Album review: TARJA – The Shadow Self

TARJA - The Shadow Self

earMUSIC [Release date 05.08.16]

Tarja returns with her fourth album and on this one there are a few surprises, none more so than guest vocalist/growler Alissa White-Gluz of Arch Enemy on ‘Demons In You’. This one is possibly the heaviest song she has recorded to date as a solo artist. The other surprise is a suitably OTT Tarja version of Muse’s ‘Supremacy’. She really goes for the operatic and vocal histrionics on this version.

Proof she has a keen sense of humour can be found on ‘Diva’. Again the operatic side of her singing is at maximum and you could read a few meanings into the lyrics on this one. This, and ‘Undertaker’ show off a more theatrical air to her performance. I have to say Tarja would go down a storm on a big production musical as she has the vocals and the phrasing/drama in her singing.

The epic ‘Too Many’ could be a case of too much as it does sound stretched in places, although the pomp arrangements work well. Song of the album has to be ‘Innocence’ with the classical piano melded with a chugging metal guitar riff that works so well with Tarja singing over the top of it all. The song dips into a piano piece midway through before blazing back through your speakers for a suitably grand finale.

She has only gone and done it again  producing another varied album with a couple of musical twists to keep things interesting. Another highly polished and enjoyable album. ****

Review by Jason Ritchie

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