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Re: Performances/Music reviews

Post by hartia on Wed Aug 18, 2010 11:36 am

2005 saw the departure of soprano singer Tarja Turunen from Nightwish, one of the most well known bands in the gothic/symphonic metal scene. Since then, both artists have struggled, with Tarja releasing a Christmas album soon after the split and Nightwish bringing in singer Annette Olzon for their 2007 effort, Dark Passion Play, neither of which was terribly good. At the end of this year, Tarja Turunen released My Winter Storm, an album entirely of original material. Turns out she should have stuck with covers...

Although the cover is one of the most laughable things I’ve seen (Tarja meets Assassin’s Creed), it’s sadly the best part of the album. At least it brings the laughs. The rest of Tarja’s sophomore release is filled with music that would barely cut it in the pop world. The main problem with the album is it falls into this area of limbo between metal music and pop music. There aren’t enough hooks in the music to make pop fans enjoy it, yet it also lacks any sense of musicality or originality that many metalheads look for in their music. As such, nobody would really want to listen to it.

I’m not sure who wrote most of the songs, but whether it be Tarja, her backing band, or some bigwig producer, somebody ***ed up. Tarja’s voice is good enough...it’s certainly not up to the level it was in Nightwish, but she gets the job done The band does not get to shine in any way, however; they’re stuck playing power chords, root notes, and basic rock beats while the keyboardist presses buttons to cue up the orchestra backing loops. Most of the songs are awkwardly written, with many parts that just seemed jammed in without any regards for flow. For somebody on Universal Records too, the band could use much better production...in particular, the guitars don’t pop out enough like they should on a real metal record.

The beginning of the record isn’t actually too terrible, however. The first actual track, I Walk Alone, is one of the better tracks to grace the album. I guess this actually is a pop record; put most of your budget into your single, and it’s bound to be good. So good, in fact, that 3 different versions have to appear on the album. Regardless, the hook is quite catchy, the simplicity of the music works in the song’s favor, and somebody did a decent job composing backing orchestra parts.

Things take a dive on Lost Northern Star, with Tarja trying to pull out a darker atmosphere that ends up sounding something that wouldn’t even be good enough to put on a Within Temptation album. Honestly, if Tarja just decided to embrace the fact that she is a pop star now, and start tailoring her music to that genre, the music would be much better. However, her insistence on sticking to her metal background pulls down the quality of the music.

For a while after that track, the album actually tricks you into thinking it’s a good album. Even though the 50 second interludes between certain tracks are total overkill and serve no purpose, the tracks they lead up to are well composed. The Reign is an orchestral track, which doesn’t have crappy band riffs bring down the quality of the music, and lets Tarja show off her voice a little bit. It’s well written and complements her voice quite well. My Little Phoenix and Die Alive are both hints at heavier music, albeit much better attempts than Lost Northern Star. My Little Phoenix is a slower tune with soaring orchestral arrangements, while Die Alive is much faster and has an intense, driving feel to it. Both are quite catchy...they’re not the greatest songs in the world, but they do their job.

The album crashes and burns after this point. The rest of the album is filled with uninspired ballad tunes that try to rip off Nightwish’s formula (Boy and the Ghost, Minor Heaven), goth-pop disasters (Damned and Divine), an extremely awkward thrash tune (Ciaran’s Well), and a few Tarja/orchestral pieces that have decent choruses but ultimately fail to achieve anything. Sing For Me comes closest to being a good song, but the verses are too awkward a transition from the great chorus for it to really be anything good. The closing song is better than the middle of the album, with just Tarja and some acoustic guitar, but it’s too little too late to save the album.

One song I want to touch on in detail is Poison. This track is by far the worst attempt at a cover song I’ve heard. Originally by Alice Cooper, Tarja’s version reeks of terrible power pop. The song is so laughably bad that things come full circle and I found myself enjoying the song. Tarja’s delivery of the lines “I hear you calling and it’s needles and pins/I wanna hurt you just to hear you screaming my name” were a particular source of entertainment. For a while, I thought that she had written the lyrics, which would explain why she never wrote them for Nightwish.

