|Studio album by Evanescence|
|Released||October 7, 2011|
February–April 2010; MSR Studios, New York|
April–June 2011; Blackbird Studio, Nashville, Tennessee
47:14 (Standard version)|
61:42 + 38:36 (Deluxe version)
Steve Lillywhite (2010)|
Nick Raskulinecz (2011)
|Singles from Evanescence|
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- This article is about the album. For the band, see Evanescence.
Evanescence is Evanescence's third studio self-titled album released by Wind-up Records on October 7, 2011. It was originally scheduled for a late August or early September 2010 release but was delayed due to a number of circumstances which lead to the band spending another year writing and improving new material as well as a change in producers. Amy announced through her Twitter account that the album would finally be released on October 4, 2011, but MTV News confirmed on July 11, 2011 that the album had been pushed a week back by Wind-up Records. The cover of the album was first shown on Amazon.com on August 29, 2011.
"What You Want", the first single from the album, was released on August 9, 2011 to moderate success, peaking at number 68 on the Billboard Hot 100 and selling more than 112,000 digital copies in the United States as of November 2011. "My Heart Is Broken" was released to radio stations on October 31, and was released in digital format to iTunes and Amazon.com on November 11. "Lost in Paradise" was released digitally on May 25, 2012 as the third commercial single from the album. "The Other Side" was released to Alternative and Modern Rock radio stations in the United States on June 11, 2012.
The tour in support of the album lasted from August 17, 2011 to November 9, 2012. The album debuted at number 1 on the US Billboard 200 chart with first week sales of 127,000 copies, and also reached the top 10 of 15 other countries' charts worldwide, including Australia, France, and the UK. As of August 2012, the album has sold 421,000 copies in the US.
Amy told in a Facebook Q&A on February 29, 2016 that the album’s main influence was her frustration with Wind-up:
|The last album was greatly influenced by my frustration working inside a broken machine, and also inspired by my determination not to let it break me.|
Although Amy had indicated in earlier interviews with Spin and Gauntlet in 2008 she had begun writing new material, it wasn't until 2009 that she confirmed the band were working on the follow-up to 2006's The Open Door.
|We're currently working on new material that I'm extremely excited about. I believe that to make great music you have to give yourself the freedom to evolve. I don't see the point in making the same record twice, so I always want to challenge myself to make something better, stronger, and more interesting than before. That takes time, but it's worth the wait for me. Hopefully, it will be for the fans too. Look out for new music next year...|
In later posts on EvThreads she gave a vague indication of what new material for Evanescence could sound like and the album process.
|I don't want to give away too much about what it will sound like, because so much will change before the end, but its... not what you would expect. Its definitely not happy married music, but its not like I'm dying the whole time either. Its dark, sarcastic, fun, strange, familiar and very different at the same time.|
|There's been a lot of writing going on this summer and I'm starting to get really excited. My good friend Will happens to also be a great producer, writer and programmer (lucky for me!) and we've been slaving away at some pretty interesting stuff lately... I'm not giving anything away just yet. Terry and I have been working together this week at my place just like old times and life is pretty good.|
In October 2009, Amy indicated that the new album would be focused on programming, drawing influence from Portishead and Massive Attack.
On October 7, 2009, Amy had a meeting with the label to show the album's demos. In December, she had "another positive meeting/listening session" where "everybody [at the label] loves the music and I can't wait to get in the studio."
During 2009 Amy co-wrote most of the album with Will "Science" Hunt in New York and Texas. The pair had crafted and recorded much of the electronic programming that was to be used in the forthcoming record together. Amy had also written some of the music with Terry Balsamo and Tim McCord.
In 2010, Evanescence officially entered the studio on February 22nd to begin recording the album with producer Steve Lillywhite who is known for working with bands such as U2 and Rolling Stones. Will Hunt returned as the band's drummer with Will "Science" Hunt also joining the band in the studio as programmer and secondary drummer. David Campbell would also return for string arrangements.
