The first time MTV News spoke to Amy Lee about Evanescence’s upcoming album , she made a point of explaining exactly why the disc would be self-titled. Namely, because “it’s about the band.
“It’s more of a band record,” she continued. “But I started thinking about it, and it’s also that this whole record and the lyrical content and a lot of the things that it’s about to me is about falling back in love with this thing, with Evanescence, with what I’ve obsessed over for a decade, longer than that.”
And throughout the week, as we’ve unveiled sneak peeks at the songs on the album — roaring first single “What You Want” and the equally voluminous “The Other Side” — she continued to mention that the new tunes were very much full band creations: the result of endless back-and-forth between her and her mates.
But our third and final sneak peek is a little different. Because though “Lost in Paradise” features plenty of contributions from the other members of Evanescence, it is very much Amy Lee’s song. And the emotional attachment she feels to it is readily apparent.
“That’s the one that made us cry … like, literally, just in here, working on it, there have been tears. I love that song,” she told MTV News. “When I was writing it, it wasn’t anything; it was just pure, it was just for me. I was literally just writing it for me, to soothe my own feelings by expressing them. And I just thought, ‘Piano, vocals, I can record it by myself at my house, and that’ll be the track. … It’ll be a B-side somewhere or something.’
“[But] then … as we were working on other songs — focusing more on rock songs — I kept listening to it for fun, because it was mine, and I sent it to [producer] Nick [Raskulinecz] and I was like, ‘I want you to listen to this. … The more I listen to it, the more I think it means something,’ ” she continued. “And he, instantly, was like, ‘We have to do that song.’ And it was his idea to bring the band into it, and at first, I was totally like, ‘I don’t get that.’ But once we did, it just blew the thing wide open, in a way I had never thought about before. It’s perfect; it’s meant to be the way it is.”
Starting with little more than a somber piano and Lee’s aching vocals, “Paradise” slowly builds, layering on stirring strings, booming timpani and, at the climax, some thunderous guitar chords. It is unapologetically epic and uncompromisingly raw, a song that manages to seem both all-encompassing and intimate, often at the same time. And because of that, it brings to mind rather unexpected comparisons to Björk’s equally astronomic 1997 single “Jóga.” And, no, Lee doesn’t mind that one bit.
“That’s a big inspirational song for me. That’s a song through my life that I’ve listened to a whole bunch,” she explained. “And to me, Björk, what makes her style are the strings, the orchestral elements, and that passion that it creates. … It makes your heart pour out. That totally inspired me, and that song inspired me.”