Notebook / Archives / "Evanescence"

"Evanescence" entries.

July 12, 2004

From wishes to... almost nothing?

I watched Evanescence's Live at Rock in Rio Lisboa (Portugal) almost three times, and I must confess it's certainly not their best live performance.
There are good things, like the more and more rocking voice of Amy Lee, the show of John LeCompt and Rocky Gray, and the new song, a cover from KoRn, Thoughtless, with Amy on her new piano, a Baldwin (used in Thoughtless, Breathe No More, My Immortal and the introduction to Bring Me To Life).
But there are far too many bad moments! First of all, on songs like Thoughtless, with piano and guitars, it's sometimes not easy to hear the piano: what are Evanescence's sound engineers doing?? This piano is also a problem for Amy's hairs: they are often trapped by the mic (on Thoughtless and Breathe No More), but I must admit there was some wind, and it looks quite cool. In Lisbon, they had a wonderful scene, with a giant screen behind them... but the only video rendering they did with it was to display the Evanescence's logo: that's all what you can do while performing in a kind-of-gothic show?...
But the really bad player in this game is Terry Balsamo. Well, Ben Moody is not the best guitar player in the world, but he has feelings, and he knows how to perfom live. Terry does not move (the cam refused to follow him lol), his clothes are not in the spirit of Evanescence and his solos and riffs are not as good as those of Ben. Consequently, songs like Farther Away (remember the rain of riffs in the intro and the ending ethnic drum line of Ben in Cologne?), Zero (remember Ben's synth guitar effect on the solo?), and Whisper (remember Ben's apocalyptic riffs?) do not sound as cool as in the past: I miss you Ben! Ah, and the best: on Going Under, Amy must make a sign to Terry for him to shut up his guitar lol.
And no new song. Only a cover. What are they doing?? Well, I love this cover (although I do not know the original song), but you cannot live all your life with the same songs. Finally, for your pleasure (and mine), here is the video of Thoughtless (the concert is in high quality, not like this excerpt)!

Posted by Jean-Philippe on July 12, 2004 91 Comments, 4471 TrackBacks

July 04, 2004

La nouvelle Chantal Goya

Ca faisait longtemps que je ne vous avais pas parlé d'Evanescence... et bien dans les jours qui viennent, je vous prépare un petit lot de réactions et de commentaires à leur sujet (je dépile mes idées). C'est bizarre, mais j'ai l'impression d'être le seul de leurs fans à être encore lucide sur leur sort.. Le groupe est vraiment dans la mouise, je le dis depuis un moment, et ce que je disais commence à arriver. Par exemple leur dernier single Everybody's Fool semble être un échec, aussi bien sur le plan des diffusions radio que TV (j'y reviendrai dans une autre entrée, car sur ce coup leur management c'est bien gaufré). Comme j'ai écrit tout ce que je pensais sur ce blog, et bien tout cela est daté. On pourra pas me dire : « Oui, mais tu dis ça maintenant, à l'époque tu pouvais pas savoir... ».
Bref, j'étais pas venu vous parler du fait que je suis un grand chroniqueur musical... enfin du moins un des derniers qui soient passionnés. Non, j'étais venu vous présenter un moment complètement ébouriffant qu'Amy Lee nous a réservé sur Cartoon Network dernièrement. Elle a participé a une émission (sûrement pour faire plaisir à son frère, mais aussi pour se rappeler de bons souvenirs) et a même été jusqu'à écrire une ode pour la chaîne, complètement délirante, mais surtout très vraie sur la vie qu'elle mène actuellement. Triste dans l'enfantin. C'est aussi l'occasion de la voir jouer de la guitare, ce qui n'arrive pas souvent. Le passage “Don't make the mistake I made, the rock star's life is sad. We're living on a tour bus, this is... pretty bad.” est bidonant !... mais c'est aussi celui qu'on entend avec un pincement au coeur :(
Elle a mentionné cette intervention dans une interview récente :
“(...) I do like to act, but it's more likely you'll find me behind the scenes."
Lee has appeared in front of the cameras again since filming "Everybody's Fool," although she's not quite sure how she feels about it.
"My little brother is 10 and of course he loves Cartoon Network, and it's my favorite channel. So I went to the Cartoon Network and did an interview with a puppet and I wrote a cheesy song on the guitar about Cartoon Network and how much I love and miss it on tour, and it was really stupid," Lee recalled, smiling at the memory. "I kind of regret it, but not really. My little brother had a blast. And we got all kinds of free toys and stuff, too."
The Cartoon Network was hardly a stretch for Lee after "Everybody's Fool," in which she dresses up for various commercials, including donning a pink wig for one in Japanese (...)”
( : Evanescence's Amy Lee Hopes To Get Into Film, Rages Against Cheesy Female Idols)
Tel que c'est dit, je trouve qu'on comprend mal si le “I kind of regret it” fait référence à son intervention sur Cartoon Network ou au fait qu'elle regrette l'époque de son enfance où elle était assise devant la télé.
Toutes les interventions d'Amy Lee sur Cartoon Network se trouve sur le site du fan club italien (je n'ai mis que la chanson, mais y'a également plusieurs petits sketches à zieuter).
Enfin bon... Amy a un bel avenir en tant que Chantal Goya internationale, si ça carrière de goth-star ne marche pas comme prévue.

