Evanescence - Evanescence
Wind-up Entertainment
Alt/Pop Metal
12 songs (47:15)
Release year: 2011
Evanescence, Wind-up Entertainment
Reviewed by Goat

The appeal of Evanescence nowadays is not, as former colleague Ross insisted, for miserable goth girls who have just split up with their boyfriends, but for curmudgeonly types like me in search of some catchiness to mix up our aural existence. And if that's what you go into the American multi-million-selling band's latest album in search of, then you'll be kept reasonably happy. Opening track and first single What You Want is exactly the sort of earworm that earned the band attention in the first place, catchy vocal hooks married to simple modern rock guitars and some fairly simple orchestration. Sure, it's hardly prog - the drum-bashing especially can set your teeth on edge if you're used to more refined fare. Yet the main attraction is of course Amy Lee's warm, poppy, melodramatic and cathartic voice, none of which are a bad thing in this context. It's what keeps you listening through the likes of Made Of Stone, which disappoints at first by regurgitating those all-but-nu-metal riffs that the band are associated with before going full-on Within Temptation on your ass with piano, high-pitched chorus and good heavens, a guitar solo!

See, whatever else you may fault about Evanescence, you can't fault the smoothness of the songwriting. The likes of The Change are stone-cold anthems, The Other Side especially enjoyable with its uplifting vocal performance and almost Lacuna Coil-style. The album is filled with songs like it, Erase This' danceable stomp, and even Sick's endearingly sweet brief attempt at Toolish clatter - all return to the alt/pop metal standard laid down in unbreakable stone. "Safe" sums this up best, unthreatening music that gently tickles your ears pleasureably before dying away, leaving not a trace of its existence. No songs really stay with you, the most individual being the slightly heavier than the rest Never Go Back, which soon reveals itself to be in line with the rest of them in its simple catchiness.

So turn your brain right off to keep enjoying the likes of My Heart Is Broken, which despite a good effort at mixing drum and piano don't really do anything with it and are content to repeat what other songs here do better. Closing ballad Swimming Home is the tasteless icing on the cake, vaguely pleasant but not adding much by its presence. Ultimately, no, Evanescence may not be the crème de la crème of female-fronted goth rock/metal, but until the new Lacuna Coil comes bursting through the clouds this should keep the guilty smile on your face. The Open Door was more interesting, mind you, took more risks... a little more risk would make Evanescence a good band, rather than the enjoyable but forgettable one it currently is.

Killing Songs :
What You Want, Made Of Stone, The Change, Erase This, Sick, Never Go Back are all perfectly acceptable
Goat quoted 71 / 100
Chris quoted 82 / 100
Other albums by Evanescence that we have reviewed:
Evanescence - The Open Door reviewed by Ross and quoted 60 / 100
Evanescence - Fallen reviewed by Jack and quoted 95 / 100
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