27 September 2023

Best of Tarja: Living The Dream

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Reviewed by Ian Phillips.

By Tarja, earMUSIC 2022.

Finnish soprano and former heavy metal lead singer of Nightwish, Tarja, has released a 2CD and blue ray box set best-of compilation of her outstanding career.

The packaging is as impressive as the content and includes a 44-page booklet that provides all the information you need about her career, the songs, the personnel involved, her motivations etc.

Tarja really is a marvel.

She possesses an immensely powerful voice that has an impressive three and a half octave range, which places her in very select company.

She was also classically trained at the Sibelius Academy and the Hochschule fur Musik Karisruhe in Finland.

Nightwish were renowned for their massive sound and were instrumental in leading the way to the creation of the, sometimes-bombastic, combination of opera and metal which is dubbed ‘Opera Metal.’

The songs in this collection cover Tarja’s six solo albums, My Winter Storm, What Lies Beneath, Colours In The Dark, The Brightest Void, The Shadow Self, and In The Raw.

It contains not just her popular, but also her personal favourite songs.

The selected songs are from the rock-based part of her career and doesn’t include material from her classical album Ave Maria – En Plein Air.

The opening track to the box set is a new composition, Eye Of The Storm.

The track is an old one that was written at the time that she was compiling songs for the Colours in The Dark album.

It is a co-write with Anders Wollbeck and Mattias Lindblom, who worked with her on that album.

Tarja felt that the song didn’t quite fit Colours in The Dark and so it was left off and only now sees the light of day.

It’s hard for me to pick my favourite Tarja album but I have a soft spot for her first one, My Winter Storm, and particularly the track I Walk Alone.

Apparently, her record label, and Anders and Mattias, sent her 500+ demos to select from in compiling the album and I Walk Alone was one of the first track’s she chose.

If you are a fan of Tarja’s work, or of this genre of music, then I strongly suggest you buy this album.

A big thank you to my mate Neil from Human Services for lending me his copy.

Tarja now spends her time living and working between her new home in Argentina and her old home in Finland.

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