This article is about the self titled album released in 2011. For other similar uses, see Evanescence (disambiguation).

It just felt like this is who we are, it's a band. And to have that feeling in the music where the band is so pumped up, it was just the only title that felt right. It's about falling back in love with this thing in a major way.
―-Amy Lee
Evanescence (album)
Released October 7th, 2011 (Europe);
October 11th, 2011 (USA)
Length 47:14 (Standard edition);
61:42 (Deluxe edition)
Producers Nick Raskulinecz
Label Wind-up Records
The Open Door
Evanescence (self-titled)
Lost Whispers
Singles from Evanescence (self-titled)
  1. "What You Want"
    Released: August 9, 2011
  2. "My Heart Is Broken"
    Released: November 11, 2011
  3. "Lost In Paradise"
    Released: May 25, 2012
  4. "The Other Side"
    Released: June 11, 2012

Evanescence is the third studio album by the American rock band Evanescence. The production for the album started in February 2010 but ended in April that year without the usage of the produced material because it "didn't fit the band". The productions started again in 2011 and ended July that year. The reason the album was self-titled is because it "is the biggest band project so far". The first single of the album, What You Want, was released in August 2011. A music video was released in September 2011.

The album was released October 11th 2011 in the USA, October 7th 2011 in Europe and a few days later or earlier in other countries.

Background and development Edit

After finishing a tour to promote Evanescence's previous album, The Open DoorAmy Lee said that she "just sort of took off and didn't know what I was going to do next." According to Lee, she was unsure at the time when (or if) Evanescence would continue. After taking a break from music for 18 months, she decided she wanted to work with the band members and it "became more of a group project". Lee admitted to an identity crisis: "[The success with] Fallen happened really fast, and it was just go, go, go for a couple years, and we went right into writing and wrote the next record. By the time we finished touring with The Open Door, I just needed to go, 'Who am I as an adult?"' During her hiatus, Lee began painting, attended concerts and museums and listened to folk and indie music.

In a June 2009 post on the Evanescence website, Lee wrote that the band was in the process of writing material for an album planned for release the following year. According to Lee, the music would be an evolution of previous work and "better, stronger, and more interesting". She described Evanescence's music as epic, dark, big, beautiful and desperate.[5] In a Spin interview, Lee called the record "fun" – according to her, a "totally new thing" for the band: "When I listen to our old music I see that's where I was in my life at that time. This has been a long trip and parts have been hard. But it's about not taking everything so seriously this time."

Writing for the album began in 2009, when Lee wrote an electronic-driven song different from her usual style. She said, "I remember listening to it over and over, just obsessing over it the way I used to obsess over Evanescence music. That was the spark for me – and the spark to go in the electronic direction and bring some of that into what Evanescence is doing." Unlike the band's two previous albums (primarily written by Lee), every band member contributed to the writing process.

Title and concept Edit

In a June 2011 Kerrang! interview, Lee said that the album would be self-titled and was "about the band; it's more of a band record." Lee explained that the concept "to me is about falling back in love with this thing, with Evanescence, with what I've obsessed over for a decade, longer than that." There were originally many album-title ideas, but Lee said that as the project became more collaborative "it just felt like this is who we are, it's a band. And to have that feeling in the music where the band is so pumped up, it was just the only title that felt right. It's about falling back in love with this thing in a major way." In an MTV News interview, she said that sixteen songs had been recorded but not all would be included on the album. It was later decided to release two versions of the album: a deluxe edition with all sixteen songs and a standard edition with twelve.

Evanescence's cover artwork was introduced on the band's website on August 30, 2011. It is their first album cover which does not feature Lee. In an interview, she discussed the cover: "Well, both of our other records are me on the cover, and I think it's cool to have that photo, you know, that people can look at and go, 'OK, that's who that is.' But I feel like, by now, they know who we are, and I wanted something really different. I didn't feel like we had to put a photo on the cover, I wanted it to be more mysterious and more about Evanescence itself, not just me." The cover, black with vapor behind the band's name, is a play on the meaning of "Evanescence" ("to dissipate like vapor").

Singles Edit

"What You Want", the first single off the album, was released digitally on August 9, 2011, and a CD single was later released in Germany on September 9. It went on to sell 112,000 digital copies in the US as of November 2011, and it peaked at number 1 on the UK Rock Chart. It debuted and peaked at number 68 on the US Billboard Hot 100 for the week ending of August 14, 2011, with first week sales of 78,000 copies. The song stayed on the chart for only one week. On the UK Singles Chart, "What You Want" debuted at number 72 on August 3, 2011 and it stayed on the chart for one week.

