Review by Tony Cannella
“Beauty and the Beat” is a unique and interesting new project. In this case, the beauty is none other than Tarja Turunen and the beat is drummer extraordinaire – as well as veteran of many different bands, including Tarja’s own group – Mike Terrana. What they’ve done here is release a live 2-disc album, DVD, Blu Ray set of the duo recording with a symphony orchestra and choir.
The first disc is a collection of classical favorites from artists and composers like Bach, Strauss, Dvorak and Mozart to name a few. Some of the songs may be familiar and others may not, but it’s all so well done and performed. This must have been a massive undertaking and the results are massive as well. Instead of a big rock concert feel, “Beauty and the Beat” has more of a symphony/opera house vibe with the audience watching and listening intently, then politely clapping after each song.
As much as I loved the interpretations of classical selections it was good to hear more familiar stuff that is presented on the second disc. Tarja & Terrana mix cover songs with original material all done within the framework of the symphony. A cover of the Queen tune “You Take My Breath Away” kicks off disc two, but it is the Led Zeppelin medley that really is a huge highlight. You have a little bit of “Kashmir”, a little bit of “The Immigrant Song”, a little bit of “Stairway to Heaven” to make up this 8-minute epic of a medley. In addition, we also have interpretations of the Nightwish song “Swanheart” as well as four of Tarja’s own compositions: “The Reign”, “Witch Hunt”, “Into the Sun” and “I Walk Alone” which closes the album.
The idea behind “Beauty and the Beat” is a good one and has to be viewed as an artistic success – if not a commercial one (time will tell on that one). Beauty and the Beat just goes to show you that with Tarja Turunen the possibilities are endless. Whether it is metal, rock, classical, classical metal she can do it all and with Mike Terrana on board the results are most satisfying.
Rating – 85/100
- Concert for Violin & Oboe (J.S. Bach)
- Blute Nur (J.S. Bach)
- Zueignung – Op. 10, N.1 (R. Strauss)
- Barber of Seville (G. Rossini)
- New World Symphony (A. Dvorak)
- Song to the Moon (A. Dvorak)
- Vilja Lied (F. Lehar)
- O Mio Babbino Caro (Puccini)
- Cancan (J. Offenbach)
- I Feel Pretty (Bernstein)
- William Tell Overture (G. Rossini)
- Mein Herr Marquis (R. Strauss)
- Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (W. Mozart)
- You Take My Breath Away (F. Mercury)
- The Reign
- Witch Hunt
- Medley (Led Zeppelin)
- Swanheart (Nightwish)
- Fly Me to the Moon (F. Sinatra)
- Into The Sun
- I Walk Alone
- Tarja Turunen – Vocals
- Mike Terrana – Drums