fallen. I feel really weird using that word to describe Evanescence's sound, which is actually rather melodic and harmless, but this song definitely packs an impressive amount of intensity and aggression. So, its success as a single definitely surpassed moderate, although it is more likely that radio addicts will best remember the band for "Bring Me To Life" or "My Immortal".
I often feel that poor "Going Under" was somewhat... neglected. I mean, it truly is a good tune. Things get going with Amy's hushed, distorted, angry whispers about a debilitating, abusive relationship: "Now I will tell you what I've done for you / 50,000 tears I've cried." The song is nearly aquatic in tone: the lyrics are belted out in a defiant cry, backed up accordingly with a crunchy guitar rhythm and excellent drumming.
When fast, energetic, driving songs go acoustic, often things can go wrong. I'm happy to tell you, though, that's definitely not the case here. "Going Under (acoustic)" is pulled off without a hitch. Granted, it lacks the OOMPH and momentum of the song's original version -- being slower and such -- but this wonderful acoustic version is beautiful all the same, with a really stripped-down vibe. Amy sounds amazing, and with such bare instrumentation (only a slightly plucked guitar to perfectly accentuate her stunning voice), there is a naive, sweet tone that isn't as prominent in the song's original version.
Evanescence goes acoustic again with a cover of the unforgettable Nirvana (who, what, when, where, why?) tune quaintly known as "Heart Shaped Box". Amy's voice is perfectly suited for this one, coated in determination and desolation. It's interesting, because many cover songs don't offer many NEW qualities. Many artists love to re-create the same exact song, in the same exact way, exhibiting the same emotions. However, Amy alone makes this her own, drawing out the words deliberately to give the song a much more haunting feel. It's difficult to not be drawn into this performance immediately, simply because it is captivating and compelling. The listener can feel every syllable trilled. As Amy explores her higher vocal range toward the end of the song, it will undoubtedly give you chills.
Another treat lies in the fact that this CD single is enhanced. Yes, you heard correctly -- stick this charming little disc into your computer, and you can watch the "Going Under" music video as many times as you please. It's a really entertaining video [although I'd still call "Everybody's Fool" the coolest video clip the band's done]. While being primped and prettified for a concert, Amy realizes that her beauticians are slowly morphing into demons and whatnot. Oh, no! The horror! But it doesn't end there: as Amy and Ben dive into the audience to crowd-surf, they all turn into ghoulish creatures as well. It definitely gives a fun feeling of paranoia [if paranoia can be fun] to a song that may have not previously been thought of in such a way.
This CD single would make a great gift to any hardcore Evanescence fans. Sometimes it's just really cool to have all the rare items from a certain band: imports, hard-to-find singles, etc. I doubt that casual fans of the band will be tripping over themselves to lay down several dollars for it, but those who are addicted to this tremendously talented band will have no problem with adding this to their collection. The live acoustic songs are a nice bonus, and hey! When has an enhanced CD ever gone wro...okay, don't answer that. Please. Please?
Anywhere But Home