The Open Door (Wind-Up)
by Ewan Wadharmi
The word count on Evanescencesesss new disc tells the tale: “fear,” “dark” and “grieving” count for eight apiece. “Alone” gets 16 its ownself. The 26 references to “love” barely beat out “cry,” “scream,” “cold,” and “sleep” with a combined 25. Most revealing are the 160 personal pronouns, and 174 reasons to think these songs are about “you.” And if you’re Amy Lee’s former bandmates, they probably are. Shout out to my Fallen homies, you’re so vain!
First impression: It sounds so like Fallen that it could’ve been culled from the same sessions. As you progress deeper, however, so increases the level of musicianship and the complexity of emotion. Lee takes a respite from all the damage “you” caused her to reflect with a morbid sentimentality on her younger sister’s death. In “Like You” (see, but not “you”), she longs to “lie cold in the ground like you/there’s room inside for two/and I’m not grieving for you.” The very PJ Harvian image is delivered with reverence and nurturing beauty, no Rasputina ghoulishness. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)
I tend to lump Evanescence into the music for hormonal teen and recent-teen girls who live for American Idol camp, and I may find Lee to be occasionally shrill. But there’s certainly something substantial that connects with the 14 million who bought the first album. Not on par with Tori Amos or Kate Bush, but somewhere around Fionna Apple and Jewell.