Evanescence – Fallen
Evanescence's debut album "Fallen", released on March 4, 2003, is the band's best-selling album to date. They have since released four more albums, the fifth was released in March 2021.
It is considered one of the best-selling albums of the 21st century, reaching number one on the charts in more than ten countries around the world. A year after its release it gave the band five Grammy nominations and won two categories: Best Hard Rock Performance and Best New Artist.
The album was recorded in five different studios across California, with three band members being regulars and the rest of the musicians changing as needed. Amy Lee on vocals and piano, Ben Moody on guitars and David Hodges on keyboards.
The band released four singles from the album, each of which was more successful than the other: "Bring Me to Life", "My Immortal", "Going Under" and "Everybody's Fool".
Our language editor, Uri Anavi, shares with you his feelings about the album.
This is an album I really like. As fits the name of the album, it has quite a few songs that can knock down and even smash you apart. This is the band's debut album and the only one of their albums that I have heard and listen to again and again. It has some of the band's biggest hits alongside lesser known songs. I got to read a few things behind the scenes of some of the songs and decided... enough, ignore it and focus on my personal interpretation. My feeling is that this band is identified (at least in the country) with the whole “emo” segment, probably because of some of its audience. There's a bit of truth to that, but to me it's just a good rock band (without going into all sorts of sub-genres).
You are more than welcome and feel free to "dive" with me into this wonderful album.
It's not particularly surprising that an album titled "Fallen" opens with a dive down, not to mention a crash. Indeed, the first song on the album, "Going Under", is a glorious crash and a dive straight into the gut of the album. Already at the opening of the song and the album there are two of my favorite elements in the band's songs: distortion as sassy and the heavenly voice of the amazing Amy Lee. In this song there are no assumptions and it gives head already in the opening, according to the "crembo doctrine": start the strongest and slowly increase. Amy's singing in this song is furious and almost "hands-free". It's a song full of an open letter to a toxic person, maybe a spouse. From the very first line ("Now I will tell you what I've done for you") and even more so from the next line ("50 thousand tears I've cried") you can see that it is a song by someone who breaks a fairly long silence, someone who is tired and she decides to take out all the dirty laundry. A toxic relationship is a theme that will appear in other songs on the album. This time the point of view in the song is of someone who does not holds back and put it all out in your face. Accordingly, the melody of the song is steeped in distortion and its sound is as dirty as the above gashing out. A complete discharge of frustration and nerves that have accumulated for a long time. And I ask - is there a better way to open an album? The character in the song goes down, falls, dives, crashes, drowns, whatever you want to call it. She takes with her the recipient of things and also the listeners. This is the beginning of the shaky journey that is this album.
The second song on the album, "Bring Me to Life", is one of my band's favorite songs and of course one of its best known songs. If in the previous song I mentioned the combination of Amy Lee's angelic voice and the distortion, this time another friend joins, who will have an important part in more songs. This is the piano. A soft piano melody opens the song and after Amy sings the first line and the witch ("How can you see into my eyes like open doors") comes a short distortion outing that is one of my favorites of the songs in general, not just of the band. The softness in the melody lasts a little longer until Amy's singing begins to add shades of musical roughness. In the chorus the melody is already erupting in all the glory of the distortion. At this point we also discover a surprising guest - a man's voice. This is Paul McCoy, lead singer of the band "Twelve Stones". Did I said I was going to pretty much ignore things I read about the songs on the album? So here's the place to admit that I would not have known this information without Wikipedia. As David and Lior wrote in the review of Amy Lee (recommend to read as well), the record company that signed the band tried to oblige her to add a full-time male singer. Amy Lee objected (and rightly so - it does not matter regardless of whether she is a great singer who does not need "help" from anyone) and the result was that only in this song, which was the first single released from the album, there is also a male singer. Not that he contributes much, most of the singing is done by Amy and that's great. And a little more "spices" from Wikipedia: Amy Lee wrote the song following a social gathering, where she first met an acquaintance of her friends. The first thing that the guy said to her was, "Are you happy?" Of course, that was long before the opening line of Asi Cohen's character in the series "Arranged": "Do you know you have something sad in your eyes?". Amy was surprised that the guy noticed the depression she was trying to hide and following the meeting she wrote the lyrics to the song. The feeling of someone "bringing you to life" is the heart of the song. The speaker in the song has been "asleep" for a long time, perhaps even on the verge of loss. Suddenly someone arrives who "sees into her eyes like open doors." Someone sensitive, who notices that below the surface she is unhappy. It is not a secret that some of us have it and if it is fulfilled it can be a truly wonderful feeling. Happy ending All is well: Amy and that sensitive guy (for real, not like in Dudu Aharon's song) got married and we won a bomb song.
