I've discovered a new guilty pleasure. In these pages, some of you have read my reviews of music as wide in variety as Deep Purple and Avril Lavigne. This is one of those.
A while back I stumbled onto some Evanescence videos on YouTube. I had been pointed towards a single from the latest Avril Lavigne album, which I thought was a far cry better than her previous effort. Perhaps she's growing up. Unfortunately, her lyrics haven't. On the sidebar, sat a load of Evanescence tracks, so I tried one ... and another ... and another. I had always avoided them because they had been described to me as angry girl music.
I was pleasantly surprised. Yes, it is angry girl music, but the lyrics are all that I wished Avril Lavigne's would be. They are poetic and deep, and the music is far more complex than I ever expected. Amy Lee has been described as "the breakup singer", and I can see where that comes from, but she's more interesting than that. Granted, she sings more about dying than I would care for, especially on Fallen, their first album.
The self-titled third album is much more mature than that. Yes, it is about breaking up, but now she's learned that maybe it is worth soldiering on. It's still heavy, with some orchestral moments, and poignant piano work. I struggle for highlights because it is all so even and good. The lone exception is that I'm not fond of the last song, Swimming Home. I particularly like the tracks with the more complex beats, Change, Erase This, Sick, and Never Go Back, but I'm hard-pressed to choose one to take to a desert island.
If anything, that is the only disappointment of this album, there isn't a single song that is so amazing that it eclipses the rest of the album, like Bring Me to Life or My Last Breath from Fallen. What sets Amy Lee apart from Avril Lavigne, apart from the lyrics, is that Avril's albums have one or two 5+-star songs and the rest are 2-3-stars. Swimming Home might be a 3-star, but the rest are probably 4.5-5.
Because the album is so consistently good, I'll give it the full 5-star rating.
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