The Lillywhite sessions (2010)
In interviews with Spin.com and Rolling Stone, Amy discussed the band's work with Steve Lillywhite and the creative process for the album. She noted that music would be a mix of "sarcastic aggression" and would have a distinct electro influence that was inspired by artists such as Björk, Massive Attack and Portishead. The album would contain a "rainbow of sounds" with some songs amazingly heavy and others completely stripped down. The band were also aiming "to take synthetic and atmospheric sounds and find a way to blur the line between organic and synthetic." They were recording about 16 songs and were "still working and...finishing writing here and there. Some of them aren't finished lyric-wise or writing-wise, but I really feel like it's mostly there." Some of the songs were compositions for potential film projects that weren't used.
|This is a really, really, rhythmically driven record. So there’s tons of drum-programming fused with live drums; drums we’re renting a day at a time, like Japanese taiko drums.|
After just over three weeks in the studio, Amy said she felt "like I'm making the best album of my life", adding:
|I know that seems weird to say, but I wouldn't be here in the studio making another record if I didn't think it was going to be better than anything I've ever done. It wouldn't be an Evanescence album if it didn't sound somewhat like Evanescence. I feel like our band has always had programming and inspirations from Bjork and Depeche Mode and Massive Attack and that kind of thing. It's not like we're making one of those records; it's just, like, that is playing a bigger role in the sound of Evanescence this time. Those little nuances and hints come in in ways that are cool.|
Amy also disclosed further information about the themes and lyrical content through Twitter.
|Lot of 'electro' talk regarding our new album. That doesn't sum it up. Influences include: Rock, electronica, pop, classical, hip hop... ...Industrial, eastern, dark soul...|
|Any album title ideas? /I'm working on that right now. Its difficult because the music and themes are so diverse. Wanna help?
Some inspirations: unknown worlds, the ocean's abyss, life within dreams, strength, detachment, love and liars...
There was a fire at the studio on March 10, but co-producer Will "Science" saved the hard drive.
Drums, keyboards (citing "spooky Rhodes"), and pianos were recorded first during the first two months, followed by Amy's vocals and harp. The rest of the band joined the studio to bring rock to the table on April 5.
Drummer Questlove contributed drums to the song You Got a Lot to Learn, which Amy revealed on Lillywhite's radio show, but it didn't appear on the final release. On March 19 and 24, two new songs were previewed on Twitter.
On March 27, producer Warren Riker entered the studio to work on the album.
Although progress on the album appeared to be going well, on April 19 Amy posted on EvClub saying that the band took time out of the studio to work more on the music. Finally, on June 21st Amy made a post on EvThreads stating the band were taking time out of the studio to write more music. She also suggested that the label was going through uncertain times which would hinder the band's progress on the album. The band were recording at MSR Studios from February 2010 to April that same year. For the rest of the year the band kept relatively quiet on the status of the new record but an interview with drummer Will Hunt suggested progress on the music was going well, specifically mentioning "Lately, in the last few months, there's been a real band dynamics. It's kind of a band situation right now." He added they have experimented with electronic textures. "There’s a lot of cool new things going on, both electronically and futuristically. I think Amy’s doing something that’s very special and hasn’t been done before." Amy posted later in the year on her birthday in December mentioning that it had been a tough year but she was at the time in Northern California writing music with Terry and Tim.
In February 2011, Amy made a post on EvThreads stating the band was getting together the following week to begin pre-production on the next album again. Finally, the band announced they would be entering the studio on April 11 and that the album would come out in Fall 2011. It emerged however that the band was no longer working with Steve Lillywhite and had changed producers to Nick Raskulinecz. Amy revealed in an interview with Spin the reasons behind the band taking time out of the studio and the change in producer for the album.
|It wasn't coming together right. Steve wasn't the right fit. We were on this experimental trip, trying a bunch of new things, seeing what would fit. I did a lot of the writing without the band. And then when we tried to pull the two worlds together, it wasn't working.|
Amy further said in an interview with Billboard that while some of the material from the sessions with Lillywhite won't be included in the band's third album, they may be released in the future in a different release, saying, "maybe solo, maybe something else".
