Sunday, October 9, 2011

Music Review: Evanescence - Evanescence

It's been five years since we were last graced by the stunning voice of Amy Lee. Now Evanescence, who were touted as 2003's new Linkin Park, are back with their brand new self-titled album and proving that they are no one-hit wonders. The album has everything of their standard trademark complete with ethereal vocals, moody lyrics, wailing guitars and pounding drums.

From the blasting opening track and lead single What You Want, it's quite clear that you are going to have any amazing journey ahead. It's also evidence that Lee has lost nothing of her song writing ability. The song is catchy and instantly memorable. The piano almost sounds of place as the song goes on but is also strangely fitting.

Following is Made of Stone which is heavier rock and a darker version of Evanescence than we have previously known. The guitar scratching in the background and vicious lyrics are showing that this is a new and more adult version of the band. The song shows such growth that it is nothing short of amazing.

The Change and My Heart is Broken set a new standard for all other similar bands to live up to. The key to loving these tracks is remembering what endeared the band to you to start off with. It's a return to their The Fallen days and it's not experimental. It's Evanescence at their rocking best. It's the melody. It's the sheer stunning quality of Lee's voice. It's the music. It's the best way to describe these two tracks.

Skipping forwards a few tracks and you find Lost In Paradise. Here we have a much subdued track. Yes, they did a ballad. This is what the original version of My Immortal should have been. It plays along quietly, a true ballad and then at the right time, the band comes in with guitars wailing. It may sound like a bit of disaster in written word form but when you actually hear the song, it is amazing and perfect.

Sick is a return to the darker and heavier version of the band that we first found on the track Made of Stone. This song will rock you and you will love it. This is both lyrically and musically emotive. It's a highlight of the album with both the story it's telling and the performance. Listen to this track and tell me that you don't love it.

Returning to their original style are the tracks End of the Dream, Oceans and Never Go Back. It's like listening to their early work with a more mature song writer which is what was missing from The Open Door. They let go of the feeling that was there in their debut. Now, with their third album, they mastered how to mature and reach back to their roots. Don't be disillusioned into thinking that this is old work rehashed, it's not. This is something all new and no matter what gets written, nothing will prepare you for what you will hear.

Closing the album is Swimming Home which is an electronic, rock, ballad mix up. Nothing you have ever heard before will prepare you for the song. It's stunning. This is something that you've never experienced. Lose yourself in it's sheer beauty. The song is amazing. 

The album doesn't have a My Immortal or Call Me When You're Sober but it does have more than it's fair share of stand out tracks. This album may have taken five years to reach us but it's certainly been time well spent writing and perfecting the album. If you have only ever liked one of their songs in the past, this album will appeal to you. Even if you don't put the album on your 'To Buy' list, make sure as hell it's on your 'To Listen' list.

Evanescence is out now through EMI Music

Friday, October 7, 2011

Music Review: Gotye - Making Mirrors

One of the biggest names to be thrown around of late is Gotye. With the release of his sophomore album, Making Mirrors, he is gathering attention from around the globe. With this smooth harmonies and catching melodies, Gotye is being hyped around the world. This time, believe the hype.

From the opening of Making Mirrors, there are 12 tracks that you can't help but fall in love with. The beats, the drums, the harmonics, the riffs and that smooth vocal performance. This album is nothing short of astounding and will be played non-stop in an attempt to appease the ear.

By now everyone should be familiar with the single Somebody That I Used to Know which features the talents of Kimbra. The song is memorable and engrossing. Listening to it time after time and the song does not get tiring. Gotye has found the joys of highs and lows in his music and changing tone from soft to loud.

Following is Eyes Wide Open, which was the lead single on the album which was released October 2010. Since then it has been well received and even clocked in at number 25 on Triple J's Hottest 100. It's up-tempo and catchy riff that leaves will have even the most leaden of feet tapping in time.

Smoke and Mirrors is a strangely stunning mix of alternative rock and smokey blues. The chemistry of the track is no less appealing that any other track on the album. It's rich sound and smooth performance arrest the ear. It's preformed with such light and shade that it's listening pleasure at it's best.

When you first here I Feel Better, you are forgiven to think that you're listening to something that has appeared from somewhere between the 70's and 80's. The track sounds closer to something that you would expect to hear Cliff Richard sing back in his heyday. The brilliance of the track though, is that it still works and is just as captivating as the rest of the album. The catchy feel of the song. The up-tempo, foot tapping enticement that is so rich throughout the song.

The personal favourite track of the album, however, is State of the Art. The song feels seductive and layered with enticement that clings to the skin and will turn your head to pay attention to the track. The overuse of vocal exciter and digitization of Gotye's vocals breaks the sound the rest of the album goes through. Right up until the chorus when the the harmonics are just breath taking,. The jazzy and electronic feel of the track are an absolute fusion that is just amazing.

The closing track is Bronte which is far more subdued than the rest of the album though no less appealing. It's actually a welcome change and quite fitting way to end the album. It's delicate nature and almost dream like performance means that it is set aside and given extra notice that it otherwise may not have been. Let your breath be stolen... it's worth it.

The album has been given hype by people around the world. Guess what, it's deserved. The mixture of melody, harmonics and just out and out talent, means that this album is worth listening to. You do want to grab it with both hands and have a damn good listen. It's highly recommended for everyone and anyone to get their hands on this album and hear what all the noise is about.

Making Mirrors is out now through Universal Music