In October 2007, Aki’s Blog celebrates one year on the Internet! The first blog entry is from October 29th, 2006, as you can see in the blog archives on the right. To celebrate this, I change the name of the blog from the boring Aki’s Blog to The Hopes Were High, a name I also have on YouTube nowadays. It’s from the Nightwish song “Higher Than Hope”.
In 2004, Finnish symphonic power metal band Nightwish released their fifth studio album, Once, leading to a giant world tour. After the last concert, the members of Nightwish wrote an open letter which officially fired the lead singer, Tarja Turunen, leading to a giant debate; the name of Nightwish have become famous because of the operatic female vocals creating the new genre \”symphonic power metal\” – so without Tarja, is their a Nightwish? In the fall of 2006, Nightwish surprised their fans and reporters all around the world by announcing the possibility of sending in a demo tape to the Nightwish members. Thousands of applicants sent their demos to Nightwish, and in February 2007, lead member, main composer and keyboardist Tuomas Holopainen announced that the new member was found.
On May 25, Nightwish officially released their new single, Eva, a radio single which was sold as download only. All the income goes to a child charity. Though, already as I got home from school yesterday, a leak had made the song downloadable on The Pirate Bay. I don\’t really know if I should take that as good or bad, but I guess bad. I mean, the song should have been released TOMORROW. Goddamn it, wait one day at least!
The identity of the new vocalist wasn\’t leaked, however. Her identity was officially revealed on Nightwish.com yesterday at 5 pm Finnish time (4 pm Swedish time, 2 pm American). I was glad to hear that the singer, Anette Olzon (birth name Anette Blyckert) wasn\’t very famous at all; according to Nightwish.com, Google searches and Wikipedia, she had joined a band as a teenager, Alyson Avenue which she still was a member of before Nightwish. The band had only released two albums and they never got very famous. So why am I glad to hear that? Actually, I must confess that I had started to believe those bloody tabloids, and I really thought that the singer would turn out to be Simone Simons of Epica, Lady Angellyca of Forever Slave etcetera. For the first thing, this would be quite boring. No new blood. I already know these voices. Two: this would perhaps mean that the new singer already is famous, perhaps even more famous than the other members, casting shade on them, taking over totally and turning Nightwish into another band. I don\’t want that to happen, I want Tuomas to hold the control of the band, keep composing their songs and being the front member. And the third and last reason: I want to see a brand new artist develop. I really think that I think the same as the members thought choosing to have a demo outtake instead of asking famous singers of other metal bands. I want to see a girl (okay, she\’s 35, so woman) develop from being non-famous into being one of the world\’s most famous singers of the metal genre. And I think that Anette Olzon has got that competence. I really do.
Over to my analysis of the song itself; no more talk about Anette and Nightwish\’s last years. Eva begins with a calm piano play in twenty seconds, before Anette\’s voice appears and calmly introduces the songs, with the piano repeating itself in the background. The refrain begins after 56 seconds: \”Eva flies away, dreams the world far away. In this cruel children\’s game, there\’s no friend to call her name\”. Something already destroying Nightwish\’s nature of before is Anette\’s humming; actually, my thoughts of humming aren\’t that great. I look at humming as a cheap way of \”singing\” instead of using some other instruments to make the sound. Another similar thing that reminds (oh, god, can I really say this about Nightwish?) of pop is Anette\’s voice at 04:01, her drawn out version of the word \”sunflower seed\” (okay, I suck at hearing lyrics and I can\’t find the official lyrics, so it\’s possibly not \”sunflower seed\”). I hate that. Please. Don\’t use that beautiful voice of yours for humming and similar.
At the end first refrain, at about 01:30 of the song, no drums have been used, and as I can hear nothing but piano and calm singing. The song is really calm, but due to experience, I can say that metal songs can\’t do totally calm songs. They can\’t live without drums and electric guitars, and I don\’t blame them. I love calm, sad songs, but they are rather boring if the tempo all the song through is the same, and if the only instrument is the piano. I compare with for example Sonata Arctica\’s Shamandalie and Evanescence\’s My Immortal. Calm metal songs. I love them. Eva don\’t ruin this tradition, introducing drums at 02:12 (which follows through till the end), and the song has got an electric guitar solo at 02:52. At 03:38, a louder refrain with drums, piano, electric guitars and backing vocals appears and goes till the end of the song, at 04:24.
After listening to Eva, I am every time surprised about its length. The song really has it all; introduction, piano solo, electric guitar solo, it is calm, it is hard, it has it all. On less than four and a half minute.