I just hit
50 40, and it’s starting to show in my choice of music. While I still like the heavy, pounding stuff most of the time, I can appreciate a good voice like I never thought possible. I’ve always enjoyed symphonic metal, and got turned onto Nightwish a couple of years ago. I found myself thinking that the women’s voices in the song were so good that they were getting lost in the music. I’ve continued discovering new symphonic metal acts, almost invariably thinking the same thing. It isn’t as if the songs are bad because the music overpowers the voice; it’s more that I just wondered how good the voice would sound without all the drums hammering in the background. So over the last few days I sought out and purchased some music from some former Nightwish singers, and it is amazing.
Anette Olzon’s solo album is a vocally driven masterpiece. There aren’t a lot of instruments playing and the ones that do compliment her voice well. I’ve found myself listening to this album over and over again, just to hear that angelic voice. Here is one grabbed at random from her album:
Another ex-Nightwish singer, Tarja Turunen has also been putting out some solo albums. I’ve purchased one of these as well, and again the voice is simply amazing. Unfortunately the composition of some of the songs just doesn’t work. It’s as if she is trying to get the grand, sweeping, epic sound of an orchestra but doing so on a budget. The end result is frequently that there are synthesized instruments that seem out of place and just don’t compliment the vocals. Some of the tracks, though, are pretty amazing. My personal favorite is the song “Until Silence”:
Now if 40 year old me was to tell 20 year old me that I actually bought both of these albums -and enjoy them even when no one else is around, I’m pretty sure 20 year old me would kick my ass (and he easily could; I’m horribly out of shape now).
Of course not everything I listen to now is the hypnotically tranquil voice of a siren… I think 20 year old me would be happy to know that I am still digging Poisonblack‘s new album Lyijy (they’ve dropped the gothy stuff for more of a blues-driven, in-your-face rock. This is pedal to the floor, highway 1 driving music. Of course in some cases (the video below especially), it’s best not to listen to the lyrics..
I figure at this rate I’ll be listening to opera exclusively in another twenty years. Well, that and whatever skull pounding metal I can get my hands on. I guess the tastes just grow more divers over time.