Posted by Jean-Philippe on July 04, 2004 47 Comments, 244 TrackBacks

May 30, 2004

Evanescence endorsements

The master, Ben Moody: Line 6 Spider II amp.

Rocky Gray: Sabian cymbals (setup) & Tama drums (japanese interview and advertisement)

Terry Balsamo: Ibanez RG Prestige electric guitar (advertisement)

John LeCompt: ESP Guitars (interview)

My comment: ESP guitars are for “bourinos-bourikitos” lol: Richard Z of Rammstein, Devin Townsend of Strapping Young Lad, Kirk Hammett and James Hetfield of Metallica, etc. But I do not like their colors and designs, too agressive for me...

Posted by Jean-Philippe on May 30, 2004 44 Comments, 163 TrackBacks

May 27, 2004

Un jour certaines s'en rendront compte

Ou alors, y'en a des plus lucides que d'autres...

I took their smiles and I made them mine.
I sold my soul just to hide the light.
And now I see what I really am,
A thief a whore, and a liar.

I run to you,
Call out your name,
I see you there, farther away.

I'm numb to you - numb and deaf and blind.
You give me all but the reason why.
I reach but I feel only air at night.
Not you, not love, just nothing.

I run to you,
Call out your name,
I see you there, farther away.

Try to forget you,
But without you I feel nothing.
Don't leave me here, by myself.
I can't breathe.

I run to you,
Call out your name,
I see you there, farther away.

I run to you,
Call out your name,
I see you there, farther away,
Farther away,
Farther away,
Farther away,
Farther away,
Farther away.

(Evanescence, Farther Away)

Posted by Jean-Philippe on May 27, 2004 45 Comments, 443 TrackBacks

Finalement... trop de détours :-(

End of the story:をご利用いただき、ありがとうございます。


Evanescence (アーティスト) "Bring Me to Life [Germany CD]




English: When we contacted our supplier we learned that the above item is
no longer available. This unavailable item has been cancelled from your
order and you have not been charged for it. We apologize for this


Posted by Jean-Philippe on May 27, 2004 5 Comments, 358 TrackBacks

May 21, 2004

This is where she lies...

... cos nobody's home.
This far phantom
among deep darkness,
yeah, maybe he's the only echo from the past
not to be one of these disappearing illusions,
... cos I wasn't a vanishing dream.
Let's start a vacuum cleaning of wholeness.

Posted by Jean-Philippe on May 21, 2004 15 Comments, 4880 TrackBacks

April 10, 2004

Thoughts about Evanescence and other bands

Let's start with two interviews of Amy Lee from Evanescence (via New (Old) Ev Articles *UPDATED*).
The Point Web-Only Interview: Amy Lee of Evanescence Interview by Adron Buske Transcribed by Amanda Rodgers: very interesting, with a good question about Lies (from the album Origin, one of my preferred song from Evanescence) and the appearance on vocals of Bruce Fitzhugh (the vocalist of Living Sacrifice): Do you think the dual vocal thing was inspired by the duet on your earlier EP, Origin, with Bruce Fitzhugh, the vocalist from Living Sacrifice?
Amy: See, this is the thing, we don't consider Origin a real CD. It's really funny. We made it look like a CD and we were really only using it as a demo to show to record labels. That was before we had a record deal. Then we were like, "Well, if we're doing all these songs…" These were all recorded in our apartment. We put them on the CD and made them look like a CD and now people think it's the 'early works of Evanescence.' I was so mad about that, I'm really so much more proud of our newer stuff. I mean, it's stuff that's good, but it's nothing like our new stuff. We've really grown as a band and even some of the songs on Origin are the same songs on Fallen, but were just done right, now that we have the money to or the backing from the label. We had Bruce Fitzhugh, from Living Sacrifice, come in and do a guest vocal on the song called "Lies" (on Origin), which is really cool; he's a friend of ours. We're friends with the band Living Sacrifice. Rocky Gray, our drummer, played guitar for Living Sacrifice. That was when I was in high school. Gosh, that was so long ago. It was all experimental back then.