The last 3 songs on the album are redone versions of album tracks, including 2 more versions of the single. Damned Vampires and Gothic Divine is a longer, heavier version of Damned and Divine, which actually fares better than its album counterpart. Tarja’s version of I Walk Alone is essentially the same thing as the single version, with different sounds and some irritating string arpeggios in the chorus, while the In Extremo mix seems to make heavy use of an accordion. Both versions pale in comparison to the single...in particular, I wish the In Extremo remix focused more on making the track sound like a trip-hoppish tune instead of rehashing the heavy guitars in the chorus.

Tarja’s “first” solo album hints at a few decent ideas, but is all together overcome by confused songwriting ideas and poor performances on all fronts. For me, at least, it stands as one of the poorest albums of 2007. I guess this album explains Tarja’s contributions to Nightwish: she sang, and that was that. When she tries to write her own music, her ideas are not good enough to carry an album. Both groups need to come to their senses and realize that they were the best when they were together.

sursa

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Re: Performances/Music reviews

Post by ice_angel on Wed Aug 18, 2010 3:09 pm

oh c'mon... D\'oh the album is not really that bad... it's true.. they were the best when they were together... dar MWS chiar nu mi s-a parut asa rau... scratch cat despre Sing for me e una din piesele mele preferate de pe album. iar coverul de la Poison suna ft tare. dar presupun ca fiecare are gusturile lui si modul lui de a vedea lucrurile... WLB e oricum net superior, asa cum sunt sigura ca va fi si urmatorul album al baietilor care, nu stiu de ce, dar sunt sigura ca nu va avea ca tema principala aceeasi furie si disperare a lu Tuomas de atunci ci his long lost love Rolling Eyes. [ma rog doar sa nu-l faca si mai poppish decat DPP Crying1 Abia astept demo-urile alea] Doar ca va mai dura ceva pana ambele parti o sa se ridice aproape de nivelul la care erau impreuna...nu mai zic nimic de Anette :-j

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Re: Performances/Music reviews

Post by hartia on Thu Aug 19, 2010 12:40 pm

http://heavy-metal-ftw.blogspot.com/2010/08/tarjas-i-feel-immortal.html

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Re: Performances/Music reviews

Post by kuolema on Thu Aug 19, 2010 9:04 pm

Things take a dive on Lost Northern Star, with Tarja trying to pull out a darker atmosphere that ends up sounding something that wouldn’t even be good enough to put on a Within Temptation album.

poftim.....????....deci e una cand se ia de Tarja ...e una cand se ia de Sharon....dar cand se ia de amandoua e rau de tot...cine e ma asta ca eu si toporu lu bunicu vrem sa-i facem o vizita mad

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Re: Performances/Music reviews

Post by Kinga on Thu Aug 19, 2010 10:12 pm

My Winter Storm intradevar nu era un album extraordinar. Dar nici atat de rau cat unii fac sa para. Cred ca problema este ca 1) era primul album de-al ei, dar ea fiind fosta solista NW asta nu avea atat de mare importanta in ochii criticilor 2) majoritatea review-urilor sunt scrise de "metalheads" si MWS nu e exact un album metal. Si sa nu uitam ca exista si review-uri pozitive. Smile
Dar oricum mie mi-a placut albumul.

Stiu ca asta se potriveste mai bine in topicul despre WLB, dar sa schimbam putin atmosfera:
http://sonicshocks.com/TARJA-what-lies-beneath.php Very Happy
[...] Very few albums in the world will give you anything close to this, and very few artists will allow you to reach so deep inside their soul.
Close your eyes, press play, and you will finally see what lies beneath.
10/10

_________________
-x-x-x-

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Re: Performances/Music reviews

Post by LadyMoon on Thu Aug 19, 2010 10:55 pm

Mie mi se pare ca MWS e un fel de "in between" dintre trupa si cariera ei solo. Nu e extraordinar, intradevar, dar nu trebuie sa fie o capodopera ca sa imi placa. Dupa ce a aparut Enough s-a vazut clar ca ea poate mai mult si sunt convinsa ca WLB o sa aiba de data asta review-uri mai bune.
M-am cam saturat de faza cu "they were best when they were together". Dark Passion Play chiar are cantece bune (mda, nici eu nu mai sunt asa fanatica Laughing ) si la fel si albumul Tarjei, dar sunt stiluri diferite. Cand apare o melodie noua de-a Tarjei sau a trupei toata lumea trebuie s-o compare cu old Nw? Tarja nici macar nu mai canta acelsi gen si sunt convinsa ca la un moment dat o sa scoata un album la fel de bun (sau mai bun) decat cele vechi si la fel si trupa (nu zic nimic de WLB ca nu l-am ascultat inca). Wink
Scuze ca m-am lungit prea mult..
E foarte tare review-ul postat de Kinga. Imi place mult, dar le astept si pe cele de la critici cand se va lansa albumul.

