Evanescence - The Open Door
2003's Fallen crept up quietly and quickly became one of the best selling albums of that year. Mostly inspired, but marred by occasional over-production, it was a breath of fresh air when put up against the other 'rock' acts of the time.
Three year's later Amy Lee and the rest of the band return with their follow-up. Co-founder and songwriter, Ben Moody left the band between albums and his departure is noticeable - the lyrics are more angsty than the previous outing and the tracks are very much hit-and-miss this time around. Whereas Fallen stuck to a reasonably consistent formula, The Open Door attempts to be a little more varied but this doesn't quite come off and while the ballads are the band as good as they ever have been, the other more experimental (I use that term lightly) songs are less of a success and while most show signs of genius, they are mostly forgettable. Lithium quickly becomes the best track that Evanescence have produced, knocking the heartbreaking My Immortal from the top spot, whereas Cloud Nine harks back to the pre-Fallen demos. However, the biggest disappointment is the album opener Sweet Sacrifice which really is just the band painting-by-numbers and doesn't set the tone for what is to follow and Call Me When You're Sober seems very out of place and lyrically something you'd expect from the teeny-rock of Avril Lavigne.
Thankfully the departure of Moody has taken with it some of the Linkin' Park comparisons and Terry Balsamo's input into the songwriting is welcomed. The Open Door is a more personal journey into the mind of Amy Lee - and the lyrics this time around are far more introspective backed up with Lee's haunting voice and the raw guitar sound replaced with much more appropriate piano. Unfortunately the same old quiet-loud-quiet-loud cycle that seems to affect the majority of the band's output is still very evident on a number of the tracks.