Do What You Want, Amy
More often than not, a five-year absence spells the end for a band. For Evanescence, it spells a new beginning. After a few lineup changes, and after more than 2 years in production, the band returns with a self-titled third album, and a new spin on their classic sound.
Opener “What You Want” introduces the band’s new synth-backed sound, without losing the driving guitar sound or vocalist Amy Lee’s powerful, moody alto. “The Change” features lachrymose strings, breakbeat drums, and an immensely catchy chorus, while “My Heart Is Broken” is a heavy, piano-driven weeper. “The Other Side” is the first return to form for the band, the aggressive guitar and drum attack recalling their debut album, before taking a left turn with “Erase This,” an up-tempo, almost club-like number with pushing drums and ostinato piano. Lee finally slows down on “Lost In Paradise”, a track bathed in strings and keyboards, and also a heartfelt apology to the fans for the band’s lengthy absence. Finally, “Oceans” fully embraces the dark, gloomy ambience that only a keyboard can offer, before “Swimming Home” completely tosses the live band, building an electro track around Lee’s plaintive vocals and piano, with a sound very reminiscent of latter-day The Faint.
Fans of the band’s earlier works will definitely want to pick up Evanescence as well: it’s got a newer sound with the keyboards, but it still has everything we’ve come to love. Fans of female-fronted hard rock acts, as well as fans of classic trip-hop like Massive Attack and Portishead will want to give this a spin too; their influence on this record is clearly felt. It may have taken five years, but it was worth the wait. Once again, Evanescence does not disappoint.