Evanescence – Synthesis: I gave up on you, but I never forgot you.

Artist: Evanescence
Album: Synthesis
Year: 2017
Grade: B-

In Brief: These classical/electronic reworkings of old Evanescence songs work better than expected, for the most part. At times the song selection is lackluster, or else the arrangements aren’t quite ambitious enough to set them apart from the originals in memorable ways. But it was clearly a labor of love for Amy Lee, and I get the sense that perhaps for the first time, we’re hearing some of these songs as she had once envisioned them in her mind.

I’ve had a really weird relationship with Evanescence over the years. My feelings about the band have gone from downright euphoric, to slightly underwhelmed but still supportive, to considering them ho-hum has beens, just over the course of three albums. Perhaps it was the thrill of discovery as I heard potential in so many of the tracks from their demo album Origin right before their huge mainstream debut Fallen was released, enabling me to just barely get in on the ground floor as they were about to blow up in a big way, that got be so pumped about the band back in 2003, when their dramatic, sometimes orchestral, female-fronted nu-metal sound felt like the breath of fresh air that the genre needed. It would have been ridiculous to expect them to keep making that exact same type of music as the genre’s popularity floundered over the years to come, though. But it was frustrating to hear them slowly devolve into a shell of their former selves, retaining the same basic sound, maybe experimenting a little bit on their next two albums, but for the most part hovering ever-so-slightly closer to a middle-of-the-road version of the “typical action/adventure movie soundtrack band” some critics had deireded them for sounding like in the first place. The revolving door cast was probably partially to blame, because while Evanescence is lead singer Amy Lee‘s baby first and foremost, I think a lot was brought to the table by co-founder and original guitarist Ben Moody and composer/keyboardist David Hodges on both Origin and Fallen that simply wasn’t replaceable by throwing more edgy guitarists and hip producers into the mix after their departure. You can hear an Evanescence song from any of their albums and know immediately who it is, but without that original trio intact, the band seems to have less of a knack for crafty, engaging hooks than they used to, leaving Amy’s darkly expressive (and sometimes overbearing) vocals as the primary focus, with a lot of instrumental force to guide it, but not a lot of finesse. That’s why I basically stopped caring after the band’s third, self-titled albumTerry Balsamo tried his darndest to get our heads banging with muscular riffs on that album as well as The Open Door, but I simply didn’t care about anyone else in the band any more, and everyone seemed to be punching the clock more than actively contributing creative ideas that made their songs distinctive. A long hiatus preceding the self-titled was followed up by an even longer one after it flopped and Wind-Up Records more or less closed up shop. I still adored those early records, but my musical tastes had changes in the decade since, and I was looking for different things now. I pretty much forgot about Evanescence, assumed I’d never hear from them again, and moved on.

It turns out that the band became active again somewhere around 2015 or so, recruiting new touring members and even working on new studio material… well, new-ish, at least. Apparently they’re one of those bands that can translate the nostalgia factor into solid enough attendance at their live shows to justify getting back together long after the general public has lost interest in hearing anything truly new from them. I didn’t know the band had reformed until Lost Whispers, a collection of B-sides from their three albums with a reworked version of the Origin song “Even in Death” (and not a terribly exciting one, IMO) as its main selling point, dropped in mid-2017, with the announcement of a full-length album called Synthesis to follow. It was pretty clear that the band was much more interested in creatively reworking their old material than writing and recording a “true” fourth album from the ground up, so my expectations were pretty guarded. Still, I have to admit that I’m a sucker for the idea of reimagining old songs in a completely different instrumental context, and that’s what was promised on Synthesis – a more classical take on the Evanescence sound, stripping almost all of the harder rock elements away and focusing almost entirely on symphonic instrumentation and electronic programming. Lots of bands have done the whole “re-record the hits and/or play them live with an orchestra” thing; what keeps this from feeling like a total gimmick in Evanescence’s case is that these elements were always there in a lot of their songs; they’re just being brought to the forefront now that nobody’s really clamoring for 12 more tracks of wall-to-wall power chords covering most of it up. A few of their mellower, more piano-based songs were reasonably successful as follow-up singles, and their smash hit “Bring Me to Life” opened on quiet piano and brooding vocals before making a hard turn into mu-metal territory, so there’s precedent for all of this. In some ways, I think the sound of Synthesis might be more like the Evanescence we’d have heard all along, without the label pressure to keep churning out edgy rock songs. To be fair, I loved a fair amount of those edgy rock songs – I just needed more variance in sound to really keep me engaged on their albums, and while Fallen provided that, The Open Door didn’t do it in such a satisfying way, and the self-titled barely even bothered with the mellower stuff. Synthesis is not a perfect course-correction for the band, nor do I expect it to be a permanent one, but it’s at least one that I can respect from an artistic standpoint. These are Amy Lee’s songs, some of which she’s getting to show off for us without any executive meddling for the first time, and I can tell she’s proud of this accomplishment.

