"Good Enough" is a song by American rock band Evanescence. It was released in 2007 as the fourth single from their second studio album, The Open Door. The song was written by lead vocalist Amy Lee and produced by Dave Fortman. According to Lee it was written for her long-time friend and husband, Josh Hartzler. It was placed as the last track on the album to symbolize a new beginning for the band.
The song is a piano ballad set in a moderately slow tempo and features piano and strings. Musically it has been compared to songs by Sarah McLachlan and Tori Amos. "Good Enough" was critically acclaimed, with many music critics praising the piano sound. An accompanying music video, directed by Marc Webb and Rich Lee, was filmed in Budapest, Hungary, and released on September 10, 2007. It features Lee in a warehouse singing and playing the piano while surrounded by flames. "Good Enough" was part of the set-list during Evanescence's 2006 The Open Door Tour.
"Good Enough" was written by Amy Lee for her long-time friend and husband, Josh Hartzler. She wrote it two weeks after running into him at a party, then played it for him and said she was more nervous than playing in front of an audience. It was produced by Dave Fortman and recorded in Record Plant Studios, Los Angeles, California. The single was scheduled for release in Germany in a basic and premium format on December 14, 2007, but a release date was never officially announced. While discussing Evanescence's then upcoming album, The Open Door, Lee revealed that one of the tracks would be called "Good Enough". She said, "It's called 'Good Enough,' and it's completely, completely, completely different for me because it sort of [has a] happy ending. It's the last song that I wrote for the record, and it's sort of the bravest, I think, for me because I had to tell the truth and the truth is, I feel, good now. The rest of the album is pretty aggressive and dark and everything else, but the last one is like, I got to the good place that I was heading for and I wrote about how good I felt. It turned out amazing, but it's like nothing we've ever done. I just have to write from my heart and be genuine, because I think that's what people loved about our music to begin with, and if that changes, then that changes."
The song, which was the last one written for the album, was placed at the end of the album because it "marks a new beginning" for the band, which was the theme on the album and a theme in Lee's life. In the booklet of The Open Door, she stated that her long-time friend and husband, Josh Hartzler, was the main inspiration for the song, as well as one of the band's previous singles, "Bring Me to Life". In the booklet she wrote, "Josh, you are my muse. Nothing inspires me the way you do. Thank you for all my missing pieces. Thank you for your strength and love. Thank you for letting me see myself through your eyes, because only then could I know that I am good enough for you." In an interview with VH1, Lee further revealed the inspiration behind the song, saying "I had gone through a lot of difficult things during the writing of the whole album, and by the end of it, I had stepped away from those bad situations. That's really hard. You have to be really brave and strong about it. After doing that, I felt so amazing. For the first time I felt like I could write a song based on how good I felt. I have never done that before ever." During another interview with The Washington Post she stated:
"That song -- the last one I wrote for the record -- is definitely the most representative of me now, the way that I feel. If we're talking about the 'new me,' that's it and why it's at the end of the record. You have to go through those things and make the changes you have to make and be there and go, 'Okay, I did it.' It doesn't come that easy. [...] I just didn't hold back this time, and writing that way has made me feel really purified, like I've actually gotten a chance to break through instead of just wallowing in all of my problems. It's not about all the times that I've been afraid and tormented and sad, it's about looking at those situations and stomping them out. It feels really good to sing these songs now."
In a 2004 interview with MTV News, Amy Lee revealed that she was composing music for the film, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. She also revealed that the producers of the movie offered her a small role, saying "They were like, 'Do you want to do a cameo?' And I was like, 'Hell yeah! Let me die. I want to be somebody who gets murdered.' So I don't think that's going to happen." She later revealed that "Lacrymosa" and another song were originally written for the film, but were not included. According to the producers of the movie, neither Lee or the band were approached to compose music for the film. Another song was also written for the movie, but it was rejected because of its dark sound. On the band's official blog forum and in a radio interview, Lee stated that a part of the song which was written for the movie was used in "Good Enough".
"Good Enough" is a moderately slow piano ballad with a happy theme. In fact, that was one of the main things Amy was worried about, as shown in these quotes:
"It’s totally scary to be so vulnerable when I know however many metalheads are going to diss it because it’s not the exact same thing [as the other songs]. And it doesn’t end with, ‘And then he died’ or ‘I pushed him off a cliff’ or ‘He’s a ghost really.’ It’s so cool to me and weird to me. I’ve never written a happy song, ever."
"I think Good Enough is the most inspirational, good feeling, non-Goth song you'll ever hear, but there are people who can't get past their initial perception of our music."
According to the sheet music published on the website Musicnotes.com by Alfred Music Publishing, the song is in a common time and performed in moderately slow tempo of 92 beats per minute. "Good Enough" is written in the key of F minor, while Lee's vocals for the song range from the musical note of G3 to the note of E♭5. The song contains strings, piano and Amy Lee's vocals as the main instrumentation. In "Good Enough", Lee "talks about the rapturous hold of something bigger than herself" in the text "Shouldn't have let you torture me so sweetly … / Shouldn't have let you conquer me completely / Now I can't let go of this dream / Can't believe that I feel / Good enough for you." In the song she also sings the lines "I'm still waiting for the rain to fall. Pour down real life on me/Cause I can't hold onto anything this good enough/Am I good enough/For you to love me too?".
