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|Studio album by Evanescence|
|Released||August or September 2010 (scrapped)|
|Recorded||February 22 - April 2010; MSR Studios, New York|
|Genre||Electro-pop, electronica, industrial|
|Producer||Steve Lillywhite, Will B. Hunt, Warren Riker|
Broken Record was a proposed project by Evanescence, originally intended to be their third studio album, but it was scrapped at Wind-up's behest. It was scheduled for a Fall 2010 release date. The title is not official, but it's how Amy Lee "lovingly" refers to this scrapped album.
The original project was later turned into the 2011 self-titled album.
- See also: Evanescence (album)
During her hiatus since 2007, Amy indicated she was working on new material that she didn't know what it was for. In 2008, she said she was writing folk songs that she wouldn't categorize as "Evanescence", saying it wasn't "all sad." In June 2009, she confirmed the band were working on an album planned for release the following year. She described it as "dark, sarcastic, fun, strange, familiar and very different at the same time."
The band's original idea for the album was an electro-pop, programming-based record influenced by Massive Attack, Björk, Portishead, MGMT, Depeche Mode, La Roux, and M.I.A. According to Amy, it had "a lot of electronic influence - industrial is a better word for it." As for the songs, she said they were "a rainbow of sounds. But this album spreads out even more. There are moments that are amazingly heavy, but then there are moments that are completely stripped down." She said the lyrical themes were moments of “Hey, I’m over it and I’m good” and others of fun sarcasm like, “Hey, everything’s not the most dramatic thing in the world,” adding that lyrically it was a more real version of herself. The album's themes were unknown worlds, the ocean's abyss, life within dreams, strength, detachment, love and liars.
Musical influences included "rock, electronica, pop, classical, hip hop, industrial, eastern, and dark soul", as pointed out by Amy on Twitter.
Songs from these sessions were marked by sassy, sarcastic lyrics referred to as "sarcastic aggression".
|I think our sound is evolving into something that will surprise people, in a very good way. I feel, as always, that growth can be an incredible, limitless thing if you let it. I never want to make the same album twice.|
Amy would incorporate the harp, which she learned between albums, on the new songs. She described the new album as a "rhythmically driven record. So there’s tons of drum-programming fused with live drums; drums we’re renting a day at a time, like Japanese taiko drums."
During 2009 Amy co-wrote most of the album with Will "Science" Hunt in New York and Texas. The pair had crafted and recorded much of the electronic programming that was to be used in the forthcoming record together. She wrote with Tim and Terry later that year.
The band entered the studio on February 22, 2010 with producer Steve Lillywhite and co-producer Will "Science" Hunt, who joined the band as a second drummer and was the chief co-writer. David Campbell would return to handle string arrangements. The Roots drummer Questlove contributed to drums on a song titled You Got a Lot to Learn, but it wasn't included on the final album.
Through March, Amy previewed two new songs on Twitter: Perfect Dream, whose title was revealed on EvClub, and a piano piece. They were not included on the final album. On March 10, there was a fire at the studio, but Will "Science" managed to save the hard drive. On the 27th, producer Warren Riker entered the studio to work on the album. Recordings were suspended in April.
Although progress on the album appeared to be going well, on April 19 Amy posted on EvClub saying that the band took time out of the studio to work more on the music:
On June 21, she publicly announced on EvThreads the band were not on the studio anymore and indicated that the record label was going through uncertain times which would hinder the band's progress on the album. For the rest of the year, the band kept relatively quiet on the status of the album but an interview with Will Hunt in October suggested progress on the music was going well, saying there had been a "real band dynamics" and they had been experimenting with electronic textures.
In February 2011, Amy announced the band were getting together for pre-production on the album next month. However, she said in April that it wouldn't be a "techno album" and a Spin interview revealed the band was no longer working with Steve Lillywhite and had changed producers to Nick Raskulinecz, with Amy saying Lillywhite wasn't "the right fit." Only three songs from the Broken Record were reworked on the final album, titled Evanescence: Made of Stone, Swimming Home, and Secret Door.
During the self-titled era, Amy kept quiet about what really happened with the scrapped sessions with Lillywhite, but she said it was her decision to shelve the album, stating the songs "aren’t right for Evanescence" and that they would eventually end up on future projects someday, "maybe solo, maybe something else." She said that none of the material recorded with him could be released due to legal issues, but that the songs were hers and she could re-record them. In November 2011, Terry said that once the album was getting finished, the label demanded for a more "traditional" Evanescence album.
In a 2013 interview, producer Lillywhite mentioned his involvement in producing the album and why it was scrapped:
In 2015, Amy revealed the real reason behind the album being scrapped. She disclosed the label had a change of heart during a "frustrating recording process" and that she was told that none of the songs she had been pouring her heart into for a year, in any form, were good enough. This forced her to rewrite the album and release what we know as the self-titled album. While three (reworked) songs from the Lillywhite sessions ultimately made it on to the final album, she was "still left feeling unsatisfied about what I lovingly refer to as my 'broken record'." She acquired the rights of the Lillywhite sessions and she plans to "finish some, re-do some, and probably keep a couple to myself."
In April 2021, Amy said the following about the Broken Record while discussing the reworking of Yeah Right:
"I was just like doing what felt good to me and it was coming out really different. And it was somewhere - like kind of a lot of it - in between solo, maybe Evanescence. I was just kind of searching it. I had a cool idea, but it just wasn't coming together all the way, like not for what it was. And there was this big pile of songs that were in another direction that were good songs that I truly believe in, but we just we bailed on them and went this new way and made most of the music for our self-titled [album]. So all this time I have had that one [Yeah Right] at the top of the pile of stuff that I am determined that's going to make it out there and going to be cool somehow."
These songs were electronic and experimental in their original versions. Some were reworked or finished for other albums or projects, others remain unreleased. They are listed in order of appearance.
- Lost Whispers (played as an intro for the 2009 shows, released on 2016's compilation album Lost Whispers)
- Perfect Dream (previewed on a Twitter video, unreleased)
- You Got a Lot to Learn (unreleased)
- Made of Stone (reworked on Evanescence)
- Swimming Home (reworked on Evanescence)
- Secret Door (reworked on Evanescence)
- Baby Did a Bad, Bad Thing (Chris Izaak's cover, released on Amy Lee's solo EP Recover, Vol. 1)
- Take Cover (debuted live in 2016, reworked on The Bitter Truth)
- Hi-Lo (reworked on Synthesis)
- Yeah Right (reworked on The Bitter Truth)
- Feeding the Dark (reworked on The Bitter Truth)
In January 2010, Amy mentioned on a EvClub blog post that she pitched an unnamed song for a film's end title but that it would end up being on the new album.
- Amy Lee - Vocals, piano, keyboards, harp
- Terry Balsamo - Guitar
- Tim McCord - Bass guitar
- Will Hunt - Drums