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Tarja - 'From Spirits And Ghosts (Score For A Dark Christmas)' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/80/8b/d2/tarja-spirits-ghosts-score-for-a-dark-christmas-35-1519595667.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     February 25, 2018    
 
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This represents a selection of classic and popular hymns and songs, widely known and popular throughout all of Christendom.

Eleven years after her last Christmas album 'Henkäys Ikuisuudesta', Tarja (Turunen) brings us 'From Spirits And Ghosts (Score For A Dark Christmas)'*, an album she collaborated on and recorded in the Caribbean on the island of Antigua whilst also penning a brand new song 'Together'. This represents a selection of classic and popular hymns and songs, widely known and popular throughout all of Christendom, but with Tarja adding her own dark slant to them that makes them very different and surprisingly surreal.

The first release is the Christian hymn 'O Come, O Come, Emmanuel', a haunting, orchestral version first noted in popular culture in its original Latin as 'Veni, Veni, Emmanuel' in Germany in 1710 and later translated in 1861. The accompanying video features an almost unrecognisable Tarja in stunning make-up as she explores her fantasy characters and continuing themes from her Rock albums. The visuals have been captured by renowned Belgian Rock photographer Tim Tronckoe in a series of promotional photographs that also adorn the vinyl, CD and digital releases.

While '...Emmanuel' features Tarja singing Latin, 'O Tannenbaum' – written by Leipzig composer Ernst Anschütz in 1824 and based on a 16th century Silesian folk song by Melchior Franck – features Tarja singing in perfect German.

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Undoubtedly one of the most famous songs Tarja has covered, and arguably the oldest as it dates back to the Medieval period, is 'Pie Jesu', specifically the Andrew Lloyd Webber version popularised by Sarah Brightman whom Tarja has previously covered with 'The Phantom Of The Opera' from Nightwish on 2002's 'Century Child' album. Her vocals have been noticeably double tracked.

'Amazing Grace', with lyrics published by English poet John Newton in 1779, is also undoubtedly a universally popular song that Tarja covers on this album, building from an almost a cappella version.

One of the more surprising and difficult songs covered is the Spanish speaking world's 'Feliz Navidad', the original is the macaronic version by Puerto Rican singer José Feliciano and for Tarja to achieve a darker interpretation was extremely difficult.

Also featured on this album are 'We Three Kings', 'Deck The Halls', 'Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas', 'God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen', 'What Child Is This' and 'We Wish You A Merry Christmas.' All will be universally known, but none will have had the inimitable and unique dark interpretation that Tarja delivers on each and every one.

Carl Buxton

(* this review is from Fireworks Magazine #81)

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