When co-founder Ben Moody departed the Evanescence team in late 2004,questions were asked as to whether goth-lite princess Amy Lee could steadythe ship alone. After all, Moody was the genius behind 2003-4 uber-hitsBring Me To Life and My Immortal (musically, that is). The intrigue wasbolstered by Lee’s talk pre-release that this was the album “I’d wanted tomake all along,” and how it was on a level more personal to herself, free ofMoody’s constraints. Nonetheless, questions were asked, and with the releaseof the bands 2006 sophomore album, The Open Door, the baying publicfinally have some answers…
The Open Door is indeed a more personal record for Ms Lee, but not how it’dsurely been intended. Lead single Call Me When You’re Sober – a kiss-offto ex-boyfriend (and Seether vocalist) Shaun Morgan – is as pretentious asanything Fallen had seen 3 years prior. Self indulgent to almost breakingpoint, the clich�d as hell lyrics and overly generic backing make for ashockingly horrid song, and one that serves as first indicator as to justhow much the band miss Moody. Opener ‘Sweet Sacrifice’ serves no better; aturgid attempt to recapture past glories, the heard-before riffs andshockingly average vocals act as a slap from the proverbial wet fish. Yack.
The band ape their best chugga chugga riffs time and time again throughoutthe album’s 13 tracks, and where Lee’s vocals were once there to save themfrom obscurity, it’s just not happening this time over. Weight Of TheWorld is your everyday rocker that’s been done to death. Pleasant to listento once or twice, it’s the type of ham-fisted rubbish the band haddesperately tried to avoid last time out. Lithium (unfortunately notconnected to the once great Nirvana track) and Cloud 9 serve up addeddoses of trite, melodramatic rubbish, and with the former falling woefullyshort of (what looks like an attempt to re-do) 2003′s My Immortal, it showsjust how far Evanescence have fallen (ha, see what I did there?)considerably since Moody’s departure.
There is the odd saving grace however. Like You sees Lee trouble herselfover the passing of her younger sister; lyrically moving, it’s one of thefew times the band recapture their old charm. It’s soaring melody plays offLee’s best vocal performance to give the discs undoubted highlight.Melodramatic? Maybe. Decent? Oh yes.
The Only One and Your Star unfortunately bring the disc back to earthwith a bump. The former’s building piano intro wishes it could have been onFallen, whilst the latter couples (another) piano intro with Lee’soff-canter vocals before building into yet another overly-generic rock-out.Ms Lee attempts to sound angry on the clich�d All That I’m Living For, butthe expected power chords curtail the track before it gets off the ground.
Seeing Amy Lee’s lyrics go as drastically down the pan as this resembleswatching a bad car crash. It’s nigh on inconceivable that theangelic-vocalled woman that once wrote the moving/emotive/whatever MyImmortal could churn out such dross as Call Me When You’re Sober.Musically it’s power chords and big riffs-ahoy, generic, mundane, boringstuff. The Open Door is an exercise in how not to make a sophomore album (orany album for that matter) and it’s a shame, for these guys were once agreat, great band.