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Tuomas Holopainen - 'The Life And Times Of Scrooge' Hot

Added by Franco     June 01, 2014    
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You should enjoy it for what it is.

When Tuomas Holopainen announced his decision to record a solo album, Nightwish fans must have been in raptures thinking about all those overblown orchestrations with guests littered all over the bombastic Metal stylings. Sure, there are guest musicians, but overblown orchestrations?

What Holopainen has done is indulged his passion for Don Rosa's graphic novel 'The Life And Times Of Scrooge McDuck' by effectively composing a film score to bring to life his vision of the novel. It follows McDuck from his beginnings in Glasgow in 1877 and his life's adventures until his passing (aged 100) in 1967 in America; but to really understand this album, you really need to know the story.

Suitably enough, the opener 'Glasgow 1877' begins with a spoken intro by the Glaswegian-born Folk musician Alan Reid and follows the path of an instrumental film score piece with slight elements familiar to Nightwish fans. 'Into The West' follows the storyline as a teenage McDuck travels to America with cowboy-themed orchestration and a banjo played by Mikko Livanainen.

It gets a little interesting on 'Duel & Cloudscapes' as more familiar Nightwish-style marching orchestration appears alongside a melody refrain involving different instruments. 'Dreamtime' (Aboriginal sacred era) features didgeridoo as McDuck goes to Australia in search of Gold and his fortune; it also has a repetitive beat throughout with what sounds like fairlight Ivory tinkling alongside.

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'Cold Heart Of The Klondike' (set in Yukon, Canada famed for its Goldrush where McDuck found his fortune) has a dramatic choral intro and many similar Nightwish elements as well as Sonata Arctica's Tony Kakko on vocals in places.

'The Last Sled' focuses on McDuck in Dawson City and has the beautiful lilting almost bird-song-like Folk voice of Holopainen's long-time partner Johanna Kurkela with dramatic pieces intertwined with soft mellow passages where-as the sad 'Goodbye, Papa' is self-explanatory as a piano with soft violins, low horn and a flute portray a melancholic melody line.

'To Be Rich' is, I'm guessing, the storyline of McDuck as a billionaire but having fallen out with his two sisters and does so for seventeen years hence the sad female wailings of Mikko's sister Johanna Livanainen.

The one traditional song with vocals and closest Nightwish comparison is the single 'A Lifetime Of Adventure' with the beautiful haunting and ethereal voice of Kurkela again and featuring the only electric solo on the album by M. Livanainen, who then dons an acoustic guitar with the soft vocals of Reid again to close out with 'Go Slowly, Sands Of Time' where Troy Donockley's pipes and the two girls' vocals harmonise together at the end.

Certainly not the album everyone expected but never-the-less you should enjoy it for what it is.

Carl Buxton

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PJS said:

A much better album than I had been lead to expect. Approach with an open mind and you will find much to enjoy here. Oh - and do get the wonderfully packaged special edition if you can find it.


M.U.S.I.C. not Music....
June 01, 2014
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