"As we were writing the record different things were happening and I was writing about different experiences. The last song is definitely where I was at the end of the writing process. And I feel like that song definitely applies to me now."
In the end, Amy thinks of Good Enough as a healing experience:
"I had gone through a lot of difficult things during the writing of the whole album, and by the end of it, I had stepped away from those bad situations. That's really hard. You have to be really brave and strong about it. After doing that, I felt so amazing. For the first time I felt like I could write a song based on how good I felt. I have never done that before ever."
The music video for "Good Enough" was recorded June 11-14 2007 in Hungary and directed by Marc Webb and Rich Lee. The video featured Amy playing a piano inside a house decorated with photographs and bookshelves. Later in the video, a fire starts and burns everything in sight. Rain falls toward the end of the video and puts out the fire.
The official version of the video debuted during MTV's TRL on September 10, with Amy Lee presenting the video, as it was announced at Evanescence.com.
A day before its official debut, the final version of the video was leaked on YouTube.
"Good Enough" received mostly positive reviews from music critics. In his review of The Open Door, Ed Thompson of the website IGN, stated that the fans who were "looking for the full-blown piano ballad" reminiscent of "My Immortal" (2004) had to wait until the album's final track. He added that at the end of the album they were awarded with "not only the most beautiful song on the album, but also the most unique song Lee has ever released." He further said, "despite Lee's voice giving the tune a funereal cast, there is no hiding the fact that the lyrics are of an upbeat nature. 'Shouldn't have to torture me so sweetly, now I can't let go of this dream, I can't breathe but I feel good enough, I feel good enough for you.'" Bill Lamb of the website About.com, put the song in his list of Top Tracks from The Open Door along with "Sweet Sacrifice", "Call Me When You're Sober", "Your Star" and "Lacrymosa". Jon Dolan from Entertainment Weekly said that "[...] the deceptively soft 'Good Enough' flirts again with the dark side, offering 'Drink up sweet decadence / I can't say no to you' and striking a final note of cathartic badness." Kathy McCabe of The Daily Telegraph wrote that Lee's "new-found confidence" is evident in the song. In his review of The Open Door, Andree Farias of Christianity Today concluded that though the song "leaves a sweet taste in your mouth", it may not mean much in "a scheme." He added that the song stands as a contrast to everything else in the album.
A writer for The Boston Globe called the song a "lone glimmer in the gloom" with "incongruously downtrodden groove", adding that fans of Evanescence would like the song. Blabbermouth.net's Don Kaye found the song to be a "melancholy ballad". Richard Harrington of The Washington Post found some quiet moments on The Open Door most notably on the "haunting ballad 'Good Enough'" and on "Like You". Writing for the magazine St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Sara Berry concluded that the band balanced the "scorching rock anthems" with "reflective, piano-heavy ballads" like "Lithium" and "Good Enough". She further found an "intimate-sounding setting" which featured just Lee and her piano. The Providence Journal's Rick Massimo, wrote that the song is "being rather melodramatic but melodically successful". Chris Harris of Rolling Stone wrote that Lee is "stroking the ivories and delivering her lyrics with an elegant sweetness" which he found reminiscent of Tori Amos and Sarah McLachlan. A writer for Reuters called the song "as intense and affecting as anything before it -- and this time, Amy Lee's lyric steps from the dark side, reveling in the relief of positivity."
Jason Nahrung of The Courier-Mail praised the song, calling it "sombrely arranged but lyrically uplifting". A writer for Blender was negative towards the song, writing "Tori Amos for junior high crybabies? We wish. 'Good Enough' is a piano ballad so formless and maudlin we were shocked it made the last Evanescence album - and now it's a single. How bad? Too corny for Vanessa Carlton, too sophomoric for Jewel, too whispy for Enya." Rob Sheffield of Rolling Stone wrote that in the song Lee sounds "like a very average Middle American girl who yearns to be 'Good Enough' but who suffers from an above-average attraction to magnetic and destructive dudes." A writer for Sputnikmusic praised the softness of the song giving it a grade of 4.5. Although Jordan Reimer of The Daily Princetonian praised the song, he added that it couldn't match "the haunting beauty" of "My Immortal". Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic found "Tori-isms" in the song
The Open Door version
- Eells, Josh (October 2006). "Amy Lee: Back in Black". Blender. Archived from the original on September 5, 2007.
- Harrington, Richard (October 6, 2006). "Another 'Door' Opens for Amy Lee". Washington Post.
- Robertson, Jessica (October 19, 2007). "P's & Q's: Amy Lee Finds Solace in Marriage and Music". AOL Music.
- Harris, Chris. Moss, Corey (additional reporting) (July 31, 2006). "Evanescence's Amy Lee Isn't Afraid Of Big Bad Wolf in 'Sober Clip". MTV News.
- Bottomley, C. (September 18, 2006). "Evanescence: Amy Lee Explains the New Songs". VH1.
- "The Essence of Evanescence (Metal Edge)". September 8, 2006. EvanescenceWebsite.com.
- "Wardrobe closed to Evanescence singer". The New Zealand Herald. November 27, 2004.
- Lee, Amy (July 13, 2006). "Discussion of The Open Door album". EvBoard.
- "Amy Lee reflects on 'Good Enough'". February 20, 2008. Amy-fan.org.