At the same time, I’m not 100% sure who Synthesis is for, if it’s for anyone other than Amy. The work she’s done with composer/arranger David Campbell (the father of Beck – no joke!) is certainly admirable, but most of the rest of the band is sidelined, with nary a rock guitar or standard drum sound to be heard. Strings, horns, harps, timpani, and occasionally chilling programmed rhythms largely take their place, and I’m sure there was something for each member of the band to contribute, but it would be a stretch to call this a rock record by most people’s definitions. That means it’s going to be slower overall, despite these being reworkings of songs that were largely more aggressive in their original versions. It also means that the climaxes are going to hit harder, because you’re not getting pummeled with a constant wall of sound like you were on the self-titled album. The song selection is interesting – it’s not a traditional run-down of the band’s big singles, though several of them do make the cut. Amy Lee clearly saw this as an opportunity to shed light on some lesser-appreciated tracks from the self-titled that I guess she felt never got the chance they deserved the first time around. Five cuts from that album (including one B-side) are redone here, along with three each from The Open Door and Fallen, while the tracklist also includes two brand-new songs and some instrumental interludes bridging a few of the tracks. I’d have preferred more material from the early days – an orchestral take on a long-lost favorite from Origin or even a few deep cuts from Fallen would have been downright sublime. But I’ll admit that not every song I got hooked on in those early days would have worked in this setting, so I’ll give Amy and co. credit for putting this album together in a way that feels like a steadily flowing, cinematic experience, rather than a perfunctory role call of their biggest chart-toppers. It’s a bit much to listen to all in one sitting – that’s honestly true for all of Evanescence’s albums since Fallen – but when taken in smaller chunks, with the time spent to truly appreciate how all the nu-metal riffing and associated angst has made the transition into more ornate, carefully thought-out arrangements, I have to admit that this is a smarter and more engaging presentation of these songs overall.

Does Synthesis mark the beginning of a comeback for Evanescence? It seems unlikely. I have the funny feeling they’d just dive right back into old albums if they attempted to pick up where they left off in 2011 and deliver a true follow-up to their self-titled. If they could find a way to bring the rock energy back in without forcing the classical arrangements or the electronic exploration to take a backseat to it, giving us an album that celebrated the diversity of their influences, I could see myself getting pretty excited about that. But I still think the audience for it would be a mere fraction of what it was back in The Open Door days. So for now, I’ll take Synthesis as a respectable coda for a band that lived in constant danger of fizzling out, but somehow managed to just barely avoid it every time.

(Side note: Amy Lee’s photo on the album cover sure reminds me of Regina, the Evil Queen from Once Upon a Time. I’m willing to bet there’s a bit of overlap between those two fan communities.)