The second single, "My Heart Is Broken", was sent to pop, hot adult contemporary and Hot/Mod/AC radio stations in the US on October 31, 2011, and to mainstream radio on November 1, and it was released commercially as a digital single on November 11. It only charted in three countries: Germany at number 92, Austria at number 36, and the US Adult Pop Songs at number 34. It only charted in three countries: Germany at number 92, Austria at number 36, and the US Adult Pop Songs at number 34. Although Amy said "Made of Stone" would be released as the third single, it was released only as a promotional single in January 2012 in the US to Active Rock radio, while "My Heart Is Broken" was played on softer formats.

"Lost in Paradise" was released as the third commercial single off the album on May 25, 2012. It peaked at #9 on the UK Rock chart after the album was released, and it later peaked at #71 on the Ö3 Austria Top 40 chart after the single was released. "The Other Side" was released as a promotional rock single in the US; it impacted Modern Rock radio on June 11, 2012, and Alternative radio on June 12, 2012.

Composition Edit

Steve Lillywhite sessions (2010) Edit


Amy Lee, producer Steve Lillywhite, Chad Copelin, and Will "Science" Hunt at MSR Studio, New York

During the Steve Lillywhite sessions, Lee described the album as a "rainbow of sounds" with heavy, stripped-out songs.[1] According to Lee, it had electro influences, using "industrial" as a better word to describe it, and a lot of drum programming fused with live drums. "Drums we’re renting a day at a time, like Japanese taiko drums," she said in an interview.[2] This distinct electro influence was inspired by artists such as Björk, Massive Attack and Portishead.

Lot of 'electro' talk regarding our new album. That doesn't sum it up. Influences include: Rock, electronica, pop, classical, hip hop...[3] ...Industrial, eastern, dark soul...[4]
Amy also disclosed further information about the themes and lyrical content through Twitter:
Some inspirations: unknown worlds, the ocean's abyss, life within dreams, strength, detachment, love and liars...[5]

In a Spin interview, she talked about the lyrical themes on the new songs:

I write about what I’m going through at the time. There are moments of, “Hey, I’m over it and I’m good” and others of fun sarcasm like, “Hey, everything’s not the most dramatic thing in the world.” But it gets really, really, really deep in places, too. That’s probably why it’s been really hard to pick an album title. [Laughs] But lyrically, it’s a more real version of myself. I’m saying things that I would’ve been afraid to say before. I’m more confident and more comfortable.[1]

Although progress on the album appeared to be going well, on April 20 Amy made a members-only post on EvClub stating the band were taking time out of the studio to write more music.[6] It was only on June 21 that she made a public post on EvThreads announcing the band had taken time out of the studio and suggested that the label was going through uncertain times which would hinder the band's progress on the album.[7]

In 2013, producer Steve Lillywhite talked about his work with the band and how the label thought the album he produced "didn't sound like Evanescence":

I did some work with Evanescence a couple of years ago. I was very proud of what we did, but the record company decided it sounded not like Evanescence. It seemed like Amy Lee wanted to change her style so that's what we were trying to do because I didn't really think the world really needed another Evanescence record.[8]
In 2015, when Amy was free from her record deal, she revealed that her label rejected the material recorded with Lillywhite and that she "was told that none of the songs I'd been pouring my heart into for a year, in any form, were good enough." This album that never was released was denominated by her as "broken record". She said she used her frustration with being forced to start over to write what she called "Evanescence's heaviest album."[9] Only three songs from the Lillywhite sessions were reworked on the final album: "Made of Stone", "Swimming Home", and "Secret Door".[10]

Nick Raskulinecz sessions (2011) Edit

During the later sessions with Nick Raskulinecz, she discussed two of the album's themes: brokenness ("Brokenness has become a little bit of theme, without necessarily offering a solution") and oceans. In a later MTV interview, Lee mentioned other themes: "the quest for freedom, and then there's songs that are just about falling in love". She said that Evanescence used new and vintage instruments (such as a harp, synthesizers and the Moog Taurus Pedal) and recorded the ballads "Secret Door" and "My Heart Is Broken". In a Kerrang! interview, Lee said she was inspired by her life and personal relationships.

