This blog will not look back at the past of the lead singer of Nightwish but will take the opportunity to discuss my take on the Swedish beauty who is fronting one of the biggest bands in the world.
I want to start this off by saying that I will not buy into the Tarja vs Anette battle that has been raging on since the beginning of time. Whether it is Tarja Turunen vs Anette Olzon in Nightwish, Ace Frehley vs Tommy Thayer in KISS or whichever member of Van Halen vs whatever member of Van Halen, there is one constant in music. Bands will evolve and change will happen. Whether it is in musical style, band membership or the artistic direction of a band. Changes happens.
I had no issue with Anette being named the new singer of Nightwish. I completely trusted Tuomas, Marco, Emppu and Jukka’s decision to bring her into the Nightwish family. She had the pedigree to take the role of front woman but I knew it wouldn’t be how well she sang that would dictate if she would be successful. It would be how she would handle the constant (and still constant) chirping from the TBBTUM (The Bring Back Tarja Underground Movement.)
The people who are so emotionally involved in their favorite band will be very passionate about how they feel about everything and anything the band does. I am that way and so are other Nightwish fans. I was curious to see how Anette would hold up to the rigors of recording a very scrutinized album, the tour to support the album and the ability to step out from her predecessor’s shadow.
I was very proud to see Anette not just survive her first album and tour with the band but also display the willingness to undertake the process all over again. Anette really came into her own over the years since she was first announced the winner of the search to find a singer. She has demonstrated the ability to rise above all the distractions that could have held her back and to carve her niche in the band.
Her newest work on Nightwish’s new CD “Imaginaerum” is out of this world and the vocal work she has been doing on the Nightwish classics that she has sang live has been fantastic. She never once tried to be a Tarja sound a like but instead put her own stamp on each song and made it her own. I love what Anette brings to the band both vocally and in her stage presence. She has a Rock N Roll background and really seems to enjoy interacting with the crowd and her band mates.
There is something special happening in the world of Nightwish right now. I can’t quite put a finger on exactly what it is but I know it is there as I feel it too. I love all music and KISS is one of my favorite bands but there is something that has me very excited about Nightwish. There is a very distinct sense of anticipation every time the band’s name is mentioned around me.
When the era of Tarja was coming to a close, there appeared to be a separation growing in Nightwish between Tarja and the guys. I am sure it caused tension and impacted not just their personal relationships but also the music and concerts they performed. When most bands go through this, there is a tension and sense of anxiety until something is changed in the equation.
There is an undeniable sense of positive energy surrounding Nightwish right now and Anette is right at the center of it all. She has rebuilt the morale of the band by showing a willingness to work hard at becoming a great front woman, she has shown dedication to singing the songs that existed before her tenure in the band, she has put herself in a position to be openly criticized and scrutinized by the world and she has grown from it all.
I am a Nightwish fan and I am an Anette Olzon fan. She has recharged the Nightwish battery and has brought new energy to the band. She is a worthy successor to Tarja and she will continue to make her position in the band her own. I really do love how she sings the older songs, as I like that she will do it her way and that is how it should be. Even some of the most vocal critics have said that she has “improved greatly” from where she was a few years ago. I do not know if it is that she has improved, as much as she has just been accepted for who she is. She has always been a great singer who also had a great stage presence. Some are just seeing it now, where some of us have always known this.
I did not want a Tarja clone to take over the singing duties, I did not want Nightwish in a position that there was tension and the members of the band were unhappy, I did not want the band to end and I did not want them to just settle on someone as a replacement. I wanted them to realize that this was the start of a new chapter, that there was new blood in the mix and that there was a chance to evolve and grow.
They have and they will continue to do so, as Anette gives them more flexibility than they had previously. Marco has seen more singing duty and they band seems to actually love being around each other. Nightwish is a family again. Well, one that just happens to be a kick ass band. All that is left to say is ……
Thank you Anette. You have the beauty of a goddess, the voice of an angel and the spirit to lift the band and it’s fans.
I would have no one else fronting Nightwish.