1. Overture
The album opens with a minute-long piano intro that slowly sets the stage for what’s to come; nothing about this piece is remarkable in and of itself (especially since I’m used to “overtures” on these types of albums introducing motifs that will be explored in greater depth later on, and nothing like that happens here). I don’t mind it, but it may as well have been folded into the following track, which continues the slow build-up.
Grade: C+

2. Never Go Back
The first remake on this album is a dark horse pick, for sure. I didn’t even remember the original this one from the self-titled album at first, since it was buried near the end of it and I honestly haven’t listened to that one all the way through since 2012 when it was still relatively new. Going back to the it after all these years, it all comes back to me – I was impressed by the speedy riffing at the beginning of this one, but felt it was all downhill from there, at least in terms of the song’s ability to surprise me when I was already weary from the cut-and-paste musical approach on most of that album. Starting Synthesis off with a strikingly different arrangement is all the evidence I need to believe that Amy’s making a good faith effort to present a few of the band’s lesser-known songs in a more different light. The piano melody that kicks off the slow burn at the beginning of this song is nothing like the guitar riff I enjoyed from the original, and that’s actually a good thing, because while this doesn’t seem like a particularly stunning arrangement at first, it gets the chance to build up to it, by slowly bringing in the strings and piano, and using the programming to striking effect, grabbing my attention in the exact same spot where the chorus of the original felt like a regression to bland power chords and a standard, un-syncopated rhythm not worthy of the verse that led into it. I had no idea after all these years that the song was inspired by the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan in 2011. As with most of Evanescence’s attempts at “issue songs”, the lyrics are broad enough that they could be metaphors for just about any type of loss – I never would have guessed that a person mourning everything they’d ever known sinking beneath the waves, and never being able to return home, was the actual literal meaning of this song. This arrangement still isn’t a home run, but it’s a vast improvement over a song I thought was destined to be a forgotten deep cut in the band’s discography.
Grade: B+

3. Hi-Lo
This is the first of the two songs on this album that are not remakes of previous album cuts. Technically, this one’s been hanging out in the vaults for at least a decade, and at one point it was being considered for the self-titled, but I guess it was abandoned when that album was taken in more of a conventional rock direction. I’m glad Amy saved it for Synthesis. It was always meant to be more of an electronic slow-burner, according to Amy, but I think if it had ended up on an album during their Wind-Up tenure, it would have had a “rock” climax crammed into it, a la the radio version of “My Immortal”, long past the point where that sort of thing would have surprised or impressed anyone. Here, it benefits from a string arrangement that includes the talents of viral video violinist Lindsey Stirling, who damn near takes the song home with her in the final act. Unfortunately it’s a bit of a slow build-up to get to that point, with the brooding piano intro reminding me a bit too much of “Bring Me to Life” and other melodic bits and pieces of the song sounding naggingly similar to other Evanescence tracks from over the years. This one lacks a strong chorus hook, despite Amy’s best efforts to belt it out, and it also has a bit of an inconclusive chorus, due to its non-committal take on whether a breakup was for the best or the worst. I’m really just here for the delicious string arrangement, honestly.
Grade: B

4. My Heart Is Broken
This song was one of the singles from the self-titled – it’s interesting to me that we’re revisiting newer songs first in this walk down memory lane, but I can roll with it. My comment earlier about Evanescence doing “issue songs” was largely inspired by this one, which I can remember commenting on when I reviewed the self-titled, pointing out that its heart was in the right place as it tried to emphasize with victims of sex trafficking torn away from their loved ones, but the actual lyrics were generic enough that it could have just as easily been about yet another bad breakup. There’s a fine line with these types of songs – you don’t want to get so specific that it becomes voyeuristic or exploitative, but I also think it doesn’t serve the people you’re trying to give a voice to all that well if the listener can’t distinguish the story from a myriad of other situations. Nothing about the lyrics changes here, obviously, but at least they dropped the cheap bait-and-switch intro, which posed the song as a piano ballad for literally a few seconds before switching into radio-friendly power chord mode. The harp was apparently an important aspect of this song’s construction – Amy found herself a lot more confident on that instrument in general when writing the self-titled, even though much of that material didn’t make the final cut, including the original version of this one, which swapped harp for piano once it was realized that the guitars and drums would just overpower it anyway. The new version ends up with an arrangement more evocative of classic Evanescence tunes like “Imaginary”, this time depicting the desperate need for escape rather than simply getting lost in an escapist fantasy. I’m still not wowed by this version, since I think the pop ballad format places constraints on the composition in terms of its ability to do anything truly adventurous. But it’s a slight step up from the original, at least.
Grade: B

