Album Review: Tarja – “from Spirits and Ghosts (Score for a Dark Christmas)”

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Tarja’s from Spirits and Ghosts (Score for a Dark Christmas) is going to be your new holiday tradition for years to come. I love Christmas carols, but I will be the first to admit that they all sound the same. Tarja’s Christmas album is the first Christmas album I’ve listened to in a while that genuinely brings a new take to some of my favorite songs; she brings a moodier feel to the saccharine songs that you usually hear, which I love. That being said, the darker tone of the songs does not detract from the holiday feeling. In fact, I received this album in October and the first day I listened to it, it was warm and sunny out, but once I closed my eyes, I could have sworn it was Christmas Eve. This album really feels like Christmas; it conjures up those warm feelings of being with your family around the fireplace with the decked out tree in the corner.

Tarja’s siren voice is on full display in this album. She reaches high notes effortlessly and never screeches. Her original song “Together” is sure to become a Christmas classic and fits right in with the reimagined carols on the rest of the album. “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” is one of my top favorite songs off this album. I love that the intro is acapella and even once the music gently starts in, the focus is always on the vocals. The harmony with the background vocals is serenely beautiful. “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” was the perfect first track because it raises your expectations for a great album from the first note. It starts off slow and soft and gradually gets more powerful as you listen. “Pie Jesu” was a surprise to me because it’s not a carol I usually like, but I love Tarja’s version. from Spirits and Ghosts (Score for a Dark Christmas), out November 17, is going to become a holiday staple for me and I’m sure for many others as well.

Post by Karen Shalev

What did you think of from Spirits and Ghosts (Score for a Dark Christmas)? Comment below.

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