Archive for October, 2011

CD Music Review: Evanescence: Evanescence [album]

October 12, 2011

[Bill]

CD Music Review: Evanescence: Evanescence [album]

Release date: 11 October, 2011

There are some people that you just don’t screw around with, like the Navy Seals or the Green Berets. I would also argue that the Goth/Metal/ Rock group Evanescence are not to be messed with either. Not that they will beat you to a pulp, or annihilate your county. But that they will rip your soul from its smug middle class safe zone and expose the pain, sorrow and guilt that you have been masking and with Amy Lee’s clear and soaring voice in ringing in your ears your musical life will never be the same.

As the warmth and light of summer give way to the cold and dark of winter, now just past the autumnal equinox, we are treated to an equally dark work that is sure to please, totally a propos for the darkest days of the year. Returning with a vengeance as the standard bearers for Metal Rock after a tumultuous hiatus of five years with their eponymous titled work, the oft left for dead Evanescence are truly back.

As the phrase goes, no one does it better. The loss, despair and grief, is all a treat for the Goth/Metal soul which, with or without reason, is so wounded that it will never recover. “Ev” write dark stuff and are proud of it. If you want warm and fuzzy you had best look elsewhere. In an interview this winter Amy Lee [lead singer and co-founder] stated that she had been listening to a lot of Bjork and La Roux lately, wouldn‘t that be a combo? Talk about an overdose of misery loving company. So what is the attraction then? As a friend of mine said three years ago when I played the unreleased track [of which there are a lot] “Before the dawn” for her by Evanescence, the reaction was a couple of seconds of silence then simply; “it’s beautiful”, for so it was. An exquisite love song. I recommend it highly.

“Evanescence” is a meteorological term for the disappearance of evening fogs or mists as the rising sun disperses those mists at dawn. Now there is some obscure gothic drama for you. And a pretty cool name for a band too. But then this is a group that wrote the song “Lithium” on its last album and then made a video of that song, in which band members performed at night in a cemetery in a snowstorm, wearing black, and then had the lead singer, dressed in a flowing white full length gown, sink into a dark pond, literally drowning [of course] in despair and blackness. Perfect.

So I am [almost] happy with the announcement of a new album from these, the masters of middle class ennui. Except that in true Goth style I am too busy sulking because I have had to wait so long for this, the next chapter of pathos from the band. Yes, waiting for dark piano, guitars, cello, drums and Amy Lee’s semi-operatic voice, a brooding fury all in darkest black.

Unless, of course, when the music is a completely different style with solo piano and voice slowly played and sung. I am reminded of the poem by Paul Verlaine, his Chanson d’Automne and the line, imperfectly translated into English: “The long sobs of the violins of autumn, wound my heart with a monotonous languor”.  Talk about your music being your therapy, which by the way, Lee claims that it actually is.

The interest bordering on frenzy by “Ev” fans this last year or so, for the new album has, obviously and predictably, been [what else?]painful to watch, but then what else could it conceivably be? Yet, now all is forgiven, all is redeemed by this the third studio album of Evanescence. Dramatic? Overwrought? How else could it possibly be? Worth it? You be the judge. I will say this. Amy and the band do not disappoint. Embrace your deepest inner darkness. Mess with Evanescence? Not on your life.

bill littlefield      10/11/11

 

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The Widower’s Tale by Julia Glass

October 5, 2011

[Tricia]

This is just a good read – interesting characters, compelling story. Good for a rainy day.