Rating:
7.5
Tarja - Colours In The Dark
30 August 2013


01. Victim Of Ritual
02. 500 Letters
03. Lucid Dreamer
04. Never Enough
05. Mystique Voyage
06. Darkness
07. Deliverance
08. Neverlight
09. Until Silence
10. Medusa [featuring Justin Furstenfeld]
11. Into The Sun [Japanese bonus]

[iTunes edition bonuses]
12. Neverlight [live] [full orchestral version]
13. Until Silence [orchestral version]


How weird. Googling in "rich Finnish wine", the results are mainly concerning Vodka. I'm absolutely sure that there should be "Tarja Turunen" as the first link: the years pass, and that woman becomes more beautiful and interesting day by day. Colours In The Dark, in fact, follows the trend of showing her creator's talent outside of the scene that made her world famous.

Writing about Tarja, it's almost impossible to avoid the Nightwish theme and the comparison between the two sides. While the band, stuck, since Tarja' departure, in an almost Disney-esque style with a not totally appropriate singer and now in search of the right vocalist, has been making as much noise is possible around itself, Tarja, maybe with more discretion, started appreciating and learning to harness at best the new artistic paths unraveling in front of her. My Winter Storm was her first album at high levels, and this fourth effort is another step in the right direction.

The day that there will be something to complain about Tarja's vocal lines probably my beard won't anymore look like a childish fleecy fuzz, Opeth will play R&B and Morgan Freeman will return to his human form. Her voice is, like always, warm, passionate, reassuring but strong and authoritative at the same time. If I'll ever hear Mother Mary sing, I'm sure she will sound pretty much like this.

But the day when the musicianship will be criticized is, unfortunately, this. Made few welcome exceptions, the compositions of this album seem just an excuse to hear Tarja sing: it's like a meaningless mousy undergrowth around a whopping tree. This is a blemish that affected all his solo career, and this time it is only partly bevelled.

This easement of the aforementioned flaw is mainly thanks to the fact that Colours In The Dark is her most experimental record to date, being an undeniably wise mix of rock and symphonic metal. Is a dark, elegant, thoughtful album, which establishes Tarja as a classy rock queen.

The most valuable tracks, anyway, are surely the heavier ones, as the theatrical opener "Victim Of Ritual" and the crushers "Never Enough" and "Neverlight", that proudly display a really fresh and appreciable vibe. On the other hand the lighter tracks rapidly turn off the listener, often sounding artificially elaborate and sometimes even irritating in their blatant pretentiousness.

But this, maybe, was to be foreseeable: Tarja is no more and no less than a star. She's in crescendo in her solo career, and rarely fails bringing to the scene exquisite music. Altogether, Colours In The Dark is a welcome addition to every Tarja addict's collection, made of some pearls but not free of disappointments, and just good enough to fill the years until the next release. But Tarja is still far from her personal Oceanborn.


Band profile: Tarja
Album: Colours In The Dark


 



Written on 13.08.2013 by
R Lewis
Hopefully you won't agree with me, diversity of opinions is what makes metal so beautiful and varied.

So... critics and advices absolutely welcome.
More reviews by R Lewis ››



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Angel_Lament - 13.08.2013 at 17:58  
Not mentioning the horrible horrible cover, which makes me want to hurl everytime I look at it, the whole album is average. However, Like you said, it an excuse to hear Tarja's voice, which sounds awesome as usual here, but I would say also that the heavier tracks aren't what made me listen to it, its the softer ones like "Deliverance" and "Darkness" and "500 Letters", I didn't like "Never Enough", it sounded like a lost track from her previous album (Which I didn't like too )
Nevertheless, Nice review, thanks!
R Lewis - 13.08.2013 at 18:20  
Written by Angel_Lament on 13.08.2013 at 17:58

The softer ones like "Deliverance" and "Darkness" and "500 Letters"

I personally find "Darkness" terrible, but I'd mainly blame Peter Gabriel's original song for this
Apothecary - 13.08.2013 at 18:22  
I actually really like the cover, it has a nice (if maybe a bit cheesy) sci fi/fantasy look to it, like something out of Heavy Metal Magazine
I really haven't paid attention to much of her post-Nightwish work, and your review piqued my interest, so I think I might have to give it at least one playthrough.
Angel_Lament - 13.08.2013 at 18:38  
Written by R Lewis on 13.08.2013 at 18:20

I personally find "Darkness" terrible, but I'd mainly blame Peter Gabriel's original song for this

