By David Krell

Wind Up Entertainment, Inc."

The first single off of Evanescence's anticipated debut album, "Fallen," seems to be straight off of Linkin Park's multi-platinum album, "Hybrid Theory," except substitute singer/songwriter Amy Lee's enchanting voice.

Cue the male sidekick with the typical bad voice and tough by nature attitude, and you've got the making of a hit. The record company knew it, the producers knew it, and so did Evanescence.

But things weren't always so great for this up and coming band from Little Rock, Arkansas. By the end of the 1990's, they were still trying to be heard, and despite Lee's amazing range of emotion in her voice and their pulse-pounding guitar riffs, the Midwest wasn't much for it. It wasn't until they were featured on the "Daredevil" soundtrack that anyone outside their Midwest cocoon had really heard them.

At first listen, you hear the industrial antics of guitarist/songwriter Ben Moody with the angelic, yet haunting voice of Amy Lee overwhelming the track. The riffs are typical, yet satisfying, and the melody has obviously been done before. But one should never take Ms. Lee's voice for granted. Her ability to go from her chest voice to her head voice is done flawlessly.

She can scream like the loudest heavy metal singer, and whisper like a Pixie. Her range is further than the eye can see and louder than the ear can hear. And despite having the typical rock formula overlying each track, Amy Lee is the furthest thing from typical. Imagine Tori Amos and Bjork having a child who grew up listening to Linkin Park, and you've got Amy Lee. She sings with the same passion as her predecessors, although she is singing to an entirely different audience.

Many listeners of Sarah McLachlan might get a few goose bumps, but for the most part, the music will just seem like noise. But that doesn't mean it's not worth listening to.

Even the most recently added metal heads will find solace in this album, although tracks 4 and 9, which sound more like Enya than anything else, might make them vulnerable to criticism from their peers. The album has a kind of duality between beauty and anger, which many might find hard to bear. The music is too loud for fans of Tori Amos and Bjork, but almost too soft and pretty for fans of Korn and Linkin Park. But since when has music been predictable?

Just when you thought that "Garbage was the only good rock band with a woman singer, "Evanescence has come upon us. But notice, I said good, not great.

David Krell is a freelance writer for Entertainment Magazine On Line.

Return to Music Home Page

c. 2003 EntertainmentMagazine.net