Cat Cohen's Anatomy of a Hit a Hit in 2004

My Immortal by Evanescence

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Evanescence's moody teen angst recording hits the pop charts with its dark expressive classical rock music and somber theatrical lyrics.

Song: My Immortal
Artist: Evanescence
Album: Fallen
Songwriter: Ben Moody, Amy Lee, David Hodges
Producer: Dave Fortman
B000089RVX

Concept
A gothic-like exploration of the deep dark feelings that lurk in the adolescent soul.

Lyric
Call it deeply disappointed frustrated yearnings or teen soap opera, the dramatic words are very dark and expressive. I'm so tired of being here, suppressed by all my childish fears And if you have to leave, I wish that you would just leave Your presence still lingers here and it won't leave me alone These wounds won't seem to heal, this pain is just too real There's just too much that time cannot erase When you cried, I'd wipe away all of your tears When you'd scream, I'd fight away all of your fears And I held your hand through all of these years But you still have all of me

Groove
The basic groove is the 8th note arpeggios of the piano, while 16ths are overlaid on top. When the drums and guitar enter later, they echo this 8th and 16th mixture.

Melody
Expressive legato sighing, dramatic melodic lines that climb gradually to peaks of emotion. While not especially hooky or particularly memorable, the music is compelling and has impact.

Harmony
The record uses diatonic triads in the major scale, but sits mostly on the minor substitute chords like iii and vi giving the darkness and angst that the song communicates. I iii I iii (loop) vi iii vi iii (loop) IV V vi (loop) V

Structure
Free flowing on one hand, yet tightly structured with four distinct sections. Sig A B C Sig A B C D Solo C Sig Signature verse pre-chorus chorus signature verse pre-chorus chorus bridge solo chorus signature

Signature
A rolling 8th-note classical piano arpeggio figure.

Production
A masterful production with a transparent beginning that builds gradually and falls away until the second half when the band enters with its dramatic power only to fall away one more at the end.

Performance
Lead singer Amy expresses the dark side of adolescent emotions with the dramatic intensity and credibility this song requires.

Predicted Longevity
A big hit for this band in 2004, it rode the prevailing wave of rock darkness popular at the time. Not a memorable song to last through the years, but a highlight of that year and a vivid memory for many. It will always be a good candidate for an appropriate coming of age theatrical presentation or movie.

Album Cover: Fallen

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