Record Review

Phases and Stages


Fallen (Wind-Up) Hailing from the unlikely locale of Little Rock, Ark., Evanescence gives standard radio alt-metal a Gothic twist. It comes from 21-year-old Amy Lee, whose haunted, operatic vocals fall somewhere between Sarah McLachlan and Tori Amos and lend an otherworldly cast to the group's hyperconfessional lyrics. Musically, the tableau is equally bleak, Ben Moody's crunchy guitars alternating with passages of despondent piano and foreboding strings. Several songs, like "Going Under," "Tourniquet," and "Whisper," connect by yoking Lee's inner turmoil to the band's tumultuous riffs, but others ("My Last Breath") are too anonymous to really register. Breakout hit "Bring Me to Life" takes things to another level, with Paul McCoy of 12 Stones providing a testosterone-pumped yin to Lee's bansheelike yang. Whether or not the song is a fluke remains to be seen, but it's certainly one of the more curious offerings to be had on the airwaves right now and lingers in the memory like the remnants of a particularly vivid nightmare. The rest of Fallen suggests the quintet has the chops to escape one-hit-wonder status but is also a little too by the numbers to fully capitalize on Lee's obvious talents. More keening, less preening. (Evanescence plays 101X's Springfest in Waterloo Park Friday, May 9.)


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