- “I feel good now. I feel free. That’s why the album is called The Open Door because I feel like all the doors in my life I pushed open, and now I can do whatever I want. ”
- ―-Amy Lee
The Open Door is Evanescence's second studio album and third album overall. It was released on September 30, 2006, in Australia and Italy, October 2, 2006, in Europe and October 3, 2006, in North America.
Background and development[edit | edit source]
Amy revealed in an interview with MTV News in December 2003 that once the Fallen Tour ends, they are ready to go back to the studio. She also said that everybody will be going to their home to write new material, and then they will regroup and see what can be done with the material. She said in another interview in November 2004 that she writes by herself first, and she then shows the material to the people she's working with.
Recording of the album began in September 2005, and finished in March 2006. The writing and recording of the album was slow for several reasons, including Terry suffering a stroke in November 2005, the loss of Amy's former manager, which was reported as being sued by her for "financial and sexual misconduct", and Will Boyd leaving the band, which Amy told the fans about on EvBoard in July 2006. Also, the record label didn't like the recorded material at the initial meeting. However, Amy was encouraged by her father to fight for the album. During the second meeting she pointed out that the album wasn't written for the label's executives, but actually for a younger demographic. She eventually won the label over and was given the green-light to move forward with the album.
The choir arranged by Amy Lee and performed by The Millennium Choir was recorded at Capitol Studios, Hollywood, and the strings arranged by David Campbell were recorded at a chapel in Bastyr University, Kenmore, WA.
Amy revealed that with Fallen, some of the songs sounded like she "was trying to prove [herself] and establish what [they] were and [their] sound". She further said, "I was trapped having to feel a certain way. But with the new record, I sort of went with everything. I am not afraid to feel happy sometimes, and I think there's moments on the album with sensuality, which is really fun and beautiful, instead of the last time, where I felt like I was only getting out part of me. This record embraces the whole me".
"I hope you all love the record, I know I do, but just one tip about it- each song really has a life of its own. It would be impossible to judge the record on one song alone. Some are much heavier than we've ever been before, some more soulful, some more fun- the only word that really describes all of them is "more." ...as I'm reading this I still think its all meaningless without hearing the album. Just be open minded, because I wasn't aiming to give people what they expect."
Title and concept[edit | edit source]
Amy referred to the album's title during an interview:
I feel like I’ve got that out of my system. I’m happy. I feel good now. I feel free. That’s why the album is called The Open Door because I feel like all the doors in my life I pushed open, and now I can do whatever I want.
On the September 2006 issue of Billboard magazine, she discussed the songs from The Open Door and how the lyrical content differs from Fallen:
I feel like this album comes from a place that is not so hopeless. The first album, I was talking about the hard stuff, but I was also wallowing in it. I wasn’t strong enough to take a stand and say no in a lot of situations.
I listen back to “Fallen” now and definitely hear all the vulnerability and the fear and all the childish things in me that are just human. But I’ve grown so much now. The lyrics on the new album are looking for the answers, looking for the solutions, looking for happiness. It’s not, “I’m miserable, end of song.” It’s more, “I’m miserable, and what do I have to do to work this out and get out of this bad situation.”
She told Iceberg Radio:
A lot of the songs were coming from the turmoil in [her] relationship [with Shaun Morgan] and sort of how I was feeling. But I wrote a lot about other things too, it's interesting. I think on Fallen all I felt I was writing about was relationship turmoil, like constantly, just the same thing over and over. And this time I wrote about different things, like one of the songs is completely dedicated to the way I feel about the band, how it's taken over my life, how it's like a love/hate relationship with me and the music.
To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the album's release, Amy was interviewed by Kerrang!:
What I remember most about The Open Door - what really lives in my heart - it was a break-up record with more than just a dude in a relationship. It was a breaking up with a lot of things and a lot of people. More than it being about that for me - about some relationship - I hear myself singing for freedom, and standing up for myself instead of being a broken little girl sitting in the corner, crying about how hard life is, which you can hear a little bit of on Fallen. It’s me standing up and taking control.
Artwork[edit | edit source]
The album cover photo was shot at Angel Orensanz Center in New York and was inspired by Amy's sketch.
"I actually designed the album cover. I drew the door, and there's this waterfall - I'm gonna put it online, I keep meaning to do it but I've been so busy. But, I drew it and I showed it to my manager who showed it to the label and was like, this is my vision for the album, she's walking out the open door and I want to call it The Open Door. And when I showed up to the photoshoot, I thought we were just going to find a big door but they'd actually recreated and drawn a full scale picture of the door I had drawn!"
Singles[edit | edit source]
"Call Me When You're Sober" was first released as a digital single on August 15, 2006. A CD single was later released in September. The song went on to peak at number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Internationally, "Call Me When You're Sober" peaked in the top 10 in 12 countries, including Canada and the UK. An accompanying music video directed by Marc Webb, filmed in Hollywood, California and was released on August 7, 2006. "Lithium" was released digitally on December 8, and a CD single was later released in the UK on January 8, 2007. An accompanying music video was directed by Paul Fedor and released in late November. The third single off the album, "Sweet Sacrifice", was released physically on May 25, 2007 to Germany only. Physical releases elsewhere were scheduled for May 8, but the shipments were cancelled. The accompanying music video was directed P. R. Brownand released on April 5.
"Weight of the World" was released as a radio single to the country of Colombia only in October 2007. "Good Enough" was originally supposed to be released on November 16, but it was pushed to December 14. The single was later cancelled. The song didn't reach any music charts. An accompanying music video, directed by Mark Webb and Rich Lee, was released on September 10.
