Single Review: Evanescence “My Immortal”

My Immortal
Album: Fallen
Year: 2004

Before I get started on my usual review, I would like to thank those who nominated me for “Most Mysterious Blogger.” It was a pleasant surprise to see Sunday night. I didn’t realize I had made an impression on people here.

While at the mall, I observed some teenagers talking in a small group. Dressed alternatively and goth-like, they were near the Hot Topic store. A trendy girl walks into the store and they snicker. “What is she going in there for?” However, the irony escapes the alternative-goth kids. Goth is mainstream now. It’s not shocking or controversial. It’s profitable. Evanescence proved it recently by winning a Grammy for Best New Artist.

Aimed at teenagers, Amy Lee is being marketed as the poster woman for alienated teenage girls who hate pop music and dress in black. The new single, “My Immortal” is about how a former friend’s memory won’t leave her. Accompanied by a piano, a sullen Amy Lee sings, “I wish that you would just leave/’cause your presence lingers here.” Heavy on the ghost metaphors, “My Immortal” wants to be a supernatural, somber ode to a broken friendship. However, like the “ugly girl” in teen movies as “She’s All That,” it’s much too pretty to be taken seriously as such.

But the prettiness is mostly due to the piano arrangement and Amy Lee’s voice. The piano is the only instrument used on the song until the bridge. It’s still a rock song and the band has to swell up at one point, which puts it into power ballad territory. However, the band section seems tacked on. It’s like it’s there to remind the teenagers that it’s still an angry rock song and not a cheesy Celine Dion ballad.

Amy Lee’s voice is sweet and clear, not raspy as expected for a rock singer. She is the Christina Aguilera of goth pop, but without the revealing outfits. It’s a safe voice to sell sadness. She doesn’t screech or yell, but sing on key. Teenage listeners would do best listening to PJ Harvey’s “Down By Water” or Liz Phair’s “Divorce Song.” It would do something Evanescence can’t: provoke a reaction.

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