The title says it all! Opinions expressed here are those of the authors. Personal tastes may vary, and we are cool with that.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

CD Review: What Lies Beneath by Tarja

As my very first post, I decided to make my own review of Tarja's latest album What Lies Beneath. When I saw her back in 2009 on her Summer Storm tour, I was glad that I went there.Tarja is a great performer accompanied by great players but I missed something.Songs that I would be able to fully enjoy. MWS simply doesn't do it for me.

So I was looking forward to listening to her new album. Since the Summer Storm tour gig, I didn't go to any of her gigs, which were held quite nearby, but instead of that, I checked songs on YT. From all of them only Crimson Deep attracted my attention. So I was quite curious, what the rest of the album will sound like.

When I bought the standard edition I suffered from several shocks. First one was the booklet. (I'm not gonna rant here about the different album covers and photos inside, coz that is a long story and Eric wrote about it already). Let me tell you something. I was utterely pissed after I opened the booklet because instead of lyrics and photos I found the list of the authors of the music and lyrics.Yes that is also part of every booklet, but MY booklet consists only of the credits! If you think that I paid less than the official price, which is €14.99, you're wrong. I have some strange "regional" edition of What Lies Beneath for Czech Rep. and Slovak rep. This way I would LOVE to say one big THANK YOU Universal for the way, you treat Tarja's fans. Next time please sell it cheaper, because the CD is not worth it. (I don't mean the music).

Now back to the album. When I read on Tarja's blog, that one of the guests on the forthcoming album will be Van Canto, I was like OMG NO! I heard their Wishmaster cover and I find this "RIDDILY DIDILY DIDILY DIDILY DUM DUM" not very appealing (JUST MY OPINION). I heard Anteroom of Death before the whole album. Yet it was missing 30sec so my only wish was, not the "riddily didily dum dum" part. When I heard the album version of Anteroom I was glad that the part was missing, yet I found the intro quite strange. The whole song works pretty damn good though. I think, Van Canto did really great job! I hope Tarja will continue composing "crazy" song such as this one.
Until My Last Breath - in my opinion one of a "must" songs aka riadio friendly. Nothing really to write about this piece.
I Feel Immortal - I like album version better than the single version. Also I am curious, what the original song sounds like, since Tarja herself said she had to rewrite it. I think it is one of the better ballads on this album. I LOVE the video! The nature is simply magnificent.
In for a Kill - it took me a while to appreciate this song. When I heard it for the first time, Tarja and only orchestra, I was negative about it. The Bond theme and quite fast tempo. I didn't like it. Now it belongs to my favourite songs although now I miss the fast tempo, I got simply used to it.
Underneath - in my opinion this song should be entirely piano version.
Little Lies - I simply dislike this song. Why? The chorus. I can't understand why she butchered the song with the chorus. In my opinion "The Crying Moon" would fit better to the album than Little Lies.
Rivers of Lust - I mostly skip this one. It makes me sleepy all the time and I find it bit boring.
Dark Star - it's nice to see, that Tarja wants also duets on her albums, but Mr. Labonte doesn't do it for me. Sorry. Another track which I skip.
Falling Awake - was it really necessary to compose 3 different guitar solos for just 1 song? I am still confused who play on which version of this song. I can't help myself, but I always feel like "yeah let's go dance" when I hear this song.
The Archive of Lost Dreams - this one won the most boring track competition in my opinion. It's long, the 1 minute long piano part feels like eternity for me. Another track which I skip.
Now the last one on my album is Crimson Deep. As I already wrote, from all of the songs, which were played during the Warming tour this one is THE ONE for me! I don't mind the length, 7:35, at all! In my opinion this song represents Tarja in all her beauty. It shows her ability to sing pretty high but also deep. When I took part in the poll, which of the new songs fans like the most on the official WS site I gave this song 15 points, the maximum. I was quite disappointed when I found out that it got only 3809 points and ended up on 9th position. Nevermind it will definitely remain as one of my all time favourite Tarja's songs!
Still of the Night - the only part I am able to listen to is the orchestral part. Sorry but this cover should never be done.
We Are - ehm.....2:10-3:41 the part I am really fond of. I absolutely don't mind, that it's not on my CD.
Naiad - another disappointment when I saw the results of the poll. I think it's simply great track and I would change it for The Archive of Lost Dreams at any time. I have this great feeling of being under water whenever I listen to it. It makes me feel so relaxed and brings back memories from the Durdle Door in Lulworth in England.
If You Believe - I already heard it at the gig back in 2009 and my opinion didn't change at all. It remains as a ballad, which I don't listen to at all.
The last one Montañas de Silencio - now I am not surprised that it ended up on the last position in the poll. It didn't and I really think it won't ever attract my attention. I find this song dull. Nothing really to offer just "aaaahhha....aaahhahahha...wooooh". Not my cuppa tea.
I almost forgot The Crying Moon - great track, despite having 2 version out there. I like guitars, drums, piano, singing simply everything about this song. Such a pity that it's not included on the album.

Now I hope you managed to read it until the end :) It's quite long I know but well why not. If Tarja continues with composing songs such as "Anteroom of Death", "In for a Kill", "Crimson Deep", "Naiad" or "The Crying Moon" I'll be the happiest person out there! Not that I don't want to hear some ballads from her, but I don't enjoy her voice that much when I listen to ballads. I will give 3 out of 5 though. What Lies Beneath is a significant step forward and I am already looking forward to the next album. Tarja is great singer, talented composer so I don't think she will disappoint us in the future. As soon as she'll be somewhere nearby (2 gigs were supposed to be in December in my country, but due to the stupid promoter they are cancelled now and won't ever be done again) I will definitely go. It's a "must go". :)


Allyson said...

Wow, you really just let it all out there, don't you? I love it! I think I'm going to enjoy your reviewing style very much, Lizzie! :D

Lizzie said...

I tried to express myself as clear as possible. I know that some readers won't be probably happy about it, but this is what I feel like when it comes to WLB. After all it's just my opinion. :D

Eric James said...

Lizzie, I agree with most of this review. "Montanas de Silencio" was indeed a very boring track and I also did not like the "Still of the Night" cover either. Very good first review Lizzie! :D

Allyson said...

Lizzie, you should be honest and just let 'er rip! Just like you did here - it was excellent.

Lizzie said...

Thank you both! :)

Natalia said...

I agree with some parts of the review: yes, the chorus in little lies sucks! i enjoy the instrumental part of it a lot but I find the chorus quite awful, especially because she doesn't use her operatic vocals. I also agree on Underneath being entirely piano version.. I listened to the orchestral version and it is much better than the album version.
As for Crimson Deep, yes, it is a great song, IMO one of the best on her entire career. It is my favourite from WLB (it used to be In for a Kill but after listening to WLB all over again, CD just replaced it)

Good review and I expect to read much from you ;)