- “We've all fallen, but at the same time we're not broken. There is the hint that we are going to get up again.”
- ―Amy Lee
Fallen is the first studio album by Evanescence, and their first album to achieve widespread release around the world.
Background and development Edit
Fallen was the eighth best-selling album in the U.S. in 2004, with about 2.61 million copies sold that year. The album was recorded at Ocean Studios (Burbank) and Conway Recording Studios (Hollywood) both in California. The album reached 7x Platinium status on 24th June 2008 in the U.S.
After Evanescence was formed by Amy Lee and Ben Moody in 1995, the band released three EPs and one demo CD. In January 2001 they signed with Wind-up Records, their first major label. Composing Fallen took eight years; in an MTV interview, Ben Moody said that he wrote with Lee "maybe two or three times in eight years."
The album was recorded in California at Track Record Studios, NRG Recording Studios, Ocean Studios, and Conway Recording Studios. Songs were recorded as demos before the recording sessions, and "My Immortal", "Imaginary", and "Whisper" appeared on earlier Evanescence recordings. The album was recorded and mixed from late August to early December 2002. Recording began at Ocean Studios in Burbank, where "Bring Me To Life" was recorded. This recording was later used for the Daredevil soundtrack. For that song, Jay Baumgardner used a mix at his studio (NRG Recording Studios in North Hollywood) on an SSL 9000 J. Drum tracks were recorded at Ocean Studios, with Josh Freese playing on selected songs to click tracks of stereo guitars and vocals.
Dave Fortman said that for the rest of the drums, he used a D112 on the inside of the kick drum, a U47 on the outside, and an NS-10 speaker as an outside mic. The producer used 414 microphones on the ride and hi-hat cymbals, recording the drums on two-inch tape on a Studer recorder and inputting the results into Pro Tools. The guitars (Gibson Les Paul, Gibson SG, Mesa Boogie, Marshall Amplification) for the album were cut at Mad Dog Studios in Burbank with an old Mesa Boogie guitar cabinet. Lee's vocals, pianos and the background vocal by the Millennium Choir were recorded at NRG Recording Studios. The orchestral parts were arranged by David Hodges and David Campbell except for "My Immortal", which was arranged by composer Graeme Revell. Fallen was mixed over a two-week period at Conway Recording Studios in North Hollywood and mastered by Ted Jensen at Sterling Sound in New York City.
Fallen has sold well over 15 million copies worldwide and about 5 and a half million in the US alone. The album debuted at #7 and has not fallen below #39 to date on the Billboard Album Chart. The album stayed in the top 10 for 43 non-consecutive weeks. Released March 4th, 2003.
The CD was re-released in January 2004 with the band version of "My Immortal". Fallen was Grammy nominated for Album of the Year in 2004. John LeCompt and Rocky Gray both had writing credits on Fallen before they officially joined the band. John has credits on "Taking Over Me" and Rocky has credits for writing the original version of "Tourniquet" (originally called My Tourniquet) for his band, Soul Embraced. The latest album features the 12th song My Immortal (Band Version) but does not state this song on the track-listing.
Singles EditThe first single released from the album is "Bring Me to Life", which was commercially released on April 22, 2003. It was written by Amy Lee, Ben Moody and David Hodges, and most of it was recorded at Ocean Studios in Burbank, California for the Daredevil soundtrack. It went on to peak at number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The second single, "Going Under", was released on September 9, 2003. The music video for it was filmed in Berlin, Germany on May 2003. "Imaginary" was released as the third single in Spain only in November 2003. "My Immortal" was released as the third commercial single worldwide on December 8, 2003. It peaked at number 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
"Everybody's Fool" was released as the fourth and final commercial single off Fallen in 2004. The music video for it was directed by Philipp Stölzl, the same director of the "Bring Me to Life" and "Going Under" music videos.
Title and concept Edit
Amy Lee stated in an interview that "We've all fallen, but at the same time we're not broken. There is the hint that we are going to get up again."
This is one of the reasons the album is called what it is. Ben Moody adds on this by saying that Fallen was made to let people know that they aren’t alone when they feel alone or feel pain.
Music and lyrics Edit
According to Amy Lee, "Going Under" is about a previous emotionally and physically damaging relationship: "And when you're at the end of your rope, when you're at the point where you realize something has to change, that you can't go on living in the situation that you're in. It's cool. It's a very strong song." "Going Under" was Fallen's second single. "Bring Me to Life" is a nu metal-rap rock song written in common time and performed at a moderate tempo (96 beats per minute). Written by Lee, Ben Moody, and David Hodges, the song was conceived when an acquaintance asked Lee in a restaurant if she was happy in her current relationship. When Lee realized that she was not, the lyrics "wake me up inside" were inspired. The singer confirmed that the song was about longtime friend Josh Hartzler, whom she married in 2007.
