Anette Olzon – Shine (Armoury)

Thursday, 24th April 2014
Rating: 7/10

Despite efforts to drum up some pre-release drama by trying to bait her former Nightwish bandmates into a verbal tug-of-war, interest in Anette Olzon’s solo debut, Shine, has been lukewarm at best. Fact is, she’s a distant third in the Nightwish singer hierarchy…and possibly fourth if we want to toss in Marco Hietala. Furthermore, Nightwish has emerged squeaky-clean from their split, while Olzon has been indirectly painted as difficult to work with, unreliable, and frail. This doesn’t exactly instill confidence in Shine, now does it?

Predictably, not a touch of symphonic metal here, something Tarja has had a difficult time staying away from in light of her supposed dislike of the sound as well. Olzon’s voice never had much heft, but, it’s soft like a cloud, well-suited for the tender, piano-driven soft rock jams that fill up the ten-song track listing. There’s ample amount here, whether on opener “Like a Show Inside My Head,” “Hear Me,” and “Invincible.” Lead single “Lies” is easily the best jam here, a stirring rock ballad that might have enough conviction to land on a Nightwish album…or at least clock in as a b-side. Elsewhere, the title track could probably do without its circus-like vibe, while “One Million Faces” and “Watching Me From Afar” and tolerable, above-average platforms for Olzon to do her thing without the shadow of bombast and heavy orchestration.

One could look at Shine this way: It doesn’t make Olzon look bad, but it does make Tuomas Holopainen look even better in the wake of the split. Granted, Olzon’s solo career is just getting its wings, so it shall be of interest if it achieves respectability like Tarja’s, or falters. Regardless, expect this one to fade into the back once Nightwish gets rollin’ with their first album featuring Floor Jansen.

Anette Olzon official site