In early 2014, Lillywhite was asked by fans on Twitter how the album sounded, and he responded saying it was "a great combination of real instruments and synths". He also revealed why he parted ways with the band:
|I remember [the record label] thinking it didn't sound enough like "Evanescence" which is why I was let go!|
In 2015, Amy revealed that her label rejected the material recorded with Lillywhite and that she "was told that none of the songs I'd been pouring my heart into for a year, in any form, were good enough." She said she used her frustration with being forced to start over to write what she called "Evanescence's heaviest album." She referred to this scrapped album as "broken record." Only three songs from the Lillywhite sessions were reworked on the final album: "Made of Stone", "Swimming Home", and "Secret Door".
Nick Raskulinecz sessions (2011)
After leaving the studio and parting ways with Steve Lillywhite, Amy mentioned that the future of the band was unclear. During those uncertain times the band came and reworked the material together. Some songs were taken from the sessions with Lillywhite and were reworked.
|Then Evanescence, the group of hired guns led by the vision of Lee, became a real working band. Lee, guitarist Terry Balsamo, bassist Tim McCord, drummer Will Hunt, and programmer Will "Science" Hunt (yes, both guys share the same name) moved in with Lee and began re-working her songs and writing new material together.
"I've never felt so supported by my band members," says Lee. "We've really relied on each other. And everyone being a part of this album, from the ground up, is an entirely new approach for us. There's nobody that's just coming in to play guitar. Everybody's invested. We're more truly a band now than ever before."
She adds, "We took the best songs we had, added more, and reworked them as a group. They're stronger than before… when it was more one-dimensional."
Taking the 19 songs they had created as a band, Evanescence entered the studio with Nick Raskulinecz who has produced albums for bands such as Alice in Chains, Deftones, Foo Fighters and more.
Amy explained that she trusts Nick's opinion and he helps her at making quick decisions:
|Nick is an awesome producer. He really helped me get the plan and have confidence in the decisions that we made. For me, I have a lot of ideas and sometimes it just comes down to 'OK, everything that I'm doing I have two options!' He's awesome, because as I'm doing these things I'm asking him from the vocal booth or the piano room or whatever, 'Which one of these should I do?' He's good at helping me make a quick decision. I really trust his opinion because he makes great records.|
Amy mentioned that working with a heavy rock producer meant the album was more of a rock record now than it was before. She also noted that the band would be incorporating a variety of new sounds including synths, the harp and vintage keyboards with the Moog Taurus pedal specifically mentioned.
|I get inspired by nature. The ocean's been a theme. Brokenness has become a little bit of theme, without necessarily offering a solution. Life can be tough sometimes. But I think it just starts with admitting, "Okay, the world's not perfect, how do we live our lives within that and not be miserable?"
There was some real struggle trying to figure out what I want this band to be. I want Evanescence to feel passionate. It's about looking for the answers and not always knowing them.
The album was recorded at Blackbird Studios in Nashville, Tennessee between April to July 2011. Strings were recorded in a two-day session in early July at Avatar Studios in New York.
In June 12, Amy officially revealed on her Twitter account that Troy McLawhorn would be joining the band once again. It was also revealed that the album would be released October 4, 2011. However, it was pushed to October 11 by Wind-up. On October 7, the album was released four days before the US release date in Germany, Australia and Ireland. It was stated in an MTV interview that 16 songs were at or near completion, but not all of them can be on the album. Later it was revealed that all of the songs would be placed in a deluxe edition of the album and the standard edition would have 12 songs.
Album title and artwork
On June 22, 2011, Kerrang! featured an interview with Amy Lee in which she announced that the new album would be titled Evanescence. Amy revealed the reason for the album being self-titled:
|It's about the band; it's more of a band record. But I started thinking about it, and it's also that this whole record and the lyrical content and a lot of the things that it's about to me is about falling back in love with this thing, with Evanescence, with what I've obsessed over for a decade, longer than that. And it took me a minute, I definitely stepped away from it in a big way, and went, 'OK, guys, I don't know what we're going to do. I don't know what's going to happen here. Let's just live our lives for a while and see what happens next.'|
Amy also said she had a lot of album title ideas, but as the album became more about the band, it was the only title that felt right:
|I had a lot of album title ideas. But as it became more and more about the band...the more collaborative it became, it just felt like this is who we are, it's a band. And to have that feeling in the music where the band is so pumped up, it was just the only title that felt right. It's about falling back in love with this thing in a major way.|
The cover artwork for the self-titled album is the first one by the band that does not show Amy and only Amy on it.
