Hello, my name is DhammaSeeker, I like The Open Door, and I am not ashamed. If shame were going to play any part in this, it should have come in long ago. Somewhere around August of 2003.
I had two random people IM me last night asking my opinion on the album, so I figured I may as well just write it out. Where to start?
In all honesty, on first listen, I was what you might call ‘disappointed’ because I didn’t hear any particular song (or three as on Fallen) that immediately jumped out and resonated with me. I believe this is what the song writing inclined would call a ‘hook’. As far as I’m concerned, there’s no song on The Open Door with a hook. For some people, that is a show stopper. I went back for seconds, and then thirds. After I thought about it, there are plenty of artists that I really enjoy but whose albums are also hookless.
And lo, on the third day, I began to open up to the album. I thought that I had been listening with unprejudiced ears–without preconceptions of what I wanted it to be, but I guess my subconscious had other plans. Being at the particular spot on the grapevine where I find myself, I had heard various things that primed me for disappointment. The track titles alone gave me serious pause when I first saw them. But I’m a person who focuses more on the music than the lyrics and titles. Amy could be singing about killing kittens, and so long as I liked it musically, I probably wouldn’t notice.
The style of The Open Door strays from the Evanescence we used to know so severely that it’s leaving many people in a fog of confusion and dismay. People came to Evanescence prior to now because something resonated with them in the work on Origin or Fallen. That, or they were personal devotees of one or another of the band members. The personal devotee fan type has suffered massive casualties over the years. The demi-gods have been falling away for one reason or another, and the affinity of the pilgrims changes, understandably.
The fact of the matter is that Evanescence has been Amy Lee ever since that fateful day in October three years ago. Some people have been holding onto the hope that a group effort would replace the song-writing duo that had been Amy and Ben. Alas, that’s not how Amy rolls. Whether or not your head is stuck in the sand will not change the way that she does business. For good or bad, that’s just the way it is.
After thinking about it and hearing about some of the drama involved, I’m more respectful of John and Rocky because they continue to perform as professional musicians and haven’t gotten caught up in the high school bullshit that would have torn asunder people of lesser character.
But back to the album, and my uninformed opinion on it.
The Open Door is not a rock album; not in the traditional or conventional sense. Evanescence has always been all over the place genre wise. That’s why the cross-section of the fan base has always been so diverse. That’s why I’m a fan along with people less than half my age and people more than twice my age. There’s something special about a group that can draw in that diverse of a fan base.
For several months now, I’ve known that the release of The Open Door would be a critical time for the current Evanescence fan base. I had no idea what it was going to sound like, but I knew that some of the current fans were certain to dislike it and there would be new fans to bring into the fold. This is a natural process that we should all just learn to accept. We’re going to have evboarders who will be unable to reconcile themselves to the new direction. This is okay. They are no less deserving of our respect.
Then there is the other camp of people who think that Amy Lee can do no wrong. News flash: Amy Lee is a human being just like you and me. And lord knows that we all fuck up from time to time. This, too, is okay.
I’m of the opinion that The Open Door is a fine sophomore effort and shows promise of things to come in the future. Hopefully Wind-up won’t tour this album into the ground like they did Fallen, and the writing process can commence on the next album in about a year.
Sure there are things here and there that I wish were different than they are on The Open Door, but the same holds true for me with Fallen. Life will go on.
The preceding has been the personal opinion of DhammaSeeker and does not constitute an official or unofficial position of evboard.com, Evanescence, Wind-up Records, the RIAA, MySpace.com, the NSA, or Colin.