Evanescence is a rock band that gets a lot of bad publicity - people say that vocalist Amy Lee is a poser goth girl, and they just seem to hate her music. However sexist people may be, it is hard to find an argument that Amy is a very unique vocalist and Evanescence is a very unique band. They combine gothic guitar melodies with beautifully-crafted classic piano harmonies, making them a very interesting group; they are one of the few artists known that can sell millions of records without being conformist - the other artist being Bjork. "Fallen" (2003) is just an example of the above described, and truly is a classic modern rock album.
The massive success that Evanescence has enjoyed so far is, in the words of vocalist Amy Lee, "really bizzare when you think about it. Obviously I always thought we were good enough - I love our music and I love her band - but I never thought it would happen on this scale." To bring Amy into reality, it is happening, and on a huge scale at that.
"Fallen" boasts over six platinum records and fifteen award nominations - 5 being Grammys. The album's sucess is due to the singles, of course, and can be attributed to the most popular ones - "Bring Me to Life" (5/5) and "My Immortal" (5/5). "Bring Me to Life" got started as it was released on the Daredevil soundtrack. From that, Evanescence's popularity only got bigger.
After "Bring Me To Life's" sucess, Wind-Up Records decided to release Evanescence's full-length CD, "Fallen", featuring 11 original tracks, the first being "Going Under" (4.4/5). The aforementioned song is one of the more rock-timbred songs on the album, featuring Amy's signature piano riffs and distorted vocals - she used a low pitched voice and a higher pitched one, and mixes them together to create a unique vocal style that many people find hard to do. "Going Under" is probably the least-thought out song on the record, lyrically-speaking, because...well, it's extremely unpersonal and stereotypical for what you'd expect from a rock band. Regardless, it's a good song, but it is no match against the next, "Bring Me to Life".
"Bring Me to Life" was originally a piano ballad, but retains it's original piano riff, simply mixing in a more upbeat tempo and a very interesting chorus, however lyrically unbalanced - the chorus is perhaps one of Evanescence's weakest, lyrically, but most powerful musically. However much one may retain the philosophy that lyrics are more important than the music of a song, they must simply make an exception for this one; it is a classic rock ballad in itself, and leaves little room for improvement. (4.8/5)
Evanescence, as mentioned before, uses various music styles to make their songs more interesting, as is the case with "Everybody's Fool" (4/5). It retains an acoustic guitar riff throughout the song, making it more than just another boring rock song. "Oh, how we love you / no flaws when you're pretending" is one of the truest phrases spoken in music - there really are no flaws if you are pretending to be something, and doing it well. One may use this as an argument about Amy being a poser money-earner, but one could use it the opposite way, also.
"My Immortal" (5/5) is the best song on "Fallen", with Amy's voice and piano flowing throughout a violin harmony, it easily lulls you to sleep - but in a good way. "My Immortal" also has little or no flaws lyrically, being one of Amy's more original and exceptionally unique works. The song brings a mood of sadness over the listener, but retains the feeling of perfection throughout the song.
Perhaps the most depressing song on the album, "Haunted", (4.5/5) is backed by a depressing synth riff, and contains some of Amy's best vocal work - her low voice blends perfectly with the rest of the song, retaining a gothic timbre throughout. Regardless of the fact that "Haunted" is one of the most musically bare songs on the record, it is still an unarguably good song.
"Tourniquet" (3.9/5) is perhaps the most confusing song on the record. Nobody seems to know where it came from - I've heard that it's a Marilyn Manson song (which I later confirmed to be untrue), a Cold song, and an Evanescence song, but nobody seems to be able to find out who's it really is. Regardless, it is a good song, mostly with Amy's vocals - it shows a range of pitches, and proves Amy to be an adequate singer with whatever she may attempt to do. The guitar parts, however, are rather unique; the past few songs the notes didn't change pitch half of the time - on this song the guitarist gets to move to a different fret occasionally.
One of Evanescence's best, "Imaginary" was rearranged into a rock song (the one on "Fallen" - it was originally on "Origins"); it was originally a piano ditty (which most people prefer over the new one) but still retains most of the original lyrics, with some changes. However, it is an okay song (4/5) but would have done better as the older one. Containing the original piano riff, it still sounds relatively like the old song, but...apparently Amy liked this one more.
"Taking Over Me" (3.8/5) is of Evanescence's worse. I'm not saying that it's a bad song - I'm just saying that it's a bit understandard for Evanescence. I can imagine several cello parts to it that would have enhanced it considerably, but they decided to make it a straightforward hard rock song.
The second piano ballad on the disc, "Hello" (4.6/5) is one of the more lyrically thoughtful songs, and one of the more beautifully-sung. Amy seems to care the most about this song - it's just her and her piano (and a little bit of cello here and there), and it works very well, mind you. This song really doesn't have a lyrical chorus, but shows some of Amy's better and rangier vocals. It also showcases the emotional quality of her voice - she was trained in opera, and it shows.
"My Last Breath" (4/5) is one of the few songs on this album where the guitars have at the least a countermelody, something that is rather rare for Evanescence - they tend to focus on vocal melodies, not stringed instrument ones. This song shows an interesting personality of Amy's voice; it is a bit of key at points, but retains some of it's rasp - something that greatly benefits the song.
"Whisper" (4.8/5) is one of the best songs of the album - however off-key Amy's voice may have been at some points, it retains a mediocre charm. "Whisper" features the Millenium choir singing "servatis a periculum; servatis a malificu" in their annoying signature style. But who knows latin nowadays anyway?
Either way, it would be pointless arguing that this is not a good cd; it is one of the only original rock albums to be released for several years, and deserves a "Superb" rating.
"Servatis a periculum" = Save me from Danger
"Servatis a periculum" = Save me from Evil