Hehehe, actually, I don't know who the hell is he, found out it was a cover after I listened to the song couple of times, well, its not THAT great, just a nice song...
Forgot to mention earlier that there's "Medusa" which I like too.
Dark†SymphonY - 13.08.2013 at 19:06  
All I can say about Tarja is that she is improving slowly with her solo work. A very nice review here, I always thought that Tarja was more inclined towards the lighter side of than the heaver side.
Unhealer - 13.08.2013 at 21:07  
I checked this once and I've been gathering strengh to listen to it again since, didn't like it at all.
Her best moment for me was on My Winter Storm, when she had all these songwriters and producers writing most of the music. After that she took more control over her music and that didn't go well for me...
pagb666 - 13.08.2013 at 21:27  
She should forget about covers forever, the "Poison" cover was also horrid.
mariano - 13.08.2013 at 21:38  
I can summarize this review as "Colours In The Dark" being a forgettable album -like all the previous ones anyway... Nevertheless, 7.5 seems to me like a little too high, isn't it?
M C Vice - 14.08.2013 at 05:10  
Written by Apothecary on 13.08.2013 at 18:22

I actually really like the cover, it has a nice (if maybe a bit cheesy) sci fi/fantasy look to it, like something out of Heavy Metal Magazine

It's a bit like the back cover for Billy Idol's Cyberpunk.
R'Vannith - 14.08.2013 at 05:12  
The album cover caught my attention, seems very bold when looking at the artwork for her other albums. A wise mix of rock and symphonic metal sounds interesting to me, especially if its a more experimental endeavour. I can't say her solo stuff ever appealed to me much. Might be a bit different here.

Opeth will play R&B, nice
R Lewis - 14.08.2013 at 09:08  
Written by mariano on 13.08.2013 at 21:38

I can summarize this review as "Colours In The Dark" being a forgettable album -like all the previous ones anyway... Nevertheless, 7.5 seems to me like a little too high, isn't it?

I often find myself being pretty generous with ratings. By the other hand, always remember that a review is subjective, you don't have to agree with me
And, being the review for My Winter Storm rated 7, I think this CITD slightly superior, because of
- its being more experimental
- the fact that the music is A LITTLE less forgettable than in her last works
- some tracks, as the opener, turned out really great
Oh, btw, I'd give less than 7 to an album with a singer as Tarja only if the music was made by the last years' Korn
Maybe MS users will give reason to you but, as I stressed before , I don't expect everyone to agree with me.
kukac - 14.08.2013 at 11:19  
Well dont know about Nightwish being stuck...for me even after Tarja left, Nightwish is stil Nightwish and I really like all the albums, with or without Tarja.
CMSS220 - 14.08.2013 at 20:19  
The first time I listened to this album, I was blown away. I'm only on my third listen through but, i'm still just as happy with the album as I was on the first. I'm sure my favorite songs will morph over time listening to Colours In The Dark, but right now I'm really enjoying (in order):
-Lucid Dreamer
-Victim of Ritual (scared I could get bored with this song, it feels complex and awesome, but it also feels a little shallow to me)
-Neverlight
-Deliverance
-Mystique Voyage
-Never Enough
-Until Silence


I am neutral with 500 letters, I like it right now, but I can see myself getting bored with it really easily. I really don't like Darkness and Medusa currently.
I'd say a 7.5 is a fair assessment. Currently, i'd give it a 9.5. I tend to have very different musical taste though. I really loved her last album, and my favorite song on it (Anteroom of Death), no one seemed to care for. To each their own I guess.
Rasa - 15.08.2013 at 21:49  
Written by CMSS220 on 14.08.2013 at 20:19

it feels complex and awesome, but it also feels a little shallow to me


That's exactly how I feel about all her solo stuff in general.
Ismarmlp - 16.08.2013 at 03:17  
"Colours In The Dark" I like it better than "My Winter Storm". At first, "Darkness" was the only song I did not like ... But after listening to the album several times, I think all the songs are great. However, my favorite album of Tarja is "What Lies Beneath".
My Favorites:
1. Mystique Voyage
2. Deliverance
3. Lucid Dreamer
4. 500 Letters
5. Victim Of Ritual
Epictemptation - 17.08.2013 at 07:33  
Album sucks, I give up on Tarja. I will stick to NW
Delamortia - 22.08.2013 at 11:57  
I find that the song and the performance are great, but there's always something missing.

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