|Well, both of our other records are me on the cover, and I think it's cool to have that photo, you know, that people can look at and go, 'OK, that's who that is.' But I feel like, by now, they know who we are, and I wanted something really different. I didn't feel like we had to put a photo on the cover, I wanted it to be more mysterious and more about Evanescence itself, not just me.|
As explained by Amy, this concept extends far beyond the album cover. On the album, she and the band members are exploring every aspect of the band, starting with the name itself. Because, for the first time, Evanescence is more than just Amy.
|The idea to not have any photos on the outside I thought was really cool. And all the images and the artwork is a play on the meaning of the word 'Evanescence.' It means 'to dissipate like vapor,' so I decided to go with light and vapor ... it's really about Evanescence, not just me.|
Since Evanescence's emergence on Twitter, various "Tweets" since have indicated the band have been writing and recording demos for the album;
- On November 22, 2009, Tim released a short jamming session that contained a sample of one such demo. A fan asked Amy on Twitter what she was singing in this clip and Amy replied, saying that they were "just playing around" and that she wasn't singing any words.
- On March 19, 2010 they released a short video of a recording session featuring a clip of a song they were currently recording. Amy later revealed on EvClub that this song's name is "Perfect Dream".
- On March 24, 2010 Amy released a snippet of her recording a piano piece.
- On April 13, 2011 Lee released a video of Will Hunt recording the last drum part of "Erase This".
- On May 11, 2011 Amy released a video of her recording the piano middle eight in "Made of Stone".
- On May 29, 2011 Terry released a video of the song "New Way to Bleed" being recorded for the new album.
- On June 5, 2011 Amy released a section of a song that she was finishing for the new record. This song turned out to be "Disappear".
- On June 19, 2011 Amy released a video of herself recording the harp for the song called "Secret Door".
The Evanescence Tour (2011-12) was Evanescence's third worldwide concert tour. It began with a concert at the War Memorial Auditorium in Nashville on August 17, 2011, followed by Rock on the Range in Winnipeg, Canada on August 20, and Rock in Rio on October 2. The tour kicked off with a concert at Puerto Rico on October 6, and the North American tour kicked off on October 10. It wrapped on November 1 in New York, later heading to the UK and Europe for the rest of the month. The set list of the tour had songs from all three Evanescence albums. Their performances were supported by The Pretty Reckless, Fair to Midland and Rival Sons.
|We're definitely focusing mainly on the new material. We're really excited about that music the most — obviously it's the newest — but of course we'll be playing some from both of our other albums too. I guess I'd say in general, our show's on the heavy-energy side, so we'll be running around singing a lot of fast songs.|
The concert tour continued thorugh the United States, Asia and Europe. The band later performed live at the Rock am Ring festival in Nürburgring, Germany on June 1, 2012. The band then started the South American tour, beginning with a concert at Porto Alegre, Brazil on October 4. The band ended the tour with four concerts in the UK, with the last concert being at the London Wembley Arena on November 9. This was the last show with Terry Balsamo.
What You Want, the first single off the album, was released digitally on August 9, 2011, and a CD single was later released in Germany on September 9. It went on to sell 112,000 digital copies in the US as of November 2011, and it peaked at number 1 on the UK Rock Chart. It debuted and peaked at number 68 on the US Billboard Hot 100 for the week ending of August 14, 2011, with first week sales of 78,000 copies. The song stayed on the chart for only one week. On the UK Singles Chart, What You Want debuted at number 72 on August 3, 2011 and it stayed on the chart for one week.
The second single, My Heart Is Broken, was sent to pop, hot adult contemporary and Hot/Mod/AC radio stations in the US on October 31, 2011, and to mainstream radio on November 1, and it was released commercialy as a digital single on November 11. It only charted in three countries: Germany at number 92, Austria at number 36, and the US Adult Pop Songs at number 34. It only charted in three countries: Germany at number 92, Austria at number 36, and the US Adult Pop Songs at number 34. Although Amy said Made of Stone would be released as the third single, it was released only as a promotional single in January 2012 in the US to Active Rock radio, while My Heart Is Broken was played on softer formats.