And a candid interview: A Whisper and A Breath From Evanescence by Tim Cashmere.
What upset me is this story of front-woman, maybe one of the many reasons why Ben left the band. Amy is not Evanescence. Even if Ben and Amy were always doing interviews together after or before live shows, Amy began to do things alone more and more (in the press for example), or Ben was throwed with the rest of the band. Yes, Amy is a great vocalist, but Ben is a maestro with his own style. Just listen to the two now-splitted-Evanescence songs on The Punisher: The Album: Seether featuring Amy Lee: Broken, and Ben Moody featuring Jason Miller & Jason "Gong" Jones: The End Has Come. This last one is in the spirit of Evanescence, just without Amy Lee (and you can imagine what it would have been with Amy, that's sad...). When I read:
TC: Let's talk about the cover, how do you feel about being the focal point of the cover?
AL: Well I'm the lead singer, so it's kind of to be expected. Honestly, even I'm guilty of this, when you see a band, be it their video or live or whatever, you remember the lead singer. It's a lot easier to remember one face rather than four or five. It's just part of the job, I don't mind it. Ben minds it sometimes, he gets upset, but he'll live.
I get very angry, cos if she would have wanted to be a part of the band, she could have made it. Look at Dream Theater, they are ONE band: each individual in the band is a very talented musician with his own personnality, you do not have James LaBrie on a cover. There was even fans thinking that "Evanescence" was the real name of Amy Lee! That's really bad that composers cannot be recognized for what they are... So I can completely understand the point of view of Ben in the Evanescence: The Split interview on (this article is a must read, I will write another entry about it in the future), and I cannot accept little sentence from Amy like “Ben leaving was a very good moment. We got to the point where the band was really unhealthy.” (from the article Survivor in Blender - the ultimate music magazine – the title of the article is really stupid, and the photos are obviously not the best ever made, Amy seems to have chicken legs lol). Clearly, when we watch interviews of the band, Ben was always with the rest of the band, and the guys seemed to have fun together; so now when I read John LeCompt saying that Amy is true, it sounds really strange to me (and I respect the other band members, I am very respectful of someone like Rocky Gray who can play guitar, bass and battery at this level... hum smashing Sabian cymbal like one of my idol, Mike Portnoy). I remember a time when Amy was saying that Evanescence was her and Ben, the other being considered as musicians interpreting their music; now she says that they feel like a band... what a change!
To conclude this rant, I must confess I am troubled by what will be the next album. Fallen was a very good album, but too close from a concept album, too consistent, maybe too engineered/produced. I think I prefer Origin, which is more experimental, harder sometimes (Lies) but also with impressive ballads (Anywhere), even in Lavigne's pop-rock style (Where will you go) and the wonderfull Even in death. Without maestro Moody, the essence of Evanescence is gone, we have great performers with an unbelievable singer who can write haunted lyrics. My fear goes on an over-produced album... I hope it won't happen.
You can read one interesting point of view about Fallen in Fallen, by Evanescence by David Martin and follow the thread entitled Origin.. Greater album than fallen? on EvBoard.

New series of cool websites about Evanescence:

And to finish, I must take the time to mention two great bands with girls as front-women which I discovered wandering the web: Eva (USA) and Die Happy (Germany). The first one is an electric evolution of an acoustic band, and the second is an empowered melodic metal band. And if you want to know what's happening in Little Rock, you can take a look at a new band from Evanescence's city: Between The Second.

Posted by Jean-Philippe on April 10, 2004 15 Comments, 1003 TrackBacks

March 27, 2004

From goth to goth

Tonight and yesterday's night, I dreamed of Evanescence.
The first dream was about Amy Lee. I was doing a personal interview of this drama queen in her house, asking her about many things: the life, music and the rest. All was very good until my question about the way Ben and her were used to compose music (who wrote what?) and when I asked about the departure of David Hodges and Ben Moody (I do not know who left the first). I saw a little white and pink piano... and today I found this sad story about Amy's brother (photos 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6). She had a very sad childhood, it seems to be (I was very sad today learning a bit of her family story), but I think she is actually a millionaire, so why are their parents obliged to sell her piano for only US $6,600.00 (auction on e-bay), that's fewer than what I earned in one year for my book, so she, with a multi-platinum album!!! Hum... misunderstanding... maybe...
The second was about the arrest of Ben Moody for drug traffic lol. I was playing a very stupid friend.
Well. All these facts are going to make me feel obviously strange. First: serendipidy (the piano) is crawling into my nights... that's terrific! Second, I listen too much to Evanescence. When composing, if I start to write something with choirs, strings and all the orchestra (in Orff's style), when I need electric guitars, I fall into Whisper... that's not good for my creativity... Let's find something original for our masterpiece ;)

Posted by Jean-Philippe on March 27, 2004 32 Comments, 299 TrackBacks

March 05, 2004

Que de détours!

Tonight I ordered the german version of the MAXI single Bring Me To Life from Evanescence, which contains the title Missing (I only own the Enhanced MAXI single with Farther Away and the video of BMTL).
BUT I ordered it on (Japan), it's a product coming from Germany via the USA!
I hope that Amazon really has this disc somewhere...

