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A Change For The Better - 80%

corviderrant, June 2nd, 2007

To be honest, my exposure to Nightwish has been limited. But what I've heard of the band with Tarja Turunen, well...she is a wonderful vocalist, don't get me wrong, but her style didn't always seem to mesh with the music. Keep in mind that she wasn't at all into metal when she joined the band, and it showed in that her vocals often seemed out of place. Especially with the more mainstream direction Nightwish have been going in the last few years. I am not at all putting her down by stating that Annette Blyckert (Olzon) is a more apropos replacement for her.

I say this because Annette feels like a much better fit in the band's sound. Her vocal patterns feel more natural and her voice actually suits this song well--though I do agree with another reviewer in that I'd like to hear her really cut loose on something like "End Of All Hope". Her soft and soothing approach at the song's beginning give way to a more emotive wailing by the end and it flows very naturally. The chorus is indeed very catchy and the backing vocals at the end nearly brought a tear to my eye. Her voice and accent are entirely different from Tarja's, since she's Swedish, but it adds an extra level of charm and style. Can she hang? If this song is any indicator, yes, so far so good.

The song itself is a very pretty ballad, something I'm known to be a sucker for--but only if it's well-written and not formulaic. And Nightwish did a very nice job on this song, with Tuomas' keyboards leading the way and Emppu dealing out a very melodic solo. The rhythm section does its job, all you can ask for in a song like this, and does it well. And Marco kept his mouth shut on this one, a good move. Good vocal melodies on the chorus in particular as well as good vocal layering in general; Annette lays down sweet harmonies that sound right on and as I said, her more emotional cries at the end in the background are beautiful.

Overall, this is an auspicious debut for Miss Olzon, now let's see what else the woman can do, I say. And I bet it will be good too. Let's give her a chance to show off what she can do and judge fairly, I say.