Tarja: Colours In The Dark

Career-affirming symphonic rock from Finnish soprano.

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Tarja Turunen’s powerful voice has never faltered throughout her career, but the music that has accompanied the former Nightwish star hasn’t always been entirely flattering. With her third solo album, it seems the Finnish soprano has finally cracked it with a more confident and bolder sound.

Whereas its 2010 predecessor What Lies Beneath was separated into three distinct styles with each mixed by a different producer, Colours In The Dark is more fluid, more coherent and even more dramatic than anything she’s previously produced on her own.

On progressive opener Victim Of Ritual, marching rhythms part to reveal the symphonic metal sound the soprano has been associated with for the best part of three decades. The pop element she’s flirted with has been polished up by producer Tim Palmer, whose credentials include Bowie’s Tin Machine, Robert Plant, and Turunen’s previous album.

This one is packed with rock anthems (the galloping Never Enough and Neverlight) and twists through grandiose orchestral arrangements, driving metal riffs and piano-led ditties soaked in rich atmospheres.

Colours In The Dark must surely be Tarja’s strongest solo release to date.