Posted by Jean-Philippe on March 05, 2004 12 Comments, 406 TrackBacks

February 23, 2004

Moody strikes back

A few weeks ago, Ben Moody opened his own website: just a few news for the moment, but this guy seems to have many projects in his pocket: musical projects and... movies projects! More on's Artist Main: Evanescence: Ben Moody Bringing Kelly Clarkson's Music To Life. We can learn there that he is still working with David Hodges (in studio, Evanescence are Amy Lee + Ben Moody + David Hodges); this fact is interesting: will David Hodges continue to work with the new Evanescence, or will he go to work with Moody (or both...)? In an interview following the Rock Am Ring 2003 show of Evanescence, Amy Lee said that she is a bit tired of touring and want to go back to write music; on the contrary Moody loves to perform live (and in fact he is a very good live guitare player, better than in studio I think). So my question for the moment is: who was writing music for Evanescence?
Nevermind, Evanescence won 2 Grammy's, and this ceremony was a moment of peace around the band: Amy, Ben and David were all there (more on Ben's website: Evanescence won 2 Grammy's).

Other cool Evanescence websites to explore:

Posted by Jean-Philippe on February 23, 2004 25 Comments, 340 TrackBacks

January 21, 2004

Troubles around Evanescence

As all of you know, I am a big fan of Evanescence, not because they are “in the move” but because of their originality (ah... yes, and I was happy to read here someone linking Evanescence to Enya, whose music was introduced to me by my brother, but that's another story). Undoubtly it could change very fast: after their first album, Fallen, I need more, and... *further* (the classical side would be cool).
Indeed all is not going in the good way: in late october, Ben Moody left the band; Ben was Evanescence's co-founder (composer and lead guitarist) with Amy Lee (composer, vocals and piano). Well, Ben (aka “the void”) is not the best guitarist in the world, but it seems to be a very good composer, I mean someone able to glue many influences in songs. A love affair could have been the origin of this departure: there is a rumor about a persistent love relationship (frozen or not...) between Ben and Amy (unfounded?). Ben might not have accepted the new relationship between Amy and Shaun Morgan from Seether (well, I doubt that this guy is the best choice), band which toured with Evanescence (more here, here and here, the second link from Metal Underground . com saying that Amy could sing on next Seether's album, the third talking again of the rumor between Ben and Amy).
In mid november, at the 2003 American Music Awards, Evanescence made their first appearance without Ben, being replaced by Cold's guitarist Terry Balsamo (at the beginning of this affair John LeCompt, the second guitarist, was handling front guitar):
Evanescence gave their first American performance since founding member and guitarist Ben Moody unexpectedly took leave from the group during its recent European tour (...). Dressed in a colorful poodle skirt, black tank top and sporting flower-shaped tattoos on her forehead and neck, singer Amy Lee led the band through a powerful rendition of "Going Under." During the pre-show, when asked what super power she'd like to have, Lee joked about wanting Wonder Woman's Lasso of Truth because, she said pointedly, she just wants "people to be honest."
You can find photos of Evanescence performing at this ceremony here, on the wonderful Evanescence: Fallen Creatures website.
Evanescence and Cold met on stage but feelings may not be at the top between the two bands (at least between Amy and Scooter, the Cold's singer).
Nevertheless, after having postponed many shows cos of the brutal departure of Ben, the new line-up-ed band seems to be going... on.
On Moody's side, the news are even more surprizing: according to, he “volunteered his talents” to Avril Lavigne's staff. He joinded the team of songwriters for her second album, and he might touring with her... or not, according to Yahoo's Launch:
Meanwhile, former guitarist Ben Moody is reportedly working with Avril Lavigne "on a track or two" for Avril's upcoming album, according to a posting on the Avril fan site, Unconfirmed reports suggest Moody may also join Avril's touring band.
On Amy's side, Wes Borland (ex-Limp Bizkit) could write songs for Evanescence:
Borland said he is also in talks with Evanescence about producing some tracks for their next LP. "I would like to give it some of that old-world vibe so it sounds like a band of gypsies," Borland said. "I want to give more depth and richness to the guitars, but at the same time make them not as processed and more organic."

If you have time, watch the wonderful video clip of My Immortal, filmed in the gothic quarter of Barcelona, Spain. You can also take a look at the making-of (Behin the Scenes).

