Anette Olzon – Shine (2014) – Review

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RockmusicRaider Review - Anette Olzon - Shine - Album CoverI always find it interesting how these fabled, tough and usually black haired front chicks of Gothic Metal outfits embark on a solo career. And suddenly the style is totally different. Just check the stuff out Anneke van Giersbergen did after her departure from The Gathering. And it is not only the hair color that changes.

So, after her somewhat unconventional and forced departure from Nighwish – to say the least – Anette Olzon was looking for a new calling and identity in music for a considerable amount of time. Evil tongues were of course predicting a fall so deep that there would be no return possible. Not ever. The hate of the Tarja lovers sometimes took amazing proportions during and after her tenure at Nightwish. This made me wonder why Holopainen did not step in and put a stop to it. But hey, it takes guts to do that, right?

And what a nice surprise to find her new début album Shine on the shelf all of a sudden. Not what I expected – mind you – and at first I felt somewhat derailed with my metal senses all astray. Reason being that this album is nowhere near metal, but more gets into the realm of soft or pop rock. So, in this light the album actually rocks – in a geeky Anette kind of way.  

Much more aligned to her personality, Anette Olzon managed to turn her bad experience into some sort of a success story. And I must say, I am thrown! Throughout ‘Shine‘, this tells a story about her views on life. The lore tells us that writing on the album already started in 2009 during Dark Passion Play and went on until and after her dismissal from Nightwish. So, for sure not all of them tracks deal with the trauma of her experience.
 
I love the way she turned things kind of diplomatically around adding her point of view. Of course, the masters of Within Temptation and others surely helped a lot with the song making. And it shows.
 
 
From a somewhat subdued ‘Like a Show inside My Head’, leading through ‘Floating’, which to my surprise showed style elements of Kate Bush. And believe me, Kate and myself have been friends for a long time (not that Kate knows anything about this). This moving over a number of topics, culminating in ‘Moving Away’ and – the cherry on the pie – ‘One Million Faces’. Holy fucking cow Anette – this is good work. It is as if a totally different persona all of a sudden emerged. Light-years away from Symphonic Metal, crazy tattoos and black lipstick and the type of loyalty a band like Nightwish usually demands.
 
Anette Olzon put together an amazingly well-rounded, quiet, almost folksy soft and pop rock album. With any metal totally out the door, she tastefully worked over her past experiences in a style so totally different from before that it is almost unbelievable. This is one album I will listen to on quiet evenings, once I had enough metal for the day. But this is absolutely great work. I love it.

*****

Record Rating: 7/10 | Label: earMusic | Web: Facebook

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