Review: Evanescence’s ‘Fallen’ Deluxe Edition Bridges the Past and Present

Listening to the deluxe edition of Evanescence‘s blockbuster 2003 album Fallen is like a walk back through time. In honor of the album’s 20th anniversary, the band is doing a series of celebratory releases. On Friday (November 17), a deluxe edition featuring all original 12 tracks which are accompanied by nearly as many B-sides, unreleased songs, and demo recordings remastered by the original engineer, Ted Jensen.

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“I wanted to make something that was worth having,” Lee tells American Songwriter in the November and December 2023 issue about the 20th anniversary edition. “I’ve always taken a bit of a stand against selling our fans the same thing twice. I don’t like redoing something unless you’re really going to give them something that they don’t already have. We’ve been working on stuff that I think is really beautiful and special.”

Lee’s voice is as spectacular as you remember it, while the melodies and lyrics are as dramatic and moody as ever. The diamond-certified album is defined by blistering electric guitar riffs and electrifying instrumentation that showcase the band’s distinct blend of rock and pop. Fan-favorite tracks “Bring Me to Life” and “My Immortal” get multiple treatments on the deluxe edition, including an unheard version of the latter track that replaces the band breakdown with a beautiful orchestra, adding a peaceful element to the song’s dark nature that makes it a standout on the new edition.

[RELATED: Watch: Olivia Minogue Gives Eerie Performance of Evanescence’s “Bring Me To Life” on ‘The Voice’]

Bring Me to Life” also takes on numerous identities. First up is the radio hit featuring guest vocals from Paul McCoy, followed by the official demo that features a more prominent guitar presence and replaces McCoy’s verse with a wailing electric guitar solo. They also pulled the audio from the band’s AOL Session in April 2003 that strips back all the hardcore sounds and instead utilizes an acoustic guitar, making it feel like an entirely new song. However, Lee’s voice is just as strong on the acoustic version as it is on the original. The same is true for “Going Under,” which also gets an acoustic makeover from a 2003 live session, with Lee’s delivery just as dark and dramatic as the original version.

The previously unreleased songs and B-sides are a bit quieter than the original tracks. For example, the B-side “Breathe No More” features a soft piano alongside an understated vocal performance from Lee, who’s also the sole songwriter. It was inspired by a toxic relationship that she felt she was losing herself in, as evidenced by such lyrics as: I’ve been looking in the mirror for so long / That I’ve come to believe my soul’s on the other side / All the little pieces falling, shatter / Shards of me / Too sharp to put back together.

The album ends by bringing the music up to the modern day with a performance of “Bring Me to Life” from Live on Triple M’s Garage Session in Australia in June 2020. Lee’s enduring voice takes center stage, backed only by a soft-spoken piano. The approach makes the song sound more delicate as Lee flexes different tones of her voice that may be missed in the original. The album closes with the live version of “My Immortal” from the band’s show at the O2 Arena in London in November 2022. Lee’s delivery is particularly poignant, complete with the sound of cheers from the crowd as she beckons them to light up the arena as they passionately sing along.

“It is the song before the last song in our set every night and it’s the moment where I say thank you for our time and being here. I really sing the words to the fans. It really means something to me now that it couldn’t have meant then because they weren’t there. It feels like it was always about that now,” Lee explains to American Songwriter about how “My Immortal” has taken on a new meaning as a message of love for the fans. “That album has been the soundtrack to a lot of people’s lives. A lot of it’s about them, not us or me, it’s their experiences.”

Photo Credit: Travis Shinn / Courtesy of Shore Fire Media

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