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This week Billboard published its final charts dated in the 2011 calendar year. All in all, there were 31 LPs that rose to #1 on the Top 200 in 2011, several of which we highlighted in both our Summer and Fall Music Previews. We dissected the 13 chart-toppers from the first half of the year back in late June. (Adele’s 21 still ruled when all was said and done, with over 5 million copies sold by the end of December.) Now flip through the gallery of the 18 albums that triumphed from July on! More »
Hooray, I qualified to get a free MP3 of “Bury Me Alive,” the first single from the Carly Smithson/Evanescence dudes project The Fallen! And it sounds… like a big, vaguely gothy, mooky rock song, complete with chorus that’s a bit of a Xerox of that from that band’s 2003 track “Going Under.” This is not a complaint–“Going Under” was actually one of my favorite tracks the year it came out, and it was way superior to their big hit with that vestigial tail of a “rap” verse”–but I figured it was worthy of mention. Smithson’s voice sounds in fine form, if a bit studio-massaged, and the band sounds, you know, like a band trying to get on modern-rock radio. I hope it works, because as has been mentioned before, that format is way bereft of ladies. More »
The gates have been opened at the official site for The Fallen, the band featuring former American Idol Carly Smithson and a smattering of dudes who were booted from Evanescence. And the site’s even giving away a free MP3–although you have to sign up with an e-mail address and a mobile number, and then wait to see if you were one of the first 100,000 people to sign up and qualify for one of the free downloads. Dum de dum. More »
Yesterday’s news that former American Idol contestant Carly Smithson would be joining up with a bunch of ex-members of nu-goth outfit Evanescence to form a band called The Fallen apparently got Amy Lee, Evanescence’s figurehead / Billy Corgan character, in a snit. So she released a statement on her band’s Web site letting everyone know that hey, she is still around and making music under the Evanescence name, and she would like some of that press attention that all of the people she once collaborated with to go in her direction! More »
Carly Smithson–the 2008 American Idol contestant who was also the poster child for the record industry’s problems in a 2002 Wall Street Journal piece–is joining forces with all the dudes fired from Evanescence to form a new band called The Fallen, according to USA Today. (Any resemblance between the band’s name and the title of Evanescence’s 2003 breakthrough album is probably coincidental.) More »
Today is the 10th anniversary of the Columbine shootings. I was curious to see if there were any tribute-style YouTube clips about the event, since it did take place before the advent of widespread online video. Surprisingly, there are quite a few; more surprisingly, most are not altogether different from the graduation montages I looked at a little while back. Both are sort of sad, wistful, and nostalgic, and accompanied by very similar tunes–but instead of fun in the sun, you get pictures of horror and loss and death. But then they take an odd turn. Let’s take a look. More »
A band with a charismatic frontwoman attracts a passionate young following, briefly with Contemporary Christian fans and then with a mass audience bewitched by their alternative-but-accessible vibe. While the group attracts certain emo elements and the tattooed-and-pierced set, their straight-up-the-middle pop sensibilities win over radio programmers looking for some femme-friendly rock content. Finally, after a steady build, the attachment of a key single to a preordained hit movie brings them into the Top 40 in a big way.
I’m not the first person to make the connection between Evanescence and Paramore, but the No. 34 Billboard Hot 100 debut of “Decode” from the chart-topping Twilight soundtrack makes it a bit more obvious. It’s Paramore’s highest-ever pop debut, and it finds them embracing the teen-goth subculture.
Evanescence’s Amy Lee could tell Paramore about how lucrative the black-wearing-girl demographic can be. But she also has the 2003 Ben Affleck comic-schlock movie Daredevil to thank for Evanescence’s breakthrough. “Bring Me to Life” probably would’ve been a hit eventually no matter what, but the Hollywood-fueled promotional boost—at a time when modern rock and even top 40 radio were allergic to female-fronted rock songs—didn’t hurt.
The only difference is that Evanescence went the Hollywood route with its first major-label single. One wonders why Paramore didn’t go this way sooner.