The Open Door


Wind-Up, 2006

REVIEW BY: Jeff Clutterbuck


Three years seems like a long time ago.

It is hard to believe that it’s been three years since Evanescence put out new product. You'd expect a band that had a multi-platinum record under their belts to be raring to churn out new music. Instead, Amy Lee and co. went through a great deal of turmoil after releasing Origin. Songwriter/lead guitarist Ben Moody left in the middle of a tour and then the band’s bassist took a hike as well.

Not that any of this matters in the end, because Lee was/is the driving force behind the music, meaning The Open Door sounds pretty much the same as Origin.

Lee was the lone bright spot on Origin and not much has changed. Her vocals are some of the best you’ll hear this year. While labeling her performances as “soulful” would be a mistake, there is no doubt she has range. On the best material, Lee belts out each note with such gusto, one can’t help be compelled to take notice. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

So once again, as my crazy Uncle Jesse used to say before he threw another possum into the pot, “It’s about the songs, stupid.” Lee, unfortunately, has to share the responsibility for this aspect of the album. The first hint of trouble came when “Call Me When You’re Sober” was released as the leadoff single. Honest to God, I did not stop laughing until the song had finished. Not totally a remake of “Bring Me To Life,” but close enough to invite comparison, the tune demonstrated that things really weren’t going to be different.

And upon giving The Open Door a run-through, I was sort of right. Things aren’t the same; they've gotten worse. Five songs in, boredom has completely set in. Lee and the band may try to hide their glaring deficiencies with creepy production tricks and vocals and massively over the top choral chants, but it just doesn’t work.

I will give The Open Door some credit, however; it does set a better mood than Origin. The aforementioned production decisions accomplish that, but that problem is the songs are just empty. Take “Cloud Nine.” Things start off promisingly with Lee’s ghostly vocals, but then things take a turn for nu-metal and BAM, it’s over. The poor thing didn’t even stand a chance. “Lose Control,” “Lacrymosa,” “Your Star...” the list goes on and on.

Evanescence was never a technically gifted band; I mean, how many bands could withstand the departure of the lead guitarist and bass player and come out of it sounding virtually the same? Personally, I think Lee should end the charade and just pursue a solo career. I don’t know if her membership in the band is affecting what kind of material she writes, but it sure isn't helping. Two albums in, Evanescence has not only hit a sophomore slump but shows no sign of breaking out of it at all. They’ve found their formula, and sadly they are sticking to it.

Rating: D+

User Rating: B



© 2006 Jeff Clutterbuck and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Wind-Up, and is used for informational purposes only.