Tarja My Winter Storm

Tarja My Winter Storm
My Winter Storm makes it clear that the split between Tarja Turunen and Nightwish was not about musical differences — the album’s blend of metal guitar work, symphonic orchestrations and operatic vocals is hardly a departure from Tarja’s previous work in the neo-classical power metal scene. Never a fan of Nightwish, I was not pre-disposed to appreciate My Winter Storm and wasn’t at all surprised by its Disney-fied, bombastic self-indulgence. Tarja’s voice is as dramatically powerful as ever, and she enlisted a long list of talented composers and performers to translate her "vision and concept” into a theatrical soundscape of ambitious proportions. The album’s heavier than her pop music past led me to expect and My Winter Storm is bound to please anyone devastated by a Tarja-less Nightwish, but its manufactured glitz is a little hard to stomach. My Winter Storm’s ultimate travesty is a cover of Alice Cooper’s "Poison,” which transforms ’80s hard rock cheese into 21st-century schmaltz. (Universal)