For more informations, see [exodus]Evanescence or

Posted by Jean-Philippe on January 21, 2004 36 Comments, 268 TrackBacks

January 17, 2004

An extended year in review: music

For those of you who know me for a long time, you know that music has always had a big place in my creative works (until 1998...). Now, with less time, it remains my principal “cultural” activity. I spent many years in a city-wide music conservatory, studying solfege, rythm (I played percussions, xylophon and metalophon). After a few years, I started learning flute, and some years after, recorder. I only regret that I did not spend enough time developping my musical knowledge and doing exercices (and learning piano – I own however a YAMAHA PSR-410 electronic keyboard very useful to compose – or guitar). But I loved composing music in my spare time, that was very entertaining moments.
At this time I met many cool people who are now very good friends (for those I still see): Pierre-Jean who played (and still plays) guitar and composed (and still composes) music (and his brother Mathias who played violin, and who plays drums now), Mélanie who played piano and flute, Nathalie who played piano and cello (and who was singing with Oriane), Stéphane who played piano and composed (and who went to university to study musicology). I mainly composed music with Pierre-Jean, but we tried to do something with Stéphane. Pierre-Jean and I wrote a little title for two flutes and guitar which was interpreted by him, me and Mélanie (and played for an examination in 1996 in a very extended version by me and Pierre-Jean), Pierre-Jean who founded a band where Nathalie (and Oriane) sung, and where his brother played; well, I have now problems to watch all Pierre-Jean's musical activities...
As I said in a previous entry, I plan to record these creative works. There are SouvImage (15 minutes long, but there are two versions, cos I lost a big part of the songs after a disk crash, so I rewrote many parts of these creations, which sound quite different), a small musical background music project for a game, and some experiments for another dead project: Light versus Shadow. I will remix and record these scores as they sound at this time, with my old soundcards. There are very poorly composed scores, but I love them, there were my first notes put on a sheet. However we plan to go to studio with Pierre-Jean to record with real instruments the extended version of SouvImage: Part 1 (the original extended acoustic version with acoustic guitar, recorder and flute), and maybe another new metal version. ;-)
That conducts me to another point. When I was learning music, I listened only to Jean-Michel Jarre, Vangelis, and Starinc (the “Synthetizer Greatest” series). I started listening to Queen in 1993, who was my very first real experience with rock. I worked for the 1996 baccalauréat listening to Dream Theater's A Change Of Seasons and The Prodigy's The fat of the land (including the insane and psycho track Breathe), but they were exceptions to my glam rock period.
Undoubtedly my musical influences are now so large that all I could actually write will be very different from what I wrote in these past times. And we have now new incredible tools like digi-sequencer software which we can write very impressive title at home with. Yes, I will restart to play flute and recorder, these are my primary front/lead instruments, but I want also to learn bass-guitar (I love YAMAHA's bass guitars, and take a look at YAMAHA's new MagicStomp muti-effets) to play and write metal music. I will see what it will produce. Maybe it could be very crapy, but it might be the start for some strange experiment.

Well, but that wasn't my purpose. I wanted to talk here about what I listened to this year! The major change/opportunity came from the buying of a DENON Micro Component System (D-M50 system with a DRR-M30 cassette deck). This system do nothing but the sound, only the sound. Tha's why we must buy audio system, isn't it?
I will start this list by the sequel of my likes.

I love motion picture soundtracks (well, scores in fact – good website here and very good here): John Williams naturally (take a look at this excellent website: John Williams Fan Network), but Elliot Goldenthal and Danny Elfman too (those two last being far darker), the poetic Joe Hisaishi, Howard Shore, Michael Kamen (passed away last year), Hans Zimmer, James Horner, Ennio Morricone, etc. I am trying to get as many John Williams soundtracks as I can, but sometimes I give other maestros their chance... This year:

  • Midway (1976) – Original motion picture score. Music composed by John Williams, music conducted by Rick Wentworth, performed by The Royal Scottish National Orchestra (1998, Varèse Sarabande Film Classics)

  • E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial – The 20th Anniversary (1982/2002) – Original motion picture soundtrack. Music composed and conducted by John Williams (2002, MCA Records)

  • The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing (1973) – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. Music Composed and conducted by John Williams, music from the unused score composed by Michel Legrand (2002, Film Score Silver Age Classics) [This pressing is limited to 3,000 copies]

  • The Fury (1978) – The Deluxe Edition (2CD). Music composed and conducted by John Williams, performed by The London Symphony Orchestra (2002, Varèse Sarabande) [Limited Collector's Edition of 3000 copies]

  • Home Alone 2 – Lost In New York (1992) – The Deluxe Edition (2CD). Music composed and conducted by John Williams (2002, Varèse Sarabande) [Limited Collector's Edition of 3000 copies]

  • The Indiana Jones Trilogy (1981, 1984, 1989). Music composed by John Williams, The City of Prague Philharmonie Orchestra & Chorus conducted by Nic Raine (2002, Silva Screen Records)

  • Minority Report (2002) – Original motion picture score. Music composed and conducted by John Williams (2002, DreamWorks Records);

  • Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets (2002) – Music from and inspired by the motion picture. Music composed by John Williams, music adapted and conducted by William Ross, performed by The London Symphony Orchestra and London Voices (2002, Warner Sunset / Atlantic Records) [with limited edition CD-ROM]

  • Catch me if you can (2002) – Music from the motion picture. Music composed and conducted by John Williams (2002, DreamWorks Records)

  • The Batman TrilogyBatman (Danny Elfman) . Batman Returns (Danny Elfman) . Batman Forever (Elliot Goldenthal). Music conducted by Joel McNeely, performed by The Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Chorus (1997, Varèse Sarabande Records)

  • Ennio Morricone – Film Music – Music for Piano – Chamber Music – Symphonic Music (2002, Milan Music) [4 CD BOX + 28 Pages Booklet]

What to say? Midway sounds good, sometimes like The Patriot (military music lol). It strange to hear The Fury: John Williams in a horror movie; but we can found premisses of scores like Minority Report in this one (the soundtrack of Minority Report is A.I., only better, and the most important: without Lara Fabian! Well it's a bit rough...).
E.T. and the second opus of Harry Potter are pure John William's music. Home Alone 2 is joyful and you can found very beautiful christmas songs on the soundtrack. The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing is a really impressive western score. The Indiana Jones Trilogy is a must have (we are really waiting for the complete soundtracks release someday). Catch me if you can is sometimes a bit too jazzy for me, but I need to listen to it a bit more... The Batman Trilogy is another dark must have! Really. This soundtrack is very deep, dark and profound (Birth of a penguin or Selina Transforms for example, in Batman returns by Danny Elfman are so beautiful...). For Ennio Morricone: I listened to the discs only one or two times, I can say nothing for the moment.