Lost in Paradise was released as the third commercial single off the album on May 25, 2012. It peaked at #9 on the UK Rock chart after the album was released, and it later peaked at #71 on the Ö3 Austria Top 40 chart after the single was released. The Other Side was released as a promotional rock single in the US; it impacted Modern Rock radio on June 11, 2012, and Alternative radio on June 12, 2012.
|1.||"What You Want"||A. Lee, T. Balsamo, T. McCord||3:40|
|2.||"Made of Stone"||A. Lee, T. Balsamo, T. McCord, T. McLawhorn, W. Hunt, W. B. Hunt||3:33|
|3.||"The Change"||A. Lee, T. Balsamo, T. McCord, T. McLawhorn, W. Hunt||3:42|
|4.||"My Heart Is Broken"||A. Lee, T. Balsamo, T McCord, Z. Williams||4:29|
|5.||"The Other Side"||A. Lee, T. Balsamo, T. McCord||4:05|
|6.||"Erase This"||A. Lee, T. Balsamo, T. McCord, T. McLawhorn, W. Hunt||3:52|
|7.||"Lost In Paradise"||A. Lee||4:42|
|8.||"Sick"||A. Lee, T. Balsamo, T. McCord, W. Hunt, W. B. Hunt||3:30|
|9.||"End of the Dream"||A. Lee, T. Balsamo, T. McCord, W. Hunt, W. B. Hunt||3:48|
|10.||"Oceans"||A. Lee, T. Balsamo, T. McCord||3:38|
|11.||"Never Go Back"||A. Lee, T. Balsamo, T. McCord, W. Hunt||4:27|
|12.||"Swimming Home"||A. Lee, W. B. Hunt||3:43|
|Japanese edition bonus track|
|13.||"The Last Song I'm Wasting On You"||A. Lee||Dave Fortman||4:07|
|Deluxe edition bonus tracks|
|13.||"New Way to Bleed"||A. Lee, T. Balsamo||3:46|
|14.||"Say You Will"||A. Lee, T. Balsamo, T. McCord||3:43|
|15.||"Disappear"||A. Lee, T. Balsamo, T. McCord, T. McLawhorn, W. Hunt||3:07|
|16.||"Secret Door"||A. Lee, W. B. Hunt||3:53|
|iTunes Store deluxe edition pre-order bonus track|
|17.||"What You Want (Elder Jepson Remix)"||A. Lee, T. Balsamo, T. McCord||3:18|
Deluxe edition DVD
- What You Want (music video)
- Making the What You Want Music Video – Day 1
- Making the What You Want Music Video – Day 2
- Behind the Scenes in the Studio
- Behind the Scenes at the Photoshoot
- On the Songs: Secret Door
- On the Songs: The Change
- On the Songs: Never Go Back
- On the Songs: Made of Stone
- On the Songs: Disappear
- On the Songs: What You Want
- On the Songs: My Heart Is Broken
- On the Songs: Oceans
- On the Songs: Lost in Paradise
Songs from the Lillywhite sessions
The songs below were recorded during the sessions with Steve Lillywhite in 2010, but did not make it to the final cut of Evanescence. A few of them did make it on to other releases.
- Baby Did a Bad Bad Thing (released on Amy Lee's cover EP, Recover, Vol. 1)
- Another Piece of the Puzzle
- Hi-Lo (released on Evanescence's fourth studio album, Synthesis)
- Lost Whispers (released on Evanescence's b-side album, Lost Whispers)
- Perfect Dream
- Take Cover (released on Evanescence's fifth studio album, The Bitter Truth)
- You Got a Lot to Learn
- Yeah Right (released on Evanescence's fifth studio album, The Bitter Truth)
- Feeding the Dark (released on Evanescence's fifth studio album, The Bitter Truth)
Amy said the songs recorded during these sessions couldn't be included on the final release due to legal issues, so the ones taken from these sessions and included on Evanescence had to be reworked and re-recorded on the final sessions. However, she acquired the rights to these recordings after she parted ways with Wind-up in 2014.
Credits taken from Allmusic and from the liner notes of the album booklet.