Listening Station: Ryan Adams’ ‘Ashes & Fire’
Evanescence usually paints its gothic rock sound with dark, gloomy colors. On this self-titled third album, though, the band lightens things up by bringing some brighter shades into the mix. The biggest addition is the unexpected neon glow of a synthesizer, which shines during several songs and helps push the band in a different direction.
Some things haven’t changed. Amy Lee is still the undisputed leader of the group, and she sings these songs like the most melancholy, emotionally tortured member of a classical choir. There’s a sort of sad elegance to her voice, which borders on operatic during some of the album’s most theatrical moments.
At the same time, Miss Lee turns 30 in December, and it’s time for her to explore something beyond the angsty bombast of Evanescence’s first two albums. This is where those synthesizers come in, bringing tints of electro-pop and ‘80s nostalgia into an otherwise familiar sound.
It’s always been dark in Evanescence’s world. One new instrument doesn’t change much, but it does indicate a brighter future for a group whose standard sound could easily go stale.
Rachael Yamagata fans fund her album
Don’t expect Rachael Yamagata to take the road most traveled. Her sophomore release was a double album split into two thematic halves, and her third record - “Chesapeake,” which hits stores today - was funded by her own fans.
Miss Yamagata, an Arlington native, reached out to her audience through the fundraising platform PledgeMusic, offering unique items such as customized instruments in exchange for funds.