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Dec 22

Yesterday I was watching the last “decent” concert from Nightwish (ok, I really should have said their last concert where Tarja was the main singer). There is a good chance that you don’t know Nightwish. So, a quick recap is in order. Nightwish is a Finnish band which combines strong vocals (especially when they had Tarja) with symphonic power metal. Well, after the End of an Era concert, they decided to dismiss the vocalist because (according to them) she was starting to behave like a start, missing rehearsals, thinking only in money, etc. Bottom line: they felt that they she was overrated.

Ok, so, why do I listen to Nightwish? It’s not really because of their lyrics or music only…I mean, the final result (music + vocals) is really good, but what made the difference was Tarja. Period. And that gives her the  right for special treatment. Get over it!

Don’t believe me? ok,then compare their actual singer (Anette) with Tarja and then let me know what you think. Don’t get me wrong: Anette is a  great singer. The problem is that before her,there was Tarja. I mean, if you start listening to Nightwish now, you’d be saying: ok, she (Anette) is great. what’s all this fuss about? but then you’ll just have to listen to a music with Tarja and you’ll have the “aha” moment.

I guess that if they’ve read Peopleware then they would have some ideas on how to make their team (ie, band) jell. It’s true  that you need a strong team and that making everyone work together is really hard. However, don’t forget the individual. You can have a good team, but a great team will only be possible whenever you have the right “starts” and when you manage to make them all work towards an objective!

Look at Nightwish as a case study of how not to treat “starts”. Remember: they do make a difference and when you find one, make it hard for them to want to leave.

10 comments so far

  1. Cynti
    12:00 am - 1-12-2009

    I have to disagree, partially, with you.
    I think that Nightwish with Tarja was something unique; but Anette is an amazing singer, with a different style; and with Anette I still think that Nightwish is still unique.
    I was resistent in the begining, but them I decided to open my mind and stop to compare both, it”s impossible to compare them, due to the different styles. You can like Tarja better, but it is a matter of style and taste. Like I do.
    But I”ve been in their concert last month and honestly Anette kick ass, and IMO she is much better on stage, live than Tarja.
    Nightwish is the same band with the same quality (or higher) that before, but with a different singer, in a different style; but still the best in their genre.

  2. luisabreu
    10:53 am - 1-12-2009

    I”m not saying Annete isn”t good. just that she isn”t as good as Tarja and what really made a difference was Tarja”s voice. And that”s my point: she made Nightwish. Without her they wouldn”t be as famous as they are today (and that is really a fact, right?)

  3. Cyntia
    9:24 pm - 1-12-2009

    No, you aren”t saying that Anette is bad singer. The point that I disagree is when you say that Nightwish wouldn”t be famous without Tarja and that is possible to compare both. They are amazing in their ways, and they are totally different! How to compare Monserat Cabare with Amy Lee? It”s a matter of taste not quality, but see it”s my opinion.
    Also I think maybe NW wouldn”t be famous without Tuomas, but not without Tarja. I listen to Tarja”s CD and it is beautiful, but Nightwish CD is astonishing, and what I miss in Tarja CD are the lyrics, songs and arrangements that only Tuomas is able to compose nowadays. It”s easier to find a amazing singer, but nearly impossible to find an artist so complete as Tuomas is. In the end Tarja has her voice, but it is missing something in her work and I hope she can accomplish it someday.

  4. luisabreu
    10:53 pm - 1-12-2009

    Hello again Cyntia.

    I see your point, but I think you”re not right. Nightwish music is good but to me (and to several guys I”ve spoken about them in the past) what makes the difference is/was her voice.

    Several years ago I”ve heard about them from a friend of mine. According to him, they had great music and superb vocals. Now, I”ve just watched two or three musics live with Anette and, yes, they were good but…not the same. Not the same vocal power, not the same charisma. If you”ve followed Nightwish for some time, it”s impossible not to notice this. Know what I”m saying?

