Tarja - The Shadow Self

Tarja The Shadow Self cover
Tarja
The Shadow Self
earMusic
2016
6
Ever since going solo some ten years ago Tarja Turunen, best known for her days as the singer in Nightwish, has released some four “rock albums”, a classical album as well as a Christmas themed classical album in Finnish. She did seem to have improved her accent as well as moving from a largely mezzo repertoire to using her voice more efficiently, but her solo work has been nowhere near as popular as that of her former band.
 
With “The Shadow Self” Tarja doesn’t seem to be reinventing the wheel, permanently stuck in a style that tries to combine rock over classical forms and ends up hardly doing either justice. With the focus clearly falling on the vocals and not on the music, most of the choruses pass without making any great impact. It’s rather sad, since she seemed to be getting somewhere with 2013’s “Colors in the Dark”… “The Shadow Self” seems like a downgrade on almost all levels, with few notable songs.
 
“Demons in You” is mostly saved by Alissa White-Gluz (Arch Enemy, Kamelot), while it’s “No Bitter End” that acts like a single, but it’s not really one to set the charts on fire.
 
Her cover of Muse’s “Supremacy” leaves a lot to be desired, as do most of her “covers”, and there are plenty of them on “The Brightest Void”, a prequel album – coming from the same session with some remixed versions and several covers including McCartney’s “House of Wax” and Shirley Bassey’s “Goldfinger” among other things...
 
“Diva” is not terrible, but it becomes quite self-indulgent fast and “Eagle Eye” is OK, but it seems to be forcing the switch between the styles somewhat…
 
Lastly, “Too Many” is not twelve minutes as one would expect but a little shy of eight, with a 2 minute – weird punk/techno meltdown at the end, after a couple of minutes of silence… odd, at the very least.
 
Tarja should sing a little more lead and stop using her vocals like an instrument, trying to show off. Also finding a person capable of producing hits would be a great boon to her career, mayhap she should look in Sweden, where a ton of people would jump the shark to collaborate with her, instead of writing by herself or with random collaborators, who don’t help her formulate a personal style that works… Another wasted chance…