According to Lee, the album was fun but not in a "poppy way" and the band enjoyed its recording. She was inspired by her relationship with Evanescence's fans: "I can really hear myself singing about my relationship with Evanescence and with the fans. There's always one big relationship on a record that I sing about the most. I feel like my big relationship on this album [is] with Evanescence itself, and with the fans. I think lyrically you're hearing a lot about a relationship, a struggle with a relationship or love in a relationship, and mostly I'm singing about that."

For the album, the band was influenced by artists such as Björk, Depeche Mode, Massive Attack, MGMT and Portishead. Lewis Corner of the Digital Spy website noted that rumbling guitars and dainty strings were present on most of the album's songs: "Amy Lee declares over roaring guitars and classical strings, reinforcing their medieval influences as opposed to the electronic sound they've been purporting."

Music and lyrics Edit

Lee shares writing credits with other members of the band on 11 of the standard-edition album's 12 songs. Evenescence's first track and lead single, "What You Want", was described as one of the band's most unusual songs with heavy guitar melodies, loud drums and a freedom theme. Opening with drums and a synchronized synthesizer, Lee sings "Do what you, what you want / If you have a dream for better / Do what you, what you want / 'Til you don't want it anymore" before the song's rhythmic, guitar-driven beat. Lyrically, the song explores a relationship which is not working out, despite present love. "Made of Stone", one of the album's oldest songs, has heavy-metal influences. "The Change" (originally entitled "Purple"), which begins gently and grows more insistent, has been compared to "Digital Bath" by the American alternative metal band Deftones. The fourth track (and second single), "My Heart Is Broken", is a ballad written for harp and recorded with a piano. It begins with the piano and Lee's vocals, evolving into rhythmic guitars and strings. In the chorus Lee sings, "I will never find a way to heal my soul/ And I will wander 'til the end of time/ Torn away from you/ My heart is broken".

The fifth track, "The Other Side", has churning, chunky guitars, a double-bass drum and Lee's "ethereal, widescreen" vocals with elements of R&B. Lyrically, the song's theme is death. "Erase This", formerly titled "Vanilla", ]was noted by Mary Ouellette of Loudwire as an "uptempo rocker" similar to "What You Want" which would sound better played live rather than through earphones. "Lost in Paradise" is a symphonic rock ballad which begins with piano, strings and Lee's unlayered vocals before adding the band for the song's climax; its lyrics reflect Lee's past struggles, apologizing to her fans for the band's five-year absence. The song's musical structure was compared to "Jóga", by the Icelandicrecording artist Björk. "Sick" has a loose, lazy melody and a chanted chorus; one of the first songs written for the album, it "set[s] a heavy direction for the rest of the record." "End of the Dream" begins "full bore with chunky guitar, then falls into a brooding grove with piano underpinning Lee's unmistakable vocals." In the chorus, Lee sings "Follow your heart 'til it bleeds," evincing the track's "seize the day" message. Lee said about the song, "It's about understanding that this life isn't forever, and how you have to live it, embrace even the pain, before it's all over. As much as it hurts, it just means you're alive. So don't be so afraid to get hurt that you miss out on living.", "Oceans" begins with a big, low synth and a vocal before the band joins in. According to Lee, "It's big and lush. We've been having a lot of fun playing that one especially." "Never Go Back" (originally called "Orange") examines "loss from the perspective of someone losing someone in a tragedy". Lee said that the song, with the lyrics "It's all gone, the only world I've ever known", was inspired by the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. "Swimming Home" is an electro-pop song with grinding guitars and a "weeping" piano.

Critical Reception Edit

Evanescence has received mostly positive reviews from music critics. Metacritic assigned an average score of 63 to the album based on nine reviews, indicating a generally favorable reception. Before its release the album appeared on several lists, including Spin's "26 Fall Albums That Matter Most", Entertainment Weekly's "Fall Albums We Can't Wait to Hear" and Rolling Stone's "Fall Music Preview: The Season's Hottest Albums". Steve Beebee of Kerrang! gave the album five stars out of five, calling it "easily their most cohesive and confident work" and their "best album to date". According to Rick Florino of Artistdirect, Evanescence was "their best album to date and a new classic" and "[they] manage to experiment while staying unshakably infectious. That's not an easy feat, and few acts manage to do that."

Allmusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine praised Raskulinecz's production, Lee's vocals and the "fair share of crossover hooks", adding that the band sounded "less tortured tonally even if it remains quite dramatic." Entertainment Weekly's Kyle Anderson said, "When [Lee] uses baroque orchestral accoutrements to wage an air assault on her demons ... she's more than just the token girl in the pit." Lewis Corner of Digital Spy gave the album four stars out of five, saying that the band's trademark sound was present on the album "and truth be told, we wouldn't want it any other way." Mark Lepage of the Montreal Gazette praised the album, calling it "one rolling, chugging, plangent epic." According to Chad Grischow of IGN, Evanescence is a "great album that delivers the familiar while keeping an eye on the future." Rob Williams of the Winnipeg Free Press described the album as gothic nu-metal and hard rock, with dramatic orchestration which makes everything sound "big and alive": "With so many extra bells and whistles, despair has never sounded so epic." Marc Hirsh of The Boston Globe wrote that the album captures "each party elevating the other far above where their proclivities would get them on their own."

According to Nick Catucci of Rolling StoneEvanescence is primarily a "syrupy mix of piano, guitar and strings" which is not as "saucy" as the band's older material. Chris Willman of Reuters wrote, "Every interchangeable tune on the new album also sounds designed to play over the end credits of an action blockbuster that takes itself too seriously". Theon Weber of Spin gave the album a mixed review; rather than holding back too much, Weber wrote, Lee did not do enough to restrain her performance: "Evanescence gets lost in the cavernous spaces carved out by their unsecret weapon." Edna Gundersen of USA Today criticized Raskulinecz's production and the album's electronics: "Tempered, her [Lee's] emotional wail enhances the hypnotic medieval magic of signature Evanescence tunes. Some electronics slip into the mix, but the band's rock essence and penchant for weepy strings remain prominent, as does its flair for conveying wretched despair." Although PopMatters' Dane Prokofiev criticized the album's eponymous title as a new-band strategy, he praised the "noticeable increase in the prominence of choir singing, tinkling piano motifs, and the silky sound of string instruments" with the caveat that the additional deluxe-edition songs were superior to those on the standard edition. Steven Hyden of The A.V. Club called the album "narcissistic", "corny" and "irredeemably stupid".


First EditionEdit

No. Title Length
1. "What You Want" 3:41
2. "Made Of Stone" 3:33
3. "The Change" 3:42
4. "My Heart Is Broken" 4:29
5. "The Other Side" 4:05
6. "Erase This" 3:55
7. "Lost In Paradise" 4:42
8. "Sick" 3:30
9. "The End Of The Dream" 3:49
10. "Oceans" 3:31
11. "Never Go Back" 4:27
12. "Swimming Home" 3:41

Deluxe EditionEdit

No. Title Length
1. "What You Want" 3:41
2. "Made Of Stone" 3:33
3. "The Change" 3:42
4. "My Heart Is Broken" 4:29
5. "The Other Side" 4:05
6. "Erase This" 3:55
7. "Lost In Paradise" 4:42
8. "Sick" 3:30
9. "The End Of The Dream" 3:49
10. "Oceans" 3:31
11. "Never Go Back" 4:27
12. "Swimming Home" 3:41
13. "A New Way to Bleed" 3:46
14. "Say You Will" 3:43
15. "Disappear" 3:07
16. "Secret Door" 3:53

iTunes Pre-order Deluxe Edition Bonus TrackEdit

17. "What You Want (Elder Jepson Remix)"

Songs from the Lillywhite sessions Edit

The songs below were recorded during the sessions with Steve Lillywhite in 2010, but did not make it to the final cut of Evanescence. A few of them did make it on to other releases. Others wait to see the light of day.

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Goodman, William (March 5, 2010). "Exclusive: Amy Lee on the New Evanescence Album". Spin.
  2. Evanescence Recording New Album, Plots Summer Tour (March 26, 2010)
  3. Lee, Amy (March 10, 2010). "Lot of 'electro' talk regarding our new album." Twitter
  4. Lee, Amy (March 10, 2010) "...Industrial, eastern, dark soul..." Twitter
  5. Lee, Amy (March 14, 2010). "Some inspirations". Twitter
  6. Nuevo blog de Amy en EvClub (April 20, 2010)
  7. "What's up". EvThreads (June 21, 2010)
  8. Celebrity Interview Steve Lillywhite (May 10, 2013)
  9. Lee, Amy (December 15, 2015). Cover #4: Baby Did a Bad, Bad Thing. Facebook
  10. Lee, Amy (February 29, 2016). "You're getting it in pieces, and there are a few good bits left to go...". Facebook
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