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Re: Performances/Music reviews

Post by hartia on Fri Aug 20, 2010 8:38 am

Friday, November 09, 2007

Review: Tarja, I Walk Alone..and Nightwish without her.

With the release of Nightwish's new album, I was hoping for a gothic metal monster from the band who definded a genre with their pure brilliance. However, Eva and Amaranth proved to be nothing of the sort. Okay, I liked the album, but it's clear that the band are aiming for a more mainstream audience with this album. They do have some heavy tracks, Master Passion Greed is a great song, along with Bye Bye Beautiful. However, Amaranth reminds my of the Corrs. Maybe its just me? It's not metal, its power pop if anything else. It's not Nighwish. I like Dark Passion Play, it's a good listen...but I think that Nighwish have had their day with Gothic Metal. I will remain a fan, of course, however I will be part of the group of people who will say, remember the good old days with Tarja. Anette is great, but she's not Tarja..and Tarja was one of a kind.

Now, to Tarja's new single.

I Walk Alone is one of the few songs that has sent a chill down my spine of late. Not many songs have done this for a long time for me. It had a pure sound, the lyrics are perfect and the music, wow. It's gothic, its' metal, it's classical. It's clear with this offering from Tarja that she's learned a lot from being in the metal scene, and she's clearly embraced it. She's an amazing talent, and I Walk Alone is clearly her starting point to an amazing solo career. The thing I've wanted to put into this is: Tarja might be out of Nightwish, but she's not dead. If anything, she's more Nightwish that Nightwish are. The single sounds like something that would sit well next to Nemo. It's a clear statement that she isn't afraid to take when she's already done with the band, and take it to the next level. How many singers kicked out of a band can say that they are now doing what the band did, and is doing it better? 10/10 Tarja, amazing!

So, Dark Passion Play is a good listen, but it's not really Nightwish. The band don't have the edge, the sound, that they used to. If you are a real fan of NW, then stick with Tarja. It's clear that she made the band what it was, and it's clear she's going to do amazing things with her solo work!!

sursa

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Re: Performances/Music reviews

Post by Suomi_Rocks on Sun Aug 29, 2010 11:56 am

http://www.kikaxemusic.com/reviews/album-reviews/item/1673-tarja-what-lies-beneath-review

Finnish soprano TARJA TURUNEN, best-known in the 'States as the former frontwoman of NIGHTWISH, is back with WHAT LIES BENEATH (due out August 31, 2010 via The End Records) - her third proper solo recording, not counting her 2006 Christmas album.

"Anteroom of Doom" opens the album with orchestral tuning followed by a performance so theatrical, you'll think you're watching live theatre - until the guitars kick in and punch you in the face. "Until My Last Breath" has already been making the rounds online, capturing the perfect balance of melody and metal (I love the riff around 30 seconds in), while "Crimson Deep" makes for a great closing number.

WHAT LIES BENEATH works best when the heavy groove stays present and rockin', and sadly there's not enough of that. Much of the album delves into ballad territory, and while the songs are strong, they tend to become overkill for a rock record.

Listeners not familiar with symphonic metal will be surprised at the epic scope of the composition and performance, which borrows heavily from Turunen's operatic background. Those already immersed in the genre will find the album a must-have for their collections.

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Re: Performances/Music reviews

Post by LadyMoon on Tue Sep 14, 2010 3:46 pm

There’s no denying that the songs on What Lies Beneath are a stark contrast to the disjointed and ill-conceived tracks that comprised My Winter Storm. As a matter of fact, the majority of the songs on Tarja Turunen’s latest solo effort are interesting enough to hold your attention for the entire running time of the album- an achievement in and of itself considering the highly repetitive and one-dimensional sound Turunen has plastered upon herself- despite the presence of a few questionable moments. The ballads shine, the guest appearances (for the most part) impress, and the aura about What Lies Beneath is distinctly Tarja, from the high points to the low points.

