1. Dead Promises (with Björn “Speed” Strid)
2. Goodbye Stranger (with Cristina Scabbia)
3. Tears In Rain
5. You And I
6. The Golden Chamber: Awaken / Loputon yö / Alchemy
7. Spirits Of The Sea
8. Silent Masquerade (with Tommy Karevik)
10. Shadow Play
CD Digipak, 2LP (Picture Disc) incl. Download, Bonus CD in Cardbox-Sleeve with Outtakes/B-Sides, vinyl-sized Photobook, Postcards
As the saying goes, not all that glitters is gold. But then again, not all that is gold necessarily glitters. It was this idea that struck Finnish singer Tarja Turunen as she began work on her seventh solo album, “In The Raw”.
“Gold, we think, is something polished and perfect, sophisticated, a luxury – but in its natural state it’s a raw element”, explains Tarja. Just like the music on her upcoming album: a combination of sophisticated and refined orchestration, choir and her classically trained voice with a raw, dark heavy musical core. Simply put, “In The Raw” is a gold-plated work of wonder.
Three years on from her last album, 2016’s “The Shadow Self”, “In The Raw” finds Tarja and her beautiful voice sounding, as ever, truly stunning. Working with many of the same musicians and production team as before, the intention was to bring out the idea of rawness to match the feelings Tarja was having from the very beginning of the process.
The album finds Tarja going to raw, personal places in her lyrics. Opening herself up more than ever before, she says she was left feeling naked by her honesty, but also pleased at where she had gone with her words.
The first look at the album, the brand-new song “Dead Promises”, is all this and more. Matching the stunning power of Tarja’s voice with a thunderous guitar, the aggression she speaks of is brought to the front, not threatening to shatter something fragile, but reinforcing its power. “I really like how the guitar sounds: in your face,” she says. “If I’m singing powerfully, I need something powerful behind me so that I don’t feel like I am left alone.” Fans will find that the album includes an amazing duet version of the song with guest vocals by Björn “Speed” Strid of Soilwork.
“The only direction that I gave to Alex Scholpp before we started working on the composition of “Dead Promises” was, that I wanted to have a song on the album, which would make people (and myself) jump in my shows. Like crazy :)
He came up with this guitar based great tune and I liked the mood of it since the first listening. I also decided already then to have the guitar very present in the song. The raw sound of rhythm guitars in general gives me the energy that I need in order to feel relaxed while I sing. I have a powerful voice which needs support from my band, so that I don’t feel like left alone. Precisely this raw, aggressive, edgy sound was common to other demos of the album too. I started to think that I didn't want to loose that sound this time and while we would have orchestration, choirs and lots of rich elements all through the album, the guitars and the band will need to be the main thing this time.
And the complete “Raw” concept started to take shape.
I loved adding a few operatic vocals on the song, which has become my trademark since the beginning of my rock career.
Before my own vocal recordings began, I thought of the possibility to have this song as a duet on the album. Björn “Speed” Strid from Soilwork is a talented singer who I have been admiring for a long time. When he accepted to take part in my song, I knew it would be just amazing. He did a great job where you can hear his amazing vocal range.”
“The search of the raw sound in a song found its best expression with “Goodbye Stranger”. For me, who is used to have keyboards, orchestra and other elements on my productions, it feels super different to write a song where the power comes from drums, bass, guitars and voice only. But that’s how I love it! The song has a special airy, light, spatial, floating feeling on it despite being
very heavy at the same time.
It had been on my mind for a long time that I would like to sing along with my friend Cristina Scabbia. My dream became reality on this one. I am honoured to have her voice on my record and on this particular song, where I could have her very well present. In general I like to give my guest vocalists lot of space in my productions so the collaboration becomes lot more enjoyable experience.”
Let it go, let it go!
Why crave to hold your breath?
Take it slow, take it slow
There is no life in death
It is time, it is time
to leave the past behind and face yourself alone
In the raw