Amy Lee and her band Evanescene has had a bit up and down career since their start in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1995. It took until 2003 before it took off, and what a breakthrough year they had. The debut "Fallen" went up at the top of most rock charts and sold the entire 17 million albums worldwide. Their big sounding and gothic rock felt new and fresh, but it was through a bunch of major hits they went on to be a band that the masses knew about. However, short after the success the talented songwriters Ben Moody and David Hodges left the band due creative differences and made a big gap behind. You could clearly hear this in the sequel "The Open Door" from 2006, which felt like a weaker copy of the powerful debut. There were a few good tracks, but overall, it was not the sequel you wanted and you could also see that on the record sales.
Three years later after that record, in 2009, now with new members Amy started working on this self-titled album, which was also have had some problems. The idea was that Steve Lillywhite (U2,Peter Gabriel, Morrissey) would be producing the album, but the collaboration did not work since he and the bands musical ideas did not suit each other. In came instead Nick Raskulinecz (Foo Fighters,Velvet Revolver, Rush), but this seemed like a rather unexpected choice. I thought maybe they would work more with someone who has made more bombastic productions like Howard Benson or Don Gilmore, but the choice turned out to fit the band well.
This new album feels a bit like a revenge from the band that more or less is Amy Lee these days. Of course it will not sell even close to as much as the debut, maybe not even more than album number two, but I think it’s a really good album with better songs than expected. There are a handful of tracks with great potential as the first two singles "What You Want" and "My Heart Is Broken", but also "The Other Side" and "Made Of Stone" are clear hits.
The album is little straighter and harder in it’s sound than the debut, which was more romantic and mysterious in its kind. And actually think it's smart of them not to trying to copy that one, not now when they have tremendous pressure from both fans and label. Would love to see them go back to a darker and more moody record some day, but this works well until then and please any fan of their music.