"Everybody's Fool", also by Lee, Moody, and Hodges, is about celebrities with false images. In a VH1 interview, Lee said: "My little sister was really getting into these, I don't want to offend anyone, but like really fake, cheesy, slutty female cracker-box idols, and it really pissed me off. She started dressing like them and she was like 8 years old. So I gave her the talk and I wrote a song." "My Immortal", a piano rock ballad written by Moody with a bridge by Lee, is based on a short story Moody wrote; in the album booklet he dedicates the song to his grandfather, Bill Holcomb. "Haunted" is also based on a Moody short story which was posted on the Evanescence fan forum, EvBoard.com. "Tourniquet" was originally written for Christian death metal band Soul Embraced, which included future Evanescence member Rocky Gray. "Imaginary", a song from Evanescence's 1998 self-titled EP, was originally intended as Fallen's fourth single. The midtempo "Taking Over Me"'s lyrics are about Lee being consumed by another person's obsession with her. "Hello" remembers one of Lee's sisters, who died of an illness in 1987 at age three. The lyrics of "My Last Breath" explore emotional survival, with the lack of air a metaphor. "Whisper" features the Millennium Choir singing in Latin against muted guitars, but the choir is credited in the booklet by each individual vocalist rather than by the choir's official name.
Critical Reception Edit
Fallen received mixed-to-positive reviews from music critics. Johnny Loftus of AllMusic gave it three-and-a-half stars out of five: "The album does include flashes of the single's PG-rated nu-metal ("Everybody's Fool," "Going Under"). But it's the symphonic goth rock of groups like Type O Negative that influences most of Fallen." Entertainment Weekly, in a generally positive review, graded the album B-minus: "The genre now too old to be called nü-metal isn't exactly overflowing with spine-tinglingly great vocalists – let alone female ones. Amy Lee, lead singer of gloomy Arkansas rockers Evanescence, is an exception." In a mixed review, Kirk Miller of Rolling Stone gave Fallen three stars out of five: "When vocalist Amy Lee croons about lying 'in my field of paper flowers' or 'pouring crimson regret,' she gives Fallen a creepy spiritual tinge that the new-metal boys lack."
Adrien Begrand of PopMatters criticized Fallen, calling the album "basically as unoriginal and dumb as everything else in its genre; it has a small handful of transcendent moments, but a complete lack of musical adventurousness has the band mucking around either in stultifying nu-metal riffage, pretentious high school journal caterwauling, or even worse, both." Begrand praised Lee's "soaring, enchanting, [and] angelic" voice, writing that "Evanescence would be nothing" without her. Billboard's Christa Titus called the album a "highly polished, hook-filled affair." Melissa Maerz of Spin gave it four out of five stars: "Nu metal gets a powdering of Andrew Lloyd Webber theatrics as Lee aces her piano A-levels, adds a string section, and tackles capital letter issues – God ('Tourniquet'), Love ('Going Under'), and Death ('Bring Me To Life') – with the grandeur they deserve." In a lukewarm review, Christopher Gray of the Austin Chronicle wrote that Evanescence was "a little too by the numbers to fully capitalize on Lee's obvious talents." According to Village Voice critic Robert Christgau, "Their faith, as embodied in Amy Lee's clarion sopralto, lends their goth-metal a palpable sweetness". He jokingly concluded, "Now if only it wasn't goth-metal at all."
Commercial Performance Edit
Fallen was a commercial success, selling more than 17 million copies worldwide since its 2003 release. The album debuted at number seven on the Billboard 200, with more than 141,000 copies sold in its first week, and it has sold more than 7.6 million copies in the United States as of October 2011. Fallen was the eighth-bestselling album of 2004 and the nineteenth-bestselling album of the 2000s. By October 2011 the album had spent 106 weeks on the Billboard 200, with 58 of those weeks in the top 20. Peaking at number three on June 14, 2003, it re-entered the chart at number 192 on March 13, 2010. Fallen spent 223 weeks on the Top Pop Catalog chart after it fell off the Billboard 200. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) certified the album platinum in April 2003; by June 2008, it had reached seven times platinum.
On the UK Albums Chart, Fallen debuted at number 18 with sales of 15,589 copies. The album reached number one (with 38,570 copies sold) seven weeks later, after "Bring Me to Life" topped the UK Singles Chart. It sold 56,193 copies in December 2003, its highest week of sales (although it was number 28 on the chart that week). Fallen spent 33 weeks in the top 20 and 60 weeks in the top 75. The album re-entered the UK chart at number 35 the week after the release of Evanescence's second studio album, The Open Door. By October 2011, the album had sold more than 1,367,900 copies in the United Kingdom. It was successful elsewhere as well, topping the charts in more than ten countries and reaching the top ten in over twenty countries worldwide. According to Nielsen SoundScan figures, after more than three months in the top 10 of the Canadian Albums Chart Fallen peaked at number one on August 13, 2003 with sales of 8,900 copies.
Track Listing Edit
|2.||"Bring Me to Life" (featuring Paul McCoy, uncredited)||
|6.||"Tourniquet" (Soul Embraced cover)||
|8.||"Taking Over Me"||
|10.||"My Last Breath"||
|12.||"My Immortal" (Band version, only on later pressings)||
- Amy Lee - Vocals/Piano/Keyboards
- Ben Moody - Guitars
- David Hodges - Guitars
- John LeCompt - Bass
- Rocky Gray- Drums
- Dave Fortman - Producer
- Francesco DiCosmo - Bass
- Josh Freese - Drums
- The Millenium Choir - Background choir on Everybody's Fool, Haunted, Imaginary and Whisper
- Paul McCoy - Guest vocals on Bring Me To Life
- David Campbell - Orchestral arrangements on all tracks except My Immortal
- Graeme Revell - Orchestral arrangements on My Immortal
Booklet and credits Edit