When everything is running as a cohesive unit, the album rolls forth with a whole mountain of momentum behind it, and by the end of the second track “Until My Last Breath” things are looking good for the remainder of the album, despite the truly awful opener “Anteroom Of Death” in which Tarja and the vocalists from Van Canto sing together in a theater-esque piece that sticks out like a sore thumb in terms of both quality and atmosphere. However, the real beauty comes when she sticks to what she does best- use her operatic vocals to drive the atmosphere of the song, instead of using it to compliment an instrumental base. On tracks like “I Feel Immortal”, “Underneath”, and “Rivers Of Lust”, the more controlled pace comes through as crucial, fueling both emotional and harmonious vocals and backing musicianship that doesn’t try to take away anything from Turunen’s singing.

Despite this focus on what Tarja does best, the album suffers gravely from stagnation. With nine of the eleven tracks running between four and five minutes, and only two different types of songs to choose from (either slower ballads or more aggressive, guitar-driven tracks), a sense of deja vu begins to form by the heart of the album, and it doesn’t seem to fade away until the last seconds of “Crimson Deep” tick away. The guest appearances by Phil Labonte, Joe Satriani, Will Calhoun and Van Canto all work to give each track a sense of individuality, but their performances do not drive away the fact that Tarja’s style is still one-dimensional. The screams of Labonte at the tail end of “Dark Star” add a vicious bite to an album that seemed to lack such aggression, contrasting his singing earlier in the same song, and the wailing guitar solo of Satriani is nothing short of impressive, but these moments all take a back seat to the main show- Tarja giving the listener a vocal display that, to be quite frank, has never changed since she first came on the music scene with Nightwish.

In the end, What Lies Beneath is an enjoyable album; nothing more, nothing less. It is certainly head and shoulders above My Winter Storm, and it shows that Turunen still has a lot left in her, despite a motif that has, at this point, been spread far too thin. If, maybe, Tarja figured out a way to use her obvious vocal talent in a way that is more creative and less predictable, then she will release something worth admiring for many years to come. However, as it stands with What Lies Beneath, the music is a cleverly disguised one-trick pony that is undeniably enjoyable to listen to, but is an album that the test of time is sure to swallow in its wake.
sursa: http://www.sputnikmusic.com/review/38852/Tarja-Turunen-What-Lies-Beneath/


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Re: Performances/Music reviews

Post by nakhrul on Tue Nov 22, 2011 12:10 pm

Depinde intotdeauna de sursa review-ului.
Realitatea este ca multe din aceste review-uri sunt facute de inchipuiti care habar n-au sa indice o nota pe portativ, sau de wannabe "hardcore metalheads".

Review-ul din primul post este totalmente deplasat iar opiniile sunt enuntate fara vreun argument.
Cel despre WLB este un pic mai obiectiv insa sfarseste cu o prostie mare cat roata carului: "Tarja giving the listener a vocal display that, to be quite frank, has never changed since she first came on the music scene with Nightwish."
Probabil individul are timpanele sparte si asculta prin scoarta cerebrala, altfel nu inteleg cum nu poate sesiza schimbarile majore de registru vocal si stil suferite de Tarja din 1997 pana acum.

In orice caz, review-urile pozitive (sau macar obiective) sunt numeroase

http://heavymetal.about.com/od/tarja/gr/Tarja-What-Lies-Beneath-Review.htm

http://www.metal-archives.com/reviews/Tarja/What_Lies_Beneath/279891/

http://blogcritics.org/music/article/music-review-tarja-turunen-what-lies1/

http://espyrock.com/reviews/exclusive-preview-tarja-what-lies-beneath






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Re: Performances/Music reviews

Post by SnakeCris on Tue Nov 22, 2011 5:20 pm

Ok, sunt importante si reviewurile astea, dar mai mult pentru artist zic eu, pentru ca noua fanilor oricum ne plac piesele. Deci nu vad de ce ar trebui sa va afecteze astea. Zic si eu.

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Re: Performances/Music reviews

Post by nakhrul on Tue Nov 22, 2011 5:28 pm

Pe mine nu ma afecteaza in vreun fel, insa pe orice artist il afecteaza un review - pozitiv ori negativ.
De asemenea aceste reviews influenteaza ascultatorii cu gusturi mai ... schimbatoare (sa nu zic "fara gusturi" Smile)

O apreciere critica poate fi chiar utila daca este obiectiva, insa ce am citit in unele reviews se vede de la o posta ca este scris la comanda.

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Re: Performances/Music reviews

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