Classical interlude. I bought «à la Fnac», mainly by Deutsche Grammophon or Decca Classics: Schuman – Piano Works interpreted by Wilhelm Kempf, Orf's Carmina Burana (Eugen Jochum), Mozart's Musique Maçonnique (István Kertész), Mozart's Requiem (Hervert bon Karajan), Haydn's Messe de Sainte Cecile (Jochum) with Mozart's Messe "Du couronnement" (Fricsay), Mozart's Grande Messe en ut mineur (Fricsay). All come from Deutsche Gramophon, except Mozart's Musique Maçonnique from Decca, but in the «100 classiques» collection where you can find title from Deutsche Grammophon (globalization: these two brands are owned by Universal Classics). Yes, I try to go on with my classical musical knowledge... I have to learn, a lot.

After that, I will do a little travel through France. I listen less and less to french music. Only one reason: french music is in a very bad creative state (we have hopefully bands like Matmatah). That's all. I buy a bit of music from french artists, but I do not listen to them very often, and sometimes it's more to ask me: what are them becoming? Among them we find Pascal Obispo: my father (and the rest of my familly, but he found the disc) offered me the live 98 (1998) for my last birthday; but Obispo is beginning to write always the same thing, so I am a bit afraid of what will come with the next double album... and the lyrics are going dumb and dumber. But the new comer is here: Calogero, a friend of Obispo. After his latest album (see this entry), I bought his first one, Au milieu des autres (2000). I like this guy and he his a bass player, so we can hear songs with good (melodic) bass lines.
In the set of those who are beginning to be less productive, we find Yann Tiersen. His last live performance, C'était ici (2002, édition limitée) was good, but his last creative work, 3 titres inédits au profit de la FIDH (2003) is really cheap, but really bad too (what the hell did he put this noisy electric guitar?).

I think it was the previous year, but I continue to buy
Queen's discography and solo projects. The latest purchases were Live at Wembley'86 (1992) and Live magic (1986). I was really very impressed by The Queen Symphony (2002) composed and conducted by Tolga Kashif, performed by The Royal Philarmonic Orchestra (London): this is not a classical interpretation of Queen's music, it's really a symphony built upon Queen's most known musical themes and patterns; I love the dark part in the first movement (Adagio misterioso – Allegro con brio – Maestoso – Misterioso – Allegro). Many people do not know that in the beginning, there was three singers in Queen: Freddy Mercury, Roger Taylor and Brian May. And I appreciate Roger Taylor's rock voice. I had all solo album from this guy, but not the second: Strange Frontier (1984, digital remaster 1996). I got it! Some people said Taylor is the new John Lennon, so it's sad he is not “in the move”: he is a complete instruments player (drums and percussions, guitar, bass guitar, keyboard) and his lyrics are very engaged.

Pierre-Jean, you can say I continue to listen to « rock à minettes », but yes, I bought two new albums from Bon Jovi. And no, Bon Jovi is not only for girls. They are far from their Hair-Metal period, but you can laugh at me on they Arena-Rock style, still present. It's good Pop-Metal with a bluesy side, sometimes sentimental, sure, but sometimes funny (Captain Crash and the Beauty Queen from Mars on the album Crush). So I bought Bounce (2002) with the very powerfull Undivided (post-september 11, 2001) and the semi-acoustic This left feels right (2003) with an incredible acoustic performance on the DVD in the limited edition: Richie Sambora is really a guitar player with an impressive feeling! I love also the new acoustic version of It's my life.

To make a link with the past, I bought In time 1988 - 2003 – The best of R.E.M. [special edition, with rarities and B-sides] (2003). I won't say anything, cos I listen to it only two times I think... But R.E.M. was (is?) a cool band.
For my birthday, my father found G – or Garbage (2003, re-release) from Garbage. I love this band, a brilliant Alternative-Dance/Pop-Rock formation, using an incredible sophistication in samples. I am really waiting their next album release.

