Tarja - What Lies Beneath review



Reviewer:
7.0

212 users:
7.92
Band: Tarja
Album: What Lies Beneath
Release date: August 2010


Disc I [US version]
01. Anteroom Of Death [feat. Van Canto]
02. Until My Last Breath
03. Dark Star [feat. Phil Labonte]
04. Underneath
05. Little Lies
06. Rivers Of Lust
07. In For A Kill
08. Montañas de Silencio [exclusive U.S. track]
09. Falling Awake [feat. Joe Satriani]
10. The Archive Of Lost Dreams
11. Crimson Deep [feat. Will Calhoun]

Disc I [international version]
01. Anteroom Of Death [feat. Van Canto]
02. Until My Last Breath
03. I Feel Immortal [exclusive international track]
04. In For A Kill
05. Underneath
06. Little Lies
07. Rivers Of Lust
08. Dark Star [feat. Phil Labonte]
09. Falling Awake [feat. Joe Satriani]
10. The Archive Of Lost Dreams
11. Crimson Deep [feat. Will Calhoun]

Disc II [Limited Deluxe Edition Bonus Disc]
01. We Are
02. Naiad
03. Still Of The Night
+ Tarja Speaks About "What Lies Beneath" [video]


Tarja Turunen requires no special introductions, even people outside the metal scene know her, so I will proceed to what I'm here for, review her latest effort, What Lies Beneath. To be honest, I was wondering the same thing as the title, hoping it will be something very good, judging from the fact Tarja holds all artistic freedom within her hands since her Nightwish sunset.

Everybody knows what a fabulous interpreter Tarja is, her operatic lines are highly expressive, enriching any fragile emotion with her aura and for one more time she stands behind the microphone with passion and honesty, breathing life to the words that consist of the lyrics. Could this be enough? Well, no, otherwise every gifted vocalist would sing a capella without the ensemble of musical background. Music is like an entertainment airplane, if it's decent, a trained pilot will succeed in his goals in order to please the crowd. The difference between a trained and a mature, high class pilot is that the second one won't just please the crowds, he will make them scream their lungs out of happiness. They have something in common though, no matter how talented they are, if the airplane has major problems, the pilot goes down with it. The same applies for the music body of a band and the singer, no matter how good the singer might be, if the music doesn't have this something that will help the singer make it reach stratospheric amounts of highness, it will remain grounded the least. If it won't crash.

Well, concerning Tarja's situation, the plane crashed, she had the chance though to hit the eject button and the parachute managed to save her. In that case, there are songs that have something to say, but most of them set sail on the vast waters of mediocrity and not even her voice can make the sea awaken with waves of inspiration. The main character of What Lies Beneath is the simplistic yet symphonic/atmospheric one and Tarja's operatic vocal lines and then according to the more specific music structure the songs are metal-driven compositions, rock-oriented ones or just acoustic pieces. Some of them that caught my attention have to be "Until My Last Breath", "In For A Kill", "I Feel Immortal", "Rivers Of Lust", "Fall Awake" with Joe Satriani trying to prevent the crash from the communication tower with some interesting solo instructions and "The Archive Of Lost Dreams". The problem is that Tarja's personal work sounds almost like second league Nightwish, with this meaning that we've heard Tarja before in such compositions which were more emotional, diverse, complex and of course, they complimented her voice even more.

What Lies Beneath might be a pleasing and fair enough offering for the common listener of generic symphonic metal with characteristic voice and probably it has something more to say to the Tarja-obsessed audience, yet, all I know is that Tuomas Holopainen's compositions scream for Tarja Turunen behind the microphone and Tarja's compositions are not enough for her vocal abilities.

The most generous rating i could give:

2.5 + 4 + 3.5 + 3.5 + 3 + 3 + 3 +3 + 3.5 + 3 + 3 = 34.5/11 = 3.13 to 5 = 6.26 to 10.

9 + 6 + 7 + 9 = 31/4 = 7.75

6.26 + 7.75 = 14.01/2 = 7.005 = 7.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 6
Originality: 7
Production: 9


 



Written on 25.09.2010 by "It is myself I have never met, whose face is pasted on the underside of my mind."


Comments page 2 / 2

Comments: 39   Visited by: 465 users
24.02.2011 - 16:09
Cryzpin
To Almagest - your contributions to this thread are what i call "verbal trolling disorder", it's disgusting just to scroll over, just throwing trillions of words all over like monkey it's ejecta. Go write some blog ffs...
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24.02.2011 - 18:39
ErnilEnNaur
Account deleted
Written by Cryzpin on 24.02.2011 at 16:09

To Almagest - your contributions to this thread are what i call "verbal trolling disorder", it's disgusting just to scroll over, just throwing trillions of words all over like monkey it's ejecta. Go write some blog ffs...


