When it comes to metal and classical vocals, few have made that combination work as well as Tarja Turunen. Tarja rose to fame during her time with the famous band "Nightwish". While there were plenty of female vocalists in metal before Tarja, she brought her classical style vocal to the genre, which no one had done before her and it made a huge impact on the metal music scene. Her vocal work would play a huge part in the creation of symphonic metal. This would make Nightwish one of the biggest bands in Europe and would earn them a strong following through out the world. Sadly, Tarja got fired from Nightwish in October 2005. The reasoning for this is still being debated today among Nightwish fans today. However, Tarja moved on and has since had a pretty successful solo career. Most recently she decided to try her hand at Christmas music and put out her version of the classic hymn, " O Come O Come Emmanuel.
From a musical stand point, she certainly has taken a different take on this song. It sounds more mysterious and classical. Early on in the song, it sounds mysterious with subtle orchestra music playing and Tarja singing with it. The bridge really gets louder and more energetic. The sound is deeper, heavier, and more big as the song goes on. She does this to try to add more depth and it actually works. The one problem I have with this song is how she tries to make it sound dark at times. For example, when the orchestra really pics up at first, it sounds more like trying to escape in a horror movies then listening to a Christmas song. I understand that she is going for that, but for an uplifting hymn like this I don't think it fits. She doesn't go too far with it though and she brings it back to more classical feel it started with. Tarja's vocal work is superb in this song. She continues to display that amazing deep classical voice she has and it really brings a unique spin on this classic hymn.
When it comes to the lyrics, there isn't much to explain. Whether you are Christian or not, you have heard this hymn more then a few times in your life. The message is basically about awaiting the birth of Jesus Christ and celebrating his arrival. The message is simple and very effective. It gets to the point and is written in a way that both Christian and non Christians alike can really enjoy it. It never gets old and is something everybody can pick up on.
I must say, I give props to Tarja for will to trying something different that hasn't been done before with a Christmas song. I think it gets a little darker then a Christmas song should be, but it doesn't get over blown and she seems to keep it in check, more then some of the other songs on the "Am Spirits and Ghosts" album. However, this isn't a song for everybody though, even among rockers and metal heads. If you prefer Trans Siberian Orchestra or the classic style Christmas music, then you will not like this song. On the other hand, if you are a Tarja fan and/or you are looking for a new take on Christmas music, then you might enjoy this song. I give Tarja's cover of O Come Emmanuel a 3 out of 5.
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