Critical Reception[edit | edit source]
The Open Door received generally mixed to positive reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 61, based on twelve reviews, which indicates "generally favorable reviews". IGN music reviewer Ed Thompson felt that "The Open Door is everything that you could ever want in a follow-up album—and more" and added that despite Moody's exit from the band, the remaining members "have not missed a beat." Rob Sheffield of Rolling Stone gave the album three-and-a-half stars out of five and said, "When the pain takes over her corseted soul, she just overdubs her big bodice-ripping voice into a choir." Additionally, he added that the "best songs are the creepiest", and concluded; "Obviously, Lee has got a touch of the magnetic and destructive herself. But that's what makes the breakup songs on The Open Door feel mighty real." Jon Dolan of Entertainment Weekly explained the record is "more personal and, by accessing a deeper emotional palette, maybe even more universal". Blender gave a positive review, confessing, "Denser and more scuzzed-up than Fallen, the album amps everything up to gloriously epic, over-the-top proportions". Billboard said, "Those who embraced Fallen will doubtlessly fall even harder into The Open Door." Spin's Mellisa Maerz rated the album with four stars out of five and commented, "A post-dysfunctional kiss-off that builds from ethereal Sunday-mass uplift into full-eff-you guitar dirges, revealing an angrier, more self-assured Lee who waxes sardonic but still misses the comfort in being sad".
Stephen Thomas Erlewine from AllMusic wrote that "The Open Door is a muddle of affections. Sonically, however, it captures the Evanescence mythos better and more consistently than the first album - after all, Lee now has no apologies of being the thinking man's nu-metal chick, now that she's a star". Kelefa Sanneh of The New York Times called the album "less fun", and said some of the songs are similar to each other. St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Sara Berry critiqued, "[Evanescence's] sound remains essentially the same: the strange but amicable marriage of churning guitar riffs to lead singer Amy Lee's silky soprano". Sarah Rodman of The Boston Globe called the album a 45-minute "romantic piece" and said, "if [the album] featured more open-throated crooning and less teeth-gritting anger it would be a much more interesting record". She also added that the sound of the album gets "black and blacker" and, "Lyrics tend toward repetition of words like 'darkness,' 'haunting,' and 'rage'". Christa Titus of Billboard called it a "far more nuanced, moody and richly textured effort" than Fallen. Postmedia News gave the album three-and-a-half stars out of five, saying, "While it's similar in style and sound to its predecessor, The Open Door loses the punchy power rifts and instead persuades the listener with piano and airy vocals". Andre Farias of Christianity Today admitted that "The sound is loud, yes, but it's almost indistinguishable from its predecessor—a disappointment considering the opus was nearly three-and-a-half years in the making".
Commercial performance[edit | edit source]
The Open Door debuted at number one in the United States, Australia, Germany, Greece and Switzerland, and charted in the top five in Austria, Canada, France, Ireland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, South Korea, Sweden and the United Kingdom. On the US Billboard 200, The Open Door debuted at number one, selling over 447,000 copies in its first week and becoming the 700th album to top the chart. Additionally, the record opened at the top position on the Rock Albums chart and at number two on the Digital Albums. Two weeks after its availability in the United States, the album sold approximately 725,000 copies, and was initially certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on November 8, 2006. The Open Door became the 38th best-selling album of 2006 in the U.S.; it was the 52nd best-selling album for 2007. On June 24, 2009, the album was awarded double Platinum certification.
On the UK Albums Chart, The Open Door debuted and peaked at number two on October 14, 2011. It was the United Kingdom's 81st best-selling album for 2006. In Canada, the album debuted at number two, selling over 43,000 copies in its first week. It was later certified double platinum by the Canadian Recording Industry Association. In Australia and New Zealand, the album peaked at numbers one and two, respectively. It was later certified double-Platinum by the ARIA and Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. As of June 10, 2008, The Open Door had sold nearly two million copies in the United States. As of October 2011, total sales in that territory have been brought to 2.1 million units, and an additional of two million copies worldwide.
Track Listing[edit | edit source]
|2.||"Call Me When You're Sober"||3:34|
|3.||"Weight of the World"||3:37|
|6.||"Snow White Queen"||4:22|
|10.||"The Only One"||4:40|
|12.||"All That I'm Living For"||3:48|
iTunes pre-order bonus track[edit | edit source]
|14.||"The Last Song I'm Wasting On You"||4:07|
B-Sides[edit | edit source]
|2.||"If You Don't Mind"||2:56|
- "Together Again" was released as a charity single to raise funds for Haiti in January 2010. "If You Don't Mind" was released on the B-side compilation album Lost Whispers as part of The Ultimate Collection 6-LP box set in 2017.
Gallery[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Lee, Amy (August 12, 2005). "2nd Evanescence Album - (The Open Door) - Scheduled Release: October 3, 2006". EvBoard.
- "Evanescence Bio". 2006. Evanescence.com.
- Lee, Amy (January 20, 2006). "i love my album :)". EvBoard.
- Harris, Chris (December 8, 2005). "Evanescence's Amy Lee Sues Former Manager, Alleges Financial And Sexual Misconduct". MTV News.
- Lee, Amy (July 13, 2006). "Will". EvBoard.
- Daddy Lee's Evanescence article: "WAITING FOR THE DOOR TO OPEN". EvBoard. (December 7, 2006)
- Harris, Chris (April 26, 2006). "Amy Lee Says New Evanescence LP Has More Sensuality". MTV News.
- Lee, Amy (June 13, 2006). "Happy cupcake sprinkly funland-the album!". EvBoard.
- "Amy Lee - Iceberg Radio Interview 2006 Full". YouTube.
- Kerrang! #1648 Amy Lee On The Open Door (December 2016)
- "MuchMusic Interview". September 27, 2006. EvanescenceWebsite.com.