"Do what ya, what ya want", Evanescence, but I can't love you anymore
Feb 7, 2012
Review by blindsider
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:"Swimming Home", "Lost in Paradise"; occasional displays of emotion and vocal talent from Amy Lee
Cons:Bland, unimaginative songwriting; mostly terrible lyrics; dull guitars; whiny Lee
The Bottom Line: Sure, Evanescence never had complex guitar solos or unbelievable drumming, but when even the band's lifeline (Amy Lee) generally fails, it's just little more than a pile of unimaginative drivel.
Once an enchanting musical experience layered with chilling emotions and heart-wrenching vocal performances from Amy Lee, Evanescence has turned into the generic, whiny, redundant machine everyone originally assumed it was.
Recommend this product?
Their self-titled outing reinforces what I initially suspected upon the release of 2006's The Open Door: that Evanescence has been on a downhill slope ever since the exit of its once-primary songwriter, Ben Moody.
"What You Want" is the first single and quite easily the worst offender. Opening up with a bouncy, obnoxious drumbeat, the song soon escalates into Lee shouting, "Do what'cha, what'cha want!" and "Hello, hello, remember me?" until the listener loses the precious remnants of his her or sanity. There's nothing fun, interesting or catchy about it. The lyrics make Katy Perry's look genius and Lee sounds completely ridiculous. The midtempo "Made of Stone" displays some crunch in Terry Balsamo's guitar work, but the song is ultimately as unmemorable as Lee's voice is strained and aimless. "My Heart is Broken" is a nice change of atmosphere, with a lovely piano melody accentuating Lee's simpler vocals in the beginning; however, the song becomes lost in its own overblown pretentiousness and follows a bland, chunky "dun. dun. dun." guitar riffing formula that might have guaranteed a hit in 2003, but now evokes little more than an eyeroll.
"Lost in Paradise" is one of very few outstanding moments on the album. It's a genuinely tender, refreshing, unusually structured ballad with some of Lee's most vulnerable, beautiful vocals to date. As she softly intones, "I've been denying...this feeling...of hopelessness...in me," it's tough not to feel that -- even if for four minutes and forty three seconds -- the Evanescence I used to really love is not dead after all. Unfortunately, the reality of what they've sadly become soon snaps back into place with "Sick" and "End of the Dream," songs which may not be as horrid as "What You Want", despite coming with a very real threat of boring all listeners into states not unlike that of a coma.
Thankfully, "Swimming Home" offers temporary solace and compensation, using a steady, almost trance-like rhythm nestled comfortably amidst Lee at her best as she pleads, "I'm sorry... I adore you still..." and everything works in such a fantastic, ethereal way that it becomes that much more disappointing to realize how lifeless and obnoxious the majority of the album truly is.
Despite the fleeting moments which range from 'okay' to 'fantastic', Evanescence is generally mind-numbing, unimaginative and sloppily composed. I completely respect artists' right to experiment with different sounds and to make dramatic changes, but Evanescence has regressed big-time in instrumental, vocal and lyrical aspects, and they are no longer capable of producing consistently impressive albums. I simply cannot recommend Evanescence.
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