Review: The haunting beauty of Amy Lee's 'Speak to Me'

Amy Lee's 'Speak to Me' speaks to plenty of people, even if it doesn't speak that much to me.
Muse "Will Of The People" World Tour Opener - Chicago
Muse "Will Of The People" World Tour Opener - Chicago / Kevin Mazur/GettyImages

Not to be confused with the song by Pink Floyd or Koryn Hawthorne, "Speak to Me" is also a song by American singer-songwriter Amy Lee, best known as the lead vocalist and co-founder of the rock band Evanescence. The song was written and performed by Amy Lee for the soundtrack of the 2017 psychological thriller film Voice from the Stone, directed by Eric D. Howell and starring Emilia Clarke and Marton Csokas.

"Speak to Me" won the Hollywood Music And Media Award for "Best Original Song – Independent Film," and is considered by many to be a hauntingly beautiful ballad, featuring her signature powerful vocals and emotive piano accompaniment. That, of course, is not so so strange for Amy Lee, as that's what she's known for. Admittedly, I have not seen the movie, but the song captures the film's purported themes of love, loss, and the supernatural, echoing the eerie atmosphere intended of the movie.

The lyrics evoke a sense of longing and connection, reflecting the protagonist's journey of unraveling mysteries and confronting inner demons. The song received positive reviews from critics, who praised Amy Lee's vocal delivery and the song's atmospheric quality. It showcases her standard ability to create evocative and atmospheric music, albeit outside of Evanescence's typical rock sound, and will assuage plenty of music fans even if it doesn't deliver any unexpected musical surprises.

Final thoughts on "Speak to Me" by Amy Lee

Even though I'm not a huge fan of Evanescence (as in, I don't listen to their stuff often), I can see how "Speak to Me" stands as a testament to Amy Lee's versatility as an artist, showcasing her ability to deliver poignant and emotionally resonant music across different genres and platforms. the song is "so cathartic" and "immediate".

"Speak to Me" received acclaim from music critics. The song is an instant classic for some, and plenty are praising Lee's vocals and the clarity of the lyrics (to those who pay attention). It certainly seems like a dramatic, heartbreaking soundtrack, and it must be emphasized that Lee's vocals are rich and crystal clear. The music fits her specific lyrical style and the melody is nicely haunting, even if it's not an entirely original-sounding song (and I could be criticized for such brutal honesty, but I like to give honest reviews).

As for playlist placement, this song could easily fit in with The Cranberries' "Linger" and anything by Tori Amos, Portishead, Massive Attack, Fiona Apple, and other prominent female voices in music. Sure, I prefer all of those artists more, as they bring a little more unpredictable edginess to the table somehow.

To me, Amy Lee represents the transition from more raw-sounding (sometimes darker) female rocker angst to more radio-friendly fare. Frankly, it just sounds more commercial. In any case, the song is worth checking out, and I don't really consider this a negative review.