Album Review: Tarja, from Spirits and Ghosts (Score for a Dark Christmas)

Tarja, from Spirits and Ghosts (Score for a Dark Christmas)
Genre: Symphonic Rock
Musicianship: 4.0
Songwriting: 4.0
Production & Engineering: 4.0
Vibe: 4.0
Overall Rating: 4 Stars

Former Nightwish vocalist and symphonic rock high priestess, Tarja Turunen, has released what just might be the finest holiday music soundtrack we’ve ever had the pleasure of listening to! If you’re tired of the same old happy, dopey sounding, holiday cheer, then this is definitely the record you’ll want to be spinning at home when the in-laws come for a visit.

Tarja, backed by a grand orchestra, covers a wide range of classics, and she brings a dark, brooding, menacing attitude to the formerly festive delights. She may be covering Christmas classics here, but I think Tarja actually worships at the altar of Tim Burton. Whatever her deity of choice, though, songs ranging from “Deck the Halls” to “Amazing Grace” to “Feliz Navidad” are drenched in gorgeous despair. The record plays like a Burton film score, with beautiful arrangements you’ve surely never encountered before.

The orchestral performance is fantastic, and the vocals showcase Tarja at her best: haunting and ethereal throughout.

There’s not much more to say about this particular release except that if you are ready to spice up your holiday season with powerful, emotive, passionate music that puts a sinister spin on things, grab from Spirits and Ghosts as soon as it drops on November 17. It’s also well suited to provide your Thanksgiving Day background soundtrack, and dare we say, from Spirits and Ghosts is fun for the entire family. Thank you, Tarja, for this fantastic escape from the drudgery of holiday happiness. Now if only you could do something about all this damn pumpkin spice…

—SK

 

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