    So, to me (and this is my opinion:)) she was the star and the one responsible for their success (and this opinion seems to be shared by several of my friends). However, as you see, opinions are subjective :)

  5. luisabreu
    10:55 pm - 1-12-2009

    PS: I”d take Monserat any day because, like Tarja, she can really sing live (which is something Amy and Anette have trouble doing – but hey, that”s just my opinion)

  6. Cyntia
    12:26 am - 1-13-2009

    Hi Luis,

    I just love Monserat too!
    I know that several people still prefer Tarja, and also I saw many of the “Tarjaholics” goes to their concert in november and just fall in love with Anette. Also I saw the opposite.
    I saw Tarja live and she is amazing, but I have to confess that Anette got me in the gig. Live there isn”t comparison for me; Anette is much better and with more charisma.

    About a year ago I was like: oh this is alwful! And I stand on this opinion about the gigs in 2007. But she improved in an incredible way. If you listen to the firsts gigs and the lasts, she is another singer. She is comfortable and relaxed, playing on stage, and she has an energy that is so powerful; although there are some songs that I don”t like in her voice.

    Well since it is impossible to have Tarja back, due to all that happened (if you know the history…), I can tell you this: go to see a live gig with Anette. But you have to go and really listen to her and the band; don”t go with the idea of a comparison, if you do it obviously won”t work for you.

    Thanks for the good discussion! I think you chose a good subject for your article.

  7. Vergil
    10:28 pm - 2-28-2009

    I listened to Nightwish a little back when Tarja was the lead singer and I didn”t like it. Sure, I recognized that she had an amazing voice… but so what? There are thousands of voices better than Tarja”s in the music world. Go listen to some opera music or even a broadway musical. She”s good, but she certainly isn”t the best. Her voice and the combined style of the band just didn”t jive with me. So I stopped listening to them.

    Fast forward to Dark Passion Play and Anette. The style of the band has completely changed. Without Tarja”s overpowering voice, the band is adding more classical sounds to their songs. The Poet and the Pendulum has a whole orchestra behind it! Their style of music has expanded (and improved) with Anette. Tarja might have been a marginally better singer, but who cares? The music has gotten better. I would rather listen to a great song with a mediocre singer than a mediocre song with a great singer.

  8. luisabreu
    10:45 pm - 2-28-2009

    a valid opinion Vergil…though I don”t agree with it :) anyway, if you shared my opinion, then probably the post would make more sense…

  9. Rich
    8:05 am - 3-4-2009

    I totally agree with you, I got in to Nightwish around the time of Oceanborn (98-99) and Tarja gave them the edge over all female fronted metal bands that were on the market.

    I must disagree with Virgil, Once had a huge classical edge same as Dark Passion Play. The music involved in all albums with Tarja in my honest opinion greatly outweighed the boring riffs, lack of lead work that was on DPP.

    To me Nightwish were at their musical peak around Wishmaster, don”t get me wrong this isn”t their most famous period but musically they hit the nail on the head with that album.

    I”m not saying it was wrong to get rid of Tarja, if she is putting the band in jeopardy by acting like a Diva and being too cocky then fair play to them. At the end of the day Nightwish is also a job to the other members who have children. (some of them… the ones that don’t enjoy Disney! Don’t you think a grown man that loves Disney is a bit weird? That’s something for another time!) I think the fundamental thing here is they did the right thing ditching Tarja but the wrong thing picking up Anette (who is SO damn flat live its unbelievable)

    They should have gone for someone like Floor Jansen who can do both Classical and more popular styles. Like everyone here its not like I hate Annette I just think they could have and should have done better…

  10. olantern
    8:46 am - 3-26-2009

    i think tarja was the main ingredient in nightwish! her voice is and was the best in rock. anette is very plain and too screechy. i do not listen to them anymore since i heard their cd with anette. tarja also has class and style and charisma all of which anette does not! very sad for nightwish. a shell of what they were.