Fireworks

Tarja - 'In The Raw' Hot

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Written by Central Electronic Brain     September 21, 2019    
 
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Still as quirky as ever and not to everyone's taste, but Tarja is nevertheless still preaching to the converted.

The weight of expectation falls heavily on Tarja Turunen-Cabuli every time she commits to writing for an album, and it was no different for her fifth Rock release. In her own words, she has admitted to being apprehensive about finding the necessary inspiration to start a new project, but once she had the idea the songs started to flow. The title represents (for her) a very personal journey to find from within herself the stories that could be translated into the tracks you find on this particular record. Tarja – naked and vulnerable yet aggressive like never before.

The second cut she released to the world, 'Railroads' – a mournful ballad that has this sublime beauty to it – draws inspiration from the book 'Aleph' by Brazilian Paulo Coelho who travels on the Trans-Siberian railway to understand his spiritual condition on the journey. The other fabulous ballad 'You And I' actually follows 'Railroads' on the album. It's a beautiful song with a lilting piano that was co-written with Mattias Lindblom. Tarja wanted a big ballad on the release and my word she has got one! Both of these ballads have breathtaking beauty. 'The Golden Chamber', another Classical/synth collaboration with Jim Dooley that focuses on film score work and incorporates Finnish lyrics, is a necessary return to her roots.

A personal story that affected Tarja was the ARA San Juan submarine from Argentina that disappeared on the 15th of Nov 2017, so 'Spirits Of The Sea' was written accordingly. It is an undulating melancholic collaboration alongside Bart Hendrickson with dark lyrics.

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In 'Silent Masquerade', the spoken word intro and outro are from William Shakespeare and annunciated by mixing engineer Tim Palmer. Co-written by guitarist Julian Barrett, it's heavier and another deeply personal track with a wonderful piano refrain from Tarja, plus an emotional contribution from the fabulous Tommy Karevik (Kamelot).

Tarja explores her deep connection to motherhood on the upbeat 'Serene', whilst 'Tears In Rain' (the exact wording borrowed from Ridley Scott's 'Blade Runner') is considered to be one of the album's strongest cuts.

Amongst the other guests, Lacuna Coil's Cristina Scabbia features on 'Goodbye Stranger' – a stripped back song with the power coming from the guitars, bass and drums – and Björn "Speed" Strid of Soilwork gets to sing on the dark and heavy opener 'Dead Promises – an Alex Scholpp co-write.

Still as quirky as ever and not to everyone's taste, but Tarja is nevertheless still preaching to the converted.

Carl Buxton

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