One of my favorite songs on the album is "Everybody's Fool". If in the previous song I wrote quite a few things I read online, here is just one interesting detail I discovered which I wanted to mention: Amy Lee wrote the song inspired by her little sister's admiration for pop singers and models. Amy sat her sister down for a conversation about the importance of really being yourself. To me, in today's world this message is becoming more and more relevant, unfortunately. When Amy Lee wrote the song there were no social medias and filters on Instagram. We are today surrounded by so much forgery, both from the media and from the people themselves on social media. Before I get completely into the mode of the Prophet of Wrath (or as it is called today - Boomer), I admit that I too carefully choose the images I upload to the web and do not always present the less beautiful aspects of life. Most of us (if not all of us) do it and that's fine, up to a certain level. In the end, real life is not glowing most of the time and is full of challenges and issues that need to be addressed. Blurring and hiding these problems can make them worse and even create more problems. This can be seen in many areas related to people interactions, like relationships, but also in simple things like food. As the forgery intensifies the importance of the truth diminishes and this is a difficult problem. In the end, people should not hide who they really are and fake a smile and a perfect life just because it does not look good. It has a price that can be very heavy. Depending on the content of the song, the melody gives in the head properly. The distortion is celebrated here non-stop and it is wonderful. Amy Lee sings here about all those people who hide behind masks (and of course these are not COVID-19 masks) and think they can fool everyone. The truth is that the mask is a hiding place and in the end those who hide behind it are the fools. To me, this is a very important message - to be who you really are, even if it is not photographed well and brings a lot of likes.
The song "My Immortal" is one of the band's biggest hits, but as I read online it turned out to be the song that Amy had the least love on the album. This is the last time I will refer to the things I read about the song, because in this case the real "story" behind the lyrics is not something, at least in my eyes. For me it was always a complex song. It has a situation of parting or perhaps death. The relationship that preceded it was very complex and full of pain, but it also had love. Even after the relationship ends the love (or maybe it's the pain?) Does not completely disappear and is still able to leave scars. In terms of melody, the song is very "clean", as it consists mainly of a soft piano melody combined with Amy's wonderful voice. Did I mention that the piano will play an important role? So here he appears in all his glory. Who else shows here how amazing she is is of course Amy, who is just a witch and a heartbreaker in her pure singing. Personally, I prefer the more "dirty" version of the song, the one where the band is involved and towards the end the guitars and distortion also enter. I think this "outburst" of noise towards the end adds more depth to the song. Pain and beauty blend together in this song in a wonderful way, as sometimes happens in life.
One of the most heartbreaking songs on the album is "Tourniquet". Quite a few songs of the band have morbid elements and a kind of "flirtation" with death. This probably contributed to her being perceived by some people (at least from what I saw in the country) as an "emo" band. Indeed, this whole song is pure pain and a cry for real help. The distortion in the song strikes from the beginning without any mercy and already from the first line you can see what a desperate situation the speaker is in: "I tried to kill the pain but only brought more". The melody in this song is a pure and tumultuous outburst of pain, distress and fear. The lyrics in the song also reflect exactly the same emotions and if that's not clear enough Amy Lee also screams in the middle of the song: "I want to die". The speaker's distress in the song is so great that she sees no way out other than suicide. After all, she's still trying to see if she's likely to be saved so this song is a call for help, as I wrote. This is not the place to expand on the subject of suicide and loss, but I do want to point out that if a person gets into a situation where he cries out for help just before he commits suicide out of desperation it is worth listening to him. Sometimes it will not help, sometimes it is a false alarm, but sometimes this listening can save a life. As I see it, the end of the song is an open ending and it is unclear if the speaker finally decides to commit suicide. What is certain is that this song is like an arrow straight to the heart and it is not certain that even a tourniquet will be able to stop the bleeding.
The song "Imaginary" connects directly to the song before it, first of all musically. The "fade out" of the previous song merges into the opening of this song. Also in terms of words one can find here an interesting analogy. In both songs the speaker seeks to escape from a reality of pain and suffering, only this time instead of committing suicide she has found another way. This way is an escape to a world of dreams and imagination. "Do not say I lost touch with this raging chaos, your reality" sang Amy Lee (my translation). To me this is a wonderful sentence. The speaker in the song is well aware of the cruel reality from which she is fleeing. That's why she's running away. She knows very well what lies beyond the world of dreams and imagination she has built for herself so she strives to stay in it and not return to reality. In this song there is a major role for strings (again - from the end of the previous song) but the guitars also give in the head properly. Our reality is not simple and sometimes even difficult. This desire to escape sometimes to a nicer world is something that is largely shared by all of us.
How do you finish an album? just like that! If the first song on the album was an opening to the front, the song "Whisper" is a masterpiece of ending an album (and contrary to its name - it doesn't really have whispers in it). The guitars and distortion hit us from the very first second of the song and it's delightful ("Krembo Doctrine" have we already said that?). As in previous songs on the album, this song also has a "flirtation" with death. It is not as unambiguous as in the song "Tourniquet", but very noticeable. The speaker in the song is on the verge. If the whole album was sloping in reference to things like falling, diving, crashing and other similar terms, this song opens with the sentence: "Catch me as I fall". That is - here too there is an element of fall. The speaker feels she is on the verge of falling out of the world / life. "This truth drives me crazy" sang Amy Lee (again - my translation). We have already talked in previous songs about the difficulty of dealing with reality. Different songs have presented different ways to do this. This time the speaker fights and tries with all her might to face reality, but is not sure she will succeed. She needs help. In terms of content, the song leaves us with no solution, only with a call for help. This call is especially present in "Fade Out" at the end of the song, when the choir sings in Latin: "Save us from misery, save us from evil." In terms of melody, the song gives head over almost its entire length. There have been ups and downs in intensity throughout the album, but as it opens strongly so does it end. Distortion has a respectable presence (also) in this song and there is also a guitar solo as a saffron. The strings also return here to a significant role and together with the choir he finishes the song and the album. To me this is one of the best album ending songs ever, one that on the one hand allows us to come to terms with the end of the album and on the other hand leaves a taste of more.
I had the pleasure of writing about this great album. I hope you also enjoyed reading.