Evanescence’s new album might alienate fans

By Larissa Gula

The first song on Evanescence’s new self-titled album asks, “Remember me?”… Evanescence


Wind Up Records


Rocks Like: Flyleaf

The first song on Evanescence’s new self-titled album asks, “Remember me?” That might be the million-dollar question, as this is the first time that the band has released new music in about five years.

Since its first record Fallen, which was released in 2003, Evanescence has gone through major changes. For one, singer Amy Lee is the only remaining member of the original group. With its sophomore release The Open Door, the band switched up its sound to create a smoother, melody-driven line-up of heartbreaking lyrics, soaring vocals and satisfying chords.

Still, the first and second albums sounded similar enough; changes only made the songs more interesting. Now, Evanescence’s self-titled third album risks letting down the band’s original fans.

The first single and opening track, “What You Want,” kicks off the album with the lyrics, “Hello, hello / It’s only me infecting everything you love / Somewhere beyond the pain / There must be a way to believe.”

As always, Amy Lee’s soaring vocal work shines through. But if dedicated fans of the original Evanescence heard this new track, they likely wouldn’t recognize the band. The group’s once simple hard-rock sound has been softened into borderline pop-rock.

At first, it’s not necessarily a bad sound, as there’s still the familiarity of layered guitars and synthesized strings. It’s obvious the band enjoyed playing its usual instruments with a new sound, because the new music is fast and lively — quite different from their slower, more dramatic approach of the past.

And not all of the songs are poppy, either. Songs like “Made of Stone” have a touch of Evanescence’s original hard-rock style, which won’t totally alienate the fans who loved the band from the get-go.

But that good feeling falls away as many of the tracks begin to sound the same, with one or two exceptions. The monotonous sound definitely drags this album down. After four or five tracks of what sounds like the same song, it’s hard not to be bored with the minor keys and muted guitars.

Even the emotional lyrics can’t save the album. For example, “My Heart Is Broken” features some of the original “emo” lyrics of heartbreak that original fans loved: “My heart is broken / Sweet, sleep my dark angel / Deliver us from sorrow’s hold / Or from my hard heart.” But it lacks the haunting beauty of songs like “My Immortal” and “Lithium” and literally blends into the song preceding it.

It’s normal for a band to want to change its sound but with the new album, Evanescence is now a “love it or leave it” band. Maybe the group will gain some new fans with this third album, but the real question is: How many will they lose?