He's not trolling, but he does like to create strawmen. Poor little creature, a childhood trauma obviously fucked him up.
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14.05.2011 - 01:35
Tyelkormo
As a belated add-on, Raziel creates plenty of strawmen hemself. Stating "I listen to stuff from simple power metal to proggy madness" as evidence of being able to judge quality and complexity when Tarja's influences go way beyond that range is scoring wide off the dartboard and acting if you scored a bullseye. Sort of like being used to listen to Death Metal and state about the Callas "Beautiful voice, but the stuff she sings...plain boring....and the fact that they need a few dozen musicians to support her demonstrates the lack of composing skill, being poorly hidden behind sheer mass of instrumentation".

As for Tuomas music craving Tarja's voice... frankly, it looked to me like he adapted pretty well to his new singer. And not in a good way. "Amaranth" to me was ramped-up elevator music. Artistically, the video to the song was ten times more creative than the song itself. While it may well be that Tarja impressed some more when with Nightwish than now, it should be underscored ten times that to expect her to continue even in a similar vein is foolish. Why should she? Aside from the label shoving stuff on her, she has reasonable creative control, so she can follow where her own feelings guide her and doesn't need to compromise with others or fit to certain preset genres. That may well mean a few albums of trying to find yourself. Does anyone still remember that Angels Fall First included plenty of acoustic guitar, quite distinct from later albums?

As for the music drowning her voice - I just saw her live plus two lead-up bands. With Tarja, not hearing her voice was at no point a problem - with one of the lead ups, very much so. She's certainly experimenting - doing an acoustic number in the middle of the concert was quite a contrast. But that's not at all bad. It might not be what one or the other wants to hear - but it is clear she refuses to let herself me filed in a specific folder. I, for one, am quite happy that's the case - and quite happy she doesn't try to be Nightwish sans Nightwish. While it may well be that, as another reviewer remarked, the album lacks some degree of cohesion, I'm well willing to grant her experimental albums to try and see what works and what doesn't.
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16.05.2011 - 17:48
Raziel X
Written by Tyelkormo on 14.05.2011 at 01:35

As a belated add-on, Raziel creates plenty of strawmen hemself. Stating "I listen to stuff from simple power metal to proggy madness" as evidence of being able to judge quality and complexity when Tarja's influences go way beyond that range is scoring wide off the dartboard and acting if you scored a bullseye. Sort of like being used to listen to Death Metal and state about the Callas "Beautiful voice, but the stuff she sings...plain boring....and the fact that they need a few dozen musicians to support her demonstrates the lack of composing skill, being poorly hidden behind sheer mass of instrumentation".


And I really like ppl jumping to quick conclusions about other ppl just from a couple posts. I used that sentence not to show that I am the best judge ever, but to show that I listen to a wide range of stuff and am not just a biased listener of one genre. Besides, I like to support my opinions with arguments, what is bad on that? Plus - I got majorly pissed at Almagest, if you havent noticed he was kinda offending me / my opinions in his posts. I am still surprised I even wasted my time to react to those provocations
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19.05.2011 - 22:49
Tyelkormo
"A wide range of stuff" - precisely the point. What you deem a wide range of stuff isn't that wide a range at all. Thanks for making my point. There's nothing bad with supporting your opinion with arguments. There's something bad about supporting it with straw men, however. Yes, you got majorly pissed at Almagest. Of course, the problem in doing so is that it's not particularly helpful for both keeping the moral high ground and keeping one's arguments solid.
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06.12.2011 - 20:49
Cuca Beludo
Account deleted
She must return to nightwish, no matter what it takes.
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06.12.2011 - 21:17
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by Guest on 06.12.2011 at 20:49
She must return to nightwish, no matter what it takes.

Impossible.
----
Prettier than BloodTears.
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06.12.2011 - 21:24
Cuca Beludo
Account deleted
Written by Troy Killjoy on 06.12.2011 at 21:17

Written by Guest on 06.12.2011 at 20:49
She must return to nightwish, no matter what it takes.

Impossible.

I know.
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31.12.2011 - 19:15
jmm
Written by Guest on 06.12.2011 at 20:49

She must return to nightwish, no matter what it takes.

She didn't have freedom in NW and it's better for her to have a solo career. If it is better for NW - nobody knows, but they're not as unique as before. NW is still a fantastic band but without one important element (unique vocal) they couldn't be as good as before.
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