What else? Brit-Pop. I am a big fan of britpop. Here in France we have almost nothing. And there, beyond the sea, they have britpop... How can it be possible? I got Hail to the Thief [Special edition] (2003) from Radiohead, always experimental... And Absolution [Limited Edition] (2003) from Muse, my favourite alternative pop-rock band in the world, or: when Rachmaninov music meets grunge rock; the DVD from the limited edition is, well, very strange, but it's a good place to watch how they have built this new album (it seems to have been very funny: for example the recording of the feet march at night, to create the Intro...).
I listen to Placebo for a moment in MP3, but never bought a CD (and I really do not like to listen to things I did not pay for, or only for boolegs or songs you can no more found). I got Sleeping With Ghosts [Special Edition] (2003) with “10 cover versions”: these covers are among the best performances from Placebo. I bought too the pack containing Placebo (1996) and Black Market Music (2000). I did not purchase Without you I'm nothing (1998) for the moment (my prefered album) wich contains the introductory song of the soundtrack from Sexe intentions (I love Les liaisons dangereuses du marquis de Sade).

This year I began to buy J-Pop in... Japan, starting with my favourite band, the french named L'Arc-en-Ciel. They released a best of in three parts (I talked about that story here): The Best of L'Arc-en-Ciel 1994-1998 (2003), The Best of L'Arc-en-Ciel 1998-2000 (2003), The Best of L'Arc-en-Ciel c/w (2003). Hyde is a unbelievable singer (and musician) and Testu an incredible bass player (bass players have nowadays very poor musical basis... so it's always a great pleasure to hear so melodic players). For the first two best-of, I was able to get the special edition with a DVD, so I had the opportunity to see the beautiful Hyde with a dress and compensated boots...

With the soundtracks from La Sirène Rouge, I discovered Rammstein (well, I knew them, having made eight years of german...). This industrial-metal band has lyrics (well, you are responsable of your interpretation of the meaning) and a powerful music. Moreover they are very strong to provide incredible live performances (see the gothic Live aus Berlin). I first purchased Mutter (2001), after Sehnsucht [Australian tour edition with Stripped from Depeche Mode and a bonus CD with one title from the first album and five live songs] (1997), and Herzeleid (1995). I love. that's all. Great music to code fast and be punchy all the day. So for the moment we have : France is dead, but U.K. and Germany have good performers... you will see later that Europe has other good creative bands.

But I really love ;-) Evanescence, with a first “debut” album Fallen (2003). Well. post-grunge, alternative-metal... okay. chamber-pop? yes, clear. goth-metal? sure. Songs formated for the radio. No need for radio-edit versions. But Evanescence, this is a voice and lyrics: Amy Lee.
I bought the first album and the two EP, Bring Me To Life and Going Under, waiting for the new ones (the two My Immortal EP) and the new album (but things have changed... more to come in another entry about the band).

I found in MP3: Evanescence EP (1998) (on the left), Whisper EP (1999) and Sound Asleep EP (1999), Origin (2000) (on the right) and all their first demos (Demos 1997-1998 and Demos 2001-2002). In fact this is not really a debut album as we can see...

Before finishing with what I am listening now, I will dive into the “Dream Theater galaxy”. I am becoming what we can called a die hard fan of DT... a Progressive-Metal band, but the more complexe Prog-Metal in the world... I began to buy the lives I didn't own: Live at the Marquee (1993), Once in a LIVEtime (1998) and the impressive three hours masterpiece Live Scenes From New-York (2001). After buying their latest album, Train of Thought (subtly Metallica inspired, whose shadow is flying over this dark album), I was CHOCKED (well, I was a bit prepared by their two precedent albums: Metropolis Part.2: Scenes From A Memory and Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence). Yes. Genius. WHO in the world can play THAT? John Petrucci is at his best, Mike «patator» Portnoy splashes his cymbals, John Myung pulses, James LaBrie modulates and Jordan Rudess... does his job (well, I prefer his perfomances on “sfam” and “6doit”), but what a job! This week I bought the EP from Scenes From A Memory, Through her eyes [Japan Import] (1999), known sometimes as Lives and remixes.

With Portnoy's side projects, I discovered Transatlantic, a progressive-rock band. I bought Live In Europe [Limited Edition – Double DVD & Double CD] (2003), a very cool show. You know, it sounds like a band of friends. I continuated with The Transatlantic Demos (2003) from Nearl Morse and Archive Series: SMPT:e As Mixed By Roine Stolt 1999 (2003) from Transatlantic. I got Neal Morse's Testimony [special edition, limited edition box set with a third CD] (2003) whose Portnoy did the drums. Another good choice was One Night in New York City by Yellow Matter Custard, a tribute band to the Beattles with Mike “Ringo” Portnoy and Neal Morse. I like Transatlantic, it's good ProgRock, and Neal Morse's demos are very cool to understand the creative process in this kind of bands (you know: it sounds like a “I take my digital recorder everywhere with me, who knows where the muses will talk to me?” And Mike Portnoy is a god. You will never hear drums the same way after seeing or listening to him. I was a big fan of Roger Taylor, a great rock drummer, but Portnoy is a god. The god of patators. He must have four feet and twelve hands... For the last album of Neal Morse: I listened to him only one time, and I think there wasn't enough good material for a triple album.

Portnoy also played drums on John Arch's A Twist of Fate (2003) but I listened to this mini album only one time... We have too Office of Strategic Influence [limited edition] (2003) by the supergroup OSI (with Mike Portnoy, always him, and the ex-Dream Theater Kevin Moore on keyboards and.... vocals). Pure Pink Floyd, a great flying moment.

