Bring Me to Life (Synthesis)
Label: Columbia Local
Nearly two decades after ditching a degree in music for rock stardom with Evanescence, singer, songwriter and pianist Amy Lee finally embraces her love of classical music and modern composition. Synthesis finds the outfit radically tempering their riffs and pounding drums with vast, dramatic expanses of strings, synthesizers and electronic programming. Reworked material dominates the collection: "The End of a Dream," originally from their self-titled full-length, morphs into brooding symphonic rock and showcases one of Lee's most potent vocal performances: rich, commanding and dramatic. "My Immortal," in contrast, is lush and sweet with a strong emphasis on melody. Also featured are two new pieces, including the patiently climbing "Hi-Lo," perhaps the set's most intensely baroque moment.