5. Lacrymosa
At long last, we get to go a little further back in time than 2011. (Either five years further back to The Open Door, or a few centuries back to Mozart‘s Requiem, depending on your point of view.) The 2006 version may well have been the proof of concept that assured Evanescence fans an entire album of this sort of thing was actually feasible, so it seems like a no-brainer to include a version of it here. But paradoxically, since it already included Mozart’s iconic string melody, there’s really not a whole lot further to take it, since most of us are going to expect the classical components of this arrangement to remain as is. This version backs off a little bit on the choral arrangement, instead giving Amy some space to hit a few operatic high notes near the end, which I do enjoy. Aside from that, it mostly feels like an alternate studio take that could well have been recorded during the same sessions as the original album version. The “I can’t change who I am” part from the bridge is used as an intro for no apparent reason but to prove this is a slightly different arrangement, I guess the drum programming is a little different, and they tease at the string melody, stopping and starting it before allowing it to fully do its thing. None of this really adds to the drama of the song for me (and not that I was all that invested in the idea of overlaying generic, wangsty breakup lyrics into a timeless classical tune to begin with, if I’m honest). While this is still one of the more enjoyable tracks on Synthesis, that’s only because it’s still more or less interchangeable with the track that was a highlight on The Open Door.
Grade: B+

6. The End of the Dream
I do think it’s interesting how the new version of “Lacrymosa” ends on an unresolved cliffhanger, leading to a low, ominous hum that bleeds into the intro of this song. Amy sings the first verse over it, with little else in the way of accompaniment, aside from a glockenspiel echoing a melodic riff from the original version of… wait, what song was this again? It’s another one of those tracks from the self-titled that I wouldn’t have recognized outside of its chorus. As soon as I checked the title on this one, I was incredibly annoyed, because as it turns out, I do remember this one, and it stood out to me for not standing out at all. If a band had set out to imitate the most pedestrian elements of the Evanescence sound, without any of the exciting stuff, this probably would have been the song they came up with. It’s just so evenly laid out, Amy holding a bunch of long notes, some of them high and pretty, but really none of it showing any dynamic contrast. As with the other tracks from the self-titled, this one fares slightly better because it’s got a little more contrast to it – the horns and strings surely do their best to make the chorus land with a bigger punch than the original left room for. Despite that, it’s still a tedious listen, because the vocal hook does nothing for me, and even when they go for a big climax in the bridge, the orchestra is hamstrung, because the strings are left trying to imitate a literal one-note riff that was played by the guitar in the original. If a riff or melody is boring to begin with, I’m pretty sure no amount of dressing it up in classy clothes is gonna change that.
Grade: C

7. Bring Me to Life
At long last, we get to hear a re-do of a track from Fallen. And not just any track… this is the one that started it all for Evanescence. The one that made a lot of people think they were a nu-metal band with a rock-rapper instead of… well, whatever genre label you wanted to apply to the sorta-goth, sorta-pop, sorta-nu-metal sound heard on most of the album. You’re probably wondering how this one would work without Paul McCoy‘s edgier vocal parts, and I have to say, this is gonna be a tough pill to swallow if you’re like me and you loved the original version, but probably a breath of fresh air if you felt like he never really fit into the song in the first place. (In truth, Wind-Up was trying to force an image onto Evanescence that didn’t really fit them, and this song was the compromise – thankfully they proved with further hits from Fallen that they didn’t need a male vocalist full-time to connect with a wider audience.) What you’re hearing here is probably a lot closer to Amy’s original vision for the song, though it does feel like there’s an entire side of the conversation missing due to the lack of another vocalist to respond in some way to her cries for help, particularly in the bridge, which relied on rapid interplay between the two and now seems to have really odd gaps into it. But I think they’ve taken a really creative approach here, in terms of how the electronic elements are used to create tension and rhythmic drive where there were originally heavy drums and guitars to do that job. It feels inventive and even thrilling, because it’s not a predictable mapping of the original transcription to different instruments. I’m still a huge fan of the original, and I think it’s a one-of-a-kind song that I’m glad Evanescence didn’t try over and over to replicate. But I have a pretty big soft spot for this version as well. Taken together, they demonstrate the flexibility of a well-written and engaging song.
Grade: A-