If you love Dream Theater for their “how can they play that?” side, you will love the almost-DT band but supergroup Liquid Tension Experiment, with John Petrucci, Mike Portnoy, Jordan Rudess and Tony Levin at Bass (very different style from Myung). There are two incredible-must-have-jazzy-rock albums: Liquid Tension Experiment (1998) and Liquid Tension Experiment 2 (1999).

On Jordan Rudess's side: the Rudess Morgenstein Project (1997) and Rudess Morgenstein Project – The Official Bootleg (?) by the Rudess/Morgentein Project. The keys of Dream Theater meets a great drummer. That's a bit for the big fans, but that is pleasant and virtuose music (the bootleg contains very cool live performances). I got also Listen (1993) and Feeding the Wheel (2001) but I did not have time to listen to these two discs.

For James LaBrie (on vocals), we have frameshift – unweaving the rainbow (2003) with lyrics based on ideas from the socio-biologist Richard Dawkins. And also his two solo projects, Mullmuzzler (1999) and Mullmuzzler 2 (2001) which show us again that he has got not only one the most complete metal voice, but a voice for all styles of music. Another must have is Leonardo – the absolute man – Original Cast Recording (2001), a ProgMetal opera about the life of Leonardo da Vinci from Trent Gardner (with his trombone lol... yes, metal music with a trombone)! Really A MUST HAVE, even for those who do not like metal (a kind of metal Tycoon, the english version of Starmania from Michel Berger). I love the duet This time, this way between Leonardo (James Labrie) and Mona Lisa (Lisa Bouchelle).

And I am now listening to Luca Turilli's King Of The Nordic Twilight (1999) and Prophet Of The Last Eclipse [Limited Edition] (2002), solo projects of the guitar player, composer and writer from Rhapsody (with Olaf Hayer to vocals). This guy is italian and live in France. When progressive-metal mixed with a bit of industrial metal (mainly speed/power metal) meets european classical musics crossed with fantasy metal! That is actually very impressive, maestro Turilli is a great artist, very complete. The melodic lines are entertwined e, you can hear big heavy metal guitars talking to pan flute, recorders, harpsichord, accordion, strings, brasses, etc. I am now a big fan of this kind of music mixing completely different instruments and styles. The limited edition of the second album comes with bonus tracks and a version of Demonheart sung by Andre Matos from Angra (and you know what: very cool!). Well, and this paragraph ends my rant about music in Europe: Italy produces good things!

That's ALL (I think). I listed only albums I own. I listen to other things (yep yep). I was also very short describing these albums, but I will make more complete and detailed reviews of them this year.

What can you expect from me this year? I will certainly continue to explore the Dream Theater galaxy (bootlegs, rarities, clinics and side projects). I plan to get all the album of L'Arc~En~Ciel, Rhapsody and Symphony X. I need to purchase the Japan albums from Muse (and I am waiting for the release of their second MAXI boxset).

And thanks to Russell Beattie, I discovered The Flaming Lisps, a very strange alternative/experimental-rock band; I will try to get a compilation and the two latest albums and some recent EP; take time to watch their website, it is very complete (discography for example), and you can listen to many tracks from the latest albums.

However I need to ingest all these influences, and it will take time. I have really many ideas, but you know; between what you think and what you can do, there is a gap... and music composition takes time...

The end of my musical digest, next time it will be about movies!

Posted by Jean-Philippe on January 17, 2004 39 Comments, 5079 TrackBacks

September 24, 2003

This guy does not have ears

This guy is: Johnny Loftus on Windows Media Player powered by "AMG" – take a look at the excellent "AMG All Music Guide").

Fallen, the “debut” album from Evanescence is good from the beginning to the end, and I cannot say that from Linkin Park's albums (maybe only 4 really good songs per album).
Evanescence is not linked with Type O Negative, I do not see where this guy see that. And in fact, Evanescence is (in many aspects) far more gothic than Type O Negative (if you want real gothic industrial metal, take a look at Rammstein...). Must I note that the lead singer of Evanescence, Amy Lee, she knows how to sing and write melodies...
Moreover, the link with Tori Amos is not so easy to make... the voice and style are really different. Note: Amy's mascara is really lovely ;-)
And finally I really do not see where he is hearing these “piano-driven ballads” on half of this album, cos only My Immortal and Hello are piano-driven (and Hello is really beautiful, more in the spirit of 1997-1998 first demos of the band).
But... I am sorry to confess that Paul McCoy could be a really wonderful lead singer with a better band, with more melodies, cos the first album from 12 Stones is not really good (from my point of view).

So only one advice: judge by yourself! But personally, I love Evanescence (Amy Lee is really a marvellous singer) and I hope they will improve their gothic symphonic aspect, with this nu-metal dark side.

Posted by Jean-Philippe on September 24, 2003 26 Comments, 1222 TrackBacks

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