The moment is finally here: Amy Lee has just released her first solo album, Aftermath. The music was written for and inspired by the independent film, War Story, and as such, it is quite the departure from Amy’s work with Evanescence. This record shows another side of Amy – a side that isn’t afraid to experiment with electronic music, dance, and Arabic vocals.
Aftermath begins with the fun and upbeat “Push The Button.” It has a bit of an electronic feel, and is very beat heavy and percussive. Amy sings mesmerizing “ooh”s between lines, declares “Yes, I am the hunter,” and dares you to “push the button.” It’s different from what Amy usually does, but this is an intriguing start to her solo debut.
The next two tracks are brief instrumental pieces, highlighting Dave Eggar’s cello. “White Out” is foreboding, while “Remember To Breathe” is more ominous and sinister, sliced by sharp strings that sound like screams. The song blends into the next track, an Arabic sounding song called “Dark Water.” It’s exotic and dark, but still enjoyable and upbeat. It features vocals sung in Arabic by Malika Zarra.
Two more instrumentals follow. “Between Worlds” has a drifting, haunting cello that paints a mood and tells a story. It’s beautiful, yet ominous – a recurring theme in this album so far. “Drifter” is led by a simple, delicate piano. It sounds like a dollhouse, but less innocent and light. It bleeds right into “Can’t Stop What’s Coming,” with the same simple piano continuing, but with added drum beats and vocals. This is the second song so far to feature any vocals by Amy. “Drifter” could be seen as a prelude to “Can’t Stop What’s Coming.” Next is “Voice In My Head,” another instrumental track featuring piano and cello. It has a slow start, but builds up about halfway through.
“Lockdown” is the longest track on the album, and the third to be led by vocals from Amy Lee. The song sounds different at first, with synth sounds and a pulsing drum beat. The song is calm on the surface, but with an undercurrent of energy just waiting to be unleashed. A few times, Amy’s signature powerhouse vocals explode into the song, contrasting with her otherwise controlled and soft verses. “Lockdown” sounds the most like Evanescence, especially around 4 minutes in when Amy’s belting kicks in. And is that a guitar at the end? “Lockdown” is an interesting song, and perhaps the most appealing to curious Evanescence fans.
The album ends with “After.” The title is fitting – the song is slow and sounds like loss. It is the aftermath of turmoil, the bittersweet ending after a long battle. It’s the perfect album closer.
Overall, Aftermath is an intriguing debut from Amy Lee. It’s certainly no Evanescence record, but Amy still has a clear influence over the music that brings some continuity between her band and her solo endeavor. The music is different, but the moods are familiar. Aftermath is an impressive album, and it will be exciting to hear more from Amy Lee, whether it is solo or with the rest of her band.
You can buy Aftermath on iTunes now.