8. Unraveling (Interlude)
One of my favorite moments on Fallen was when the somber string outro of “Tourniquet” led into the gorgeous intro of “Imaginary”. “Tourniquet” doesn’t appear on this album, but this instrumental track serves a similar function. It seems like another slow piano overture at first, but it becomes clear near the end that it’s actually reprising bits of the melody from “Bring Me to Life”, thus bridging together two of my all-time favorite Evanescence songs. (Apparently Beethoven‘s “Moonlight Sonata” was also an inspiration here, which makes me wonder if it was what inspired the similar progression from “Bring Me to Life”.)
Grade: B+

9. Imaginary
Awww yeah! Paper flowers, baby! This may be the most well-known Evanescence song that was never a single. (I think it was planned as a single at one point, but never actually released? Radio is weird like that.) It’s probably got more versions floating around than any other Evanescence song. It underwent a pretty radical redesign between its modest arrangement on Origin, where it was one of the very first Evanescence songs to grab my attention, and its larger-than-life version on Fallen, which was that album’s best example of the band’s ability to bridge their classical aspirations with the big, heavy rock sound that was popular at the time. According to Amy, the song has been a mainstay of their setlists throughout their life as a touring band, and I’m glad that for once the fan favorites, her personal favorites, and my personal favorites all seem to align. This arrangement is largely based off of the best known version from Fallen, sans the heavy guitars of course, but keeping the iconic strings largely intact, and making the smart choice to use the horn section for the climactic build-up in the bridge where there was once a searing guitar solo. I think I’d love this song in just about any form. The lyrics are imaginative and evocative, and sure it’s escapist, but sometimes it’s the “rampant chaos” of reality just gets so insane that taking a break from it to daydream and gaze up at the clouds is a requirement for ongoing mental health. That’s even truer in 2018 than it was in 2003, I think.
Grade: A

10. Secret Door
My favorite of the selections from the self-titled album was actually a B-side, only heard on the deluxe edition, and later on the Lost Whispers compilation. This one stood out to me immediately for ditching the straightforward rock aesthetic heard on most of the album and focusing solely on Amy’s harp, with some modest strings to guide it along. I can see why it didn’t fit the album and ended up getting cut, but to me that was a failing on the album’s part, not the song’s. I’m stoked that the band chose to revive it here. The addition of programmed drums does make it feel a bit like “Lacrymosa”, but there’s a sense of genuine peace and wonder to the arrangement that sets it apart from the mostly melancholy lyrics heard in their other songs. The woodwinds really add a lot to this arrangement – it’s just elaborate enough to feel like an improvement on what was already a quality song, but it’s not such a radical reinvention that it removes anything that worked the first time around. While this is a much mellower track than “Imaginary”, in a way it’s a perfect companion to that track. Perhaps more than anything else on this album, this one deserved a second chance.
Grade: A

