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Evanescence - The Open Door

Fun in a Depressing, Gothic Horror Sort of Way

About.com Rating 3.5 Star Rating


Evanescence - The Open Door
© Wind-Up Records

Evanescence's Amy Lee and company are easy to characterize as overdone, overwrought, and possibly even a bit cartoonish in their approach to the band's brand of pop-goth. However, they are consummate professionals in hitting their emotional target time after time. After you settle into the appropriate gloomy, brooding mood, The Open Door is a prime companion for a rocking emotional roller coaster ride.

'Fallen' Part Two

If you were looking for Evanescence to change their formula the second time around, you will be sadly disappointed. Although the band has changed considerably in membership since Fallen, leader Amy Lee decided a formula that sold in excess of 10 million albums is not a bad one to revisit. For the most part, on The Open Door that is a good thing. The songs here are more tightly focused around Lee's soaring, dramatic vocals than ever before. Lyrically, she aims to even the score against some obvious targets for those that know the travails of the band, but she keeps the words universal enough that they can have wide appeal and application.

Evanescence Have the Goods for Their Fans

It is difficult to see any Evanescence fan being too disappointed with this sophomore effort. Melodic hooks are a little less obvious than on Fallen, but tunes like the hit "Call Me When You're Sober" resonate the first time through. Those who were looking for a new direction or significant change may grumble a bit, but after all of the personnel changes and personal drama, it is impressive this album is complete at all. With the consolidation of sound and focus on Amy Lee as a pop-goth queen, Evanescence will be primed to move forward on album #3.

Top Tracks on 'The Open Door'

  • Sweet Sacrifice
  • Call Me When You're Sober
  • Lacrymosa
  • Your Star
  • Good Enough

Not Enough for Album 3

After a second round of multi-platinum sales, following the same formula will likely not be enough for a successful third album. Evanescence will need to move beyond mere piano, guitar, and electronic effect drama. Elements such as the connection of the song "Lacrymosa" to the Mozart "Requiem" movement of the same name, or intense exploration of the benefits and costs of "Lithium" give hints that Evanescence could add intellectual heft to their obvious command of emotion. For now, however, relax, don your headphones, and enjoy the emotional ride of The Open Door.

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