Tarja – Henkäys Ikuisuudesta (Breath From Eternity)

Walking In The Air

     This is not a metal album in any way. It is Tarja‘s first solo album after her tenure in Nightwish was revoked (she was unceremoniously and publicly dumped). The version I own is the original 2006 release. It was re-released in at the end of 2010 with a different track-listing.

    With the background Tarja has in classical singing, it is no surprise that she made an album geared more toward vocals and words than music. But then, let’s face the truth; without Nightwish, when you go to hear Tarja perform live, the music playing in the background is incidental. It is all about that beautiful voice.
     With the exception of the first song, “Kuin Henkäys Ikuisuutta“, this is a CD full of holiday/Christmas songs written and previously recorded by other musicians.
     I cannot say, but for one song, whether or not they have some personal meaning in Tarja‘s life. The song “You Would Have Loved This“, originally written and performed by American folk-singer, Cori Conners, is performed here as a reflection and tribute to Tarja‘s mother, who passed away in 2003. It is a very good, and moving version of the song.

     For anyone who is a fan of Tarja‘s, or a fan of excellent vocal abilities, both the original and new release of this album are must haves.

     My own mother was half Italian, half Ojibway (Chippewa) and I grew up listening to Opera like Enrico Caruso singing Ave Maria. Tarja performs the song on this album and upon first hearing it I stopped doing anything and listened and remembered my own mother.
     What I am getting at is Tarja‘s singing on this album is very beautiful. So beautiful I believe even angel’s stop and listen when it is being played. It is not metal but that is okay; it is still music sung by the true First Lady of Metal.

track listing for Henkäys Ikuisuudesta:
01:  Kuin Henkäys Ikuisuutta (The Breath of Eternity)
02: You Would Have Loved This (Cori Conners)
03: Happy New Year (ABBA cover)
04: En Etsi Valtaa, Loistoa (I Seek No Power, Glory)
05: Happy Christmas (War Is Over) (John Lennon)
06: Varpunen Jouluaamuna (A Sparrow On Christmas Morning)
07: Ave Maria (Hail Mary)
08: The Eyes Of A Child (Air Supply)
09: Mökit Nukkuu Lumiset (Cottages Sleep Under Snow)
10: Jo Joutuu Ilta (not sure about translation: It’s Already Evening)
11: Marian Poika (Mary’s Boy Child)
12: Magnificat: Quia Respexit (literal translation: Magnificent: He Regards Humility)*
13: Walking In The Air (Howard Blake)
14: Track listing for 2010 re-release
01: Kuin Henkäys Ikuisuutta
02: You Would Have Loved This
03:  Heinillä Härkien
04: En Etsi Valtaa, Loistoa
05: Varpunen Jouluaamuna
06: Ave Maria
07: Maa On Niin Kaunis
08:  Mökit Nukkuu Lumiset
09: Jo Joutuu Ilta
10: Magnificat: Quia respexit
11: Kun Joulu On
12: Arkihuolesi Kaikki Heitä
13: Walking In The Air
14: Jouluyö, Juhlayö (Silent Night)

     Again, it is a Christmas album. Tarja has stated she is Lutheran, as are many from Finland (Soumi). In December, Tarja does Christmas performances of these songs at churches in Finland. The shows are always sold out.

* Magnificat was written by Johann Sebastian Bach for orchestra, choir, and vocal soloists. The words are The Canticle of Mary from The Gospel of Luke.
The song is the second Aria from Magnificat entitled: Quia respexit humilitatem.