11. Lithium
The harp and chimes at the beginning of this arrangement almost remind me of Timbre. I like that a few of these versions start off in such a way that I can’t immediately identify which song it is. On The Open Door, this follow-up single felt like a bit of an attempt to recapture the magic of “My Immortal” – I think it’s a very different song lyrics-wise due to how it confronts the fear of getting so numbed by medication that you forget what it’s like to feel strong emotions, even if the point of that medication is to get you through the worst of a deep depression. This arrangement sticks to a delicate approach, mostly based around piano, without giving way to the whole “Psych, it’s a heavy song after all!” gimmick that undercut the original version a bit. I think both versions of the song feature one of Amy’s more captivating vocal performances, but I can’t say this one has ever been a favorite of mine – I’ve always liked it, but never loved it. This version shows admirable restraint, but still doesn’t change my overall feeling that the song is missing something.
Grade: B

12. Lost in Paradise
At this point I’m getting a bit weary of the selections from the self-titled album. This one felt like it was supposed to be a mid-album highlight on that album; it occupied a sort of middle space between slow, contemplative ballad and angsty power ballad, and as a consequence it didn’t really pull off either one all that well. The lyrics didn’t really do much to communicate the heavy emotional weight that Amy was pretty clearly feeling over… actually, I was never quite clear on what sort of loss she was dealing with here. Remember what I said about “End of the Dream” pulling together the most middle-of-the-road of Evanescence’s musical clichés? This one does the same for their lyrical clichés. I can’t say that the Synthesis arrangement is striking to me in any way – it’s pretty much the expected mix of piano, harp, and strings that I’ve come to expect at this point, all very pretty but not doing much to help the song stand out. The bridge, where Amy really belts it out, is the high point of the song, but since she has these moments in so many of her songs, the effect is kind of diluted here.
Grade: C+

13. Your Star
I feel like I never really gave this song a fair shake on The Open Door. It came at the end of a rather long run of slower songs that just weren’t as captivating to me as most of the front half of that album. This one had an intriguing setup, with the twinkling piano at the beginning and Amy crying out “I can’t see your… staaaaaaaarrrrrrr!” into the cold night sky, but I don’t know, it seemed to be cutting to the melodrama too quickly without really earning it. What I had forgotten, until I listened to the original version of this one again recently, was how much work they put into arranging its epic bridge section. I’ve complained a few times about how Evanescence seemed to either let the heavy rock elements completely overpower the classical stuff, or else they had to leave the rock out altogether in order to really let the piano, strings, harp, etc. breathe, and there seemed to be very little middle ground. But the twin attack of Amy’s piano and Terry Balsamo’s guitar, playing the same solo in tandem with very different textures, was a highlight that I was wrong to overlook. Since Balsamo is no longer with the band (these guys seem to have trouble keeping a guitarist long-term, don’t they?), and guitars are absent from this record, that leaves the symphonic elements to compensate, which they don’t do quite as well here as they did in “Imaginary”. It’s still a strong showcase for Amy’s vocals and piano playing.
Grade: B-

14. My Immortal
This one’s pretty much the gold standard of Evanescence ballads. Much like “Imaginary”, it’s been recorded enough times over the years that I have to wonder what we could possibly get out of a new arrangement at this point. The album version from Fallen was actually the same take as the solo piano version from Origin, just with some strings overlaid, and I was surprised to learn that Amy hated that version so much. (Seriously, what’s with her disdain for Origin in general? I always thought it was a pretty strong showing, for a collection of demos.) Of course, the most well-known version is the radio edit, which very suddenly brought the full band in during the bridge for an epic finish, in keeping with how they were playing the song live at the time. What else is there to do with it at this point? Not a whole lot, honestly. This version downplays the iconic piano melody a bit, still including the instrument, but making the strings more prominent. It foregoes the big climax in the bridge in favor of a string section that strongly resembles the Fallen album version. I guess Amy feels like her vocal take is more refined this time around, but I never saw any problems with her original take, so whatever. “My Immortal” will always be an emotional highlight in pretty much any form, because it’s a haunting and well-written song in general. Nowadays I can’t think of it without seeing the eerie music video in my mind’s eye, in which Ben Moody’s isolation from the rest of the band presaged his rather sudden departure later in 2003. As much as I resented the guy for leaving Amy in the lurch back then, I just don’t feel like the band’s been quite the same, songwriting-wise, without him around.
Grade: B+

