I’m not sure what inspired me to write this now, but for whatever reason I think it may be important to get down in writing. Amy Lee is the lead singer of Evanescence, a goth-rock-metal band. She is my favorite musician, no qualifiers. (Don’t give me the Kol Isha treatment please.)
10) She’s a normal person. She’s not a drug addict. She doesn’t come off as if she’s from another planet like Lady Gaga, or “above all of you” like most other famous successful rock stars. She doesn’t try to market herself or bifurcate her personality into public and private beyond what normal people do, or put on some fake persona for her fans. She is who she is, WYSIWYG, as they say in acronymese.
9) She doesn’t have a promiscuous reputation like, say, Madonna. She’s married with a kid and a normal family life, or at least it sounds that way. She took 5 years off of music to be with her family and live a normal life.
8) She plays up the goth thing with satanic imagery and makeup, but it’s only a flavor, not an all-encompassing creepy Marilyn Manson disgusting mess. She dresses modestly on stage and in her music videos, not on a Haredi level of course, but there’s usually a long skirt involved, bushy and really cool that she designs herself.
7) She never has gross provocative dance moves like Britney Spears or Rihanna or that type (first yecch names that came to mind) who gyrate their hips and breasts at you to try and distract you from their boring unoriginal music. In fact, she openly detests fake pop stars.
6) She doesn’t write songs about sex, partying, drugs, or other cliches. She writes songs with deep feeling, emotional complexity, hope, despair, fear, death, exultation, happiness, the extremes of human existence we all have a hard time dealing with from time to time.
5) Even when she seems to be overdoing it, displaying too much emotion on the border of being fake about it, it still seems real. She can title a song “My Heart is Broken” which would sound overly melodramatic for any other musician and be almost too deep into her own performance but she can still pull it off somehow. See after 2:40 in this song:
4) Her voice sometimes cracks on stage when she can’t quite hit the high notes. She almost never performs perfectly when live, and you can tell she’s not trying to. She’s trying to connect with her audience and just enjoy her own music, rather than put on a performance to show you how amazingly awesome she is.
3) She can get a whole audience of troubled-looking goth teenagers to sing their hearts out at a concert in what looks like a cathartic explosion, as if she were their mother teaching them how to deal with their own negative emotions.
2) She’s beautiful, but not perfectly beautiful. She’s still got a bit of a chubby face, and depending on how it’s angled you can make out a small double chin.
That’s it. There is no number one. This isn’t really a top 10. You’ve been fooled. So let’s end it with my favorite Evanescence song and favorite Amy Lee performance: Going Under, this time polished.