15. The In-Between (Piano Solo)
I appreciate how the new instrumental tracks are titled in a way that makes it clear we shouldn’t expect them to be fully-formed songs. Like the other two, this interlude serves its purpose without drawing a lot of attention to itself. It starts off very slow and mournful, and gradually more notes begin to trickle in, the tempo building slightly to the point where some strings begin to bleed in, serving as an intro to the final song.
Grade: B-

16. Imperfection
The second of the new songs is one of the most striking things on the album. It may well be the most aggressive thing on Synthesis, due to the focus on an electronic beat, and the more percussive approach taken on the piano, which lends itself well to a more “action film” type of arrangement from the orchestra. It’s also the first time I can recall within an Evanescence album track that Amy drops the f-bomb. The world’s pretty messed up, and she’s not mincing words about how angry that makes her as she tries to plea with a person who is pretty much ready to give up on life due to how bad things have gotten. This song goes against my earlier observation about Evanescence’s “issue songs” by making it quite clear that Amy is addressing suicide. The lyrics cut to the bone because of musicians like Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington who we lost last year – in some cases, influences and contemporaries that must have hit Amy especially hard, being a singer who herself has been rather open about going through depression and even only expressing in some of her lyrics over the years that she’s fantasized about death. To hear her come back swinging with such strong resolve, reassuring the person she’s reaching out to that their value as a human being is not based on their performance or their ability to make others believe that they are flawless, is a huge deal.  With that said, the chorus feels like it slips back into Evanescence’s old habits when it drops the staccato approach of the verses and goes for a typical, soaring melody like we’ve heard about a million times from Amy before. And the lyrics stumble a bit when she tries to be clever. “I could never replace your perfect imperfection” is just a weird way of phrasing it. If you’re embracing that the person has flaws and that’s OK, and not a thing that decreases the value of a human life, it seems counterintuitive to imply that the person is somehow perfect in that imperfection. Saying they’re exactly the person they were meant to be, and they shouldn’t try to be anyone else, makes a little more sense, but that would still be a bit cloying, so I’m not really sure of the best way to express such a thing. I just don’t like the implication that they are perfect as is, because a person in that hopeless of a situation probably wouldn’t want to think this is the best they’ll ever be. I’d want to encourage them that things could change, but that they don’t need to change in order for that person to be loved and valued. Does that make sense? This song also ends Synthesis on a bit of an abrupt note, in contrast to how most of the album seemed planned out with graceful segues and little interludes where they were needed. Some sort of an outro would have made sense after this track – or else they should have saved one of the ballads to close things on a peaceful note, perhaps “My Immortal” or “Secret Door”, or… oh, man, can you imagine if Amy had saved the remake of “Even in Death” for the end of this album, and given it the full orchestral treatment? Not only would that have been way more interesting than the muted version that showed up on Lost Whispers; it would have provided thematic closure after this song, while also giving a nod to the earliest phase of Evanescence’s career. Real missed opportunity there, but still, this is a solid song, and if it’s an indicator of Evanescence’s ongoing musical direction in any way, then consider my curiosity piqued.
Grade: B+

Overture $0
Never Go Back $1.25
Hi-Lo $1
My Heart Is Broken $1
Lacrymosa $1.25
The End of the Dream $.25
Bring Me to Life $1.50
Unraveling (Interlude) $.50
Imaginary $1.75
Secret Door $1.75
Lithium $1
Lost in Paradise $.50
Your Star $.75
My Immortal $1.25
The In-Between (Piano Solo) $.25
Imperfection $1.25
TOTAL: $15.25

Amy Lee: Vocals, piano, harp, production
Tim McCord: Bass, synths
Will Hunt: Drums
Troy McLawhorn: Lead guitar
Jen Majura: Rhythm guitar, theremin, backing vocals



3 thoughts on “Evanescence – Synthesis: I gave up on you, but I never forgot you.

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