Top Ten Tarja Albums

Nightwish albums don't count. Tarja must be credited as the or one of the main artists of the album.
The Top Ten
1 Colours In the Dark

This is the richest, most thought-out of all her studio albums. The record offers a huge variety of different sounds, melodies, and moods, drawing from a diverse set of influences. It feels as if Tarja shows us her dreamland. Despite featuring her catchiest, poppiest melodies, it also has the most surreal, dreamy tone, and her most classical singing on a rock album.

"Lucid Dreamer" may be the best showcase of each of these aspects. This album is not just a collection of songs, but an experience.

2 My Winter Storm

On "My Winter Storm", you can still feel Holopainen's influence. The sound is a perfect blend of classical and rock, with poppy melodies and, as the title suggests, a very icy touch. It is also her most gentle rock album, very harmonic and even a bit calm. She was criticized for a lack of personality on this record, but it doesn't change how graceful it is.

3 What Lies Beneath

"What Lies Beneath" features Tarja tiptoeing towards her own identity after being obviously influenced by her Nightwish days. Released between "My Winter Storm" and "Colours in the Dark", this album does not really feel like either. It has a clearer focus on rock and, unlike those albums, feels more like a collection of songs than an overall experience as an album. However, it does not change the fact that the songs on it are awesome.

4 The Brightest Void

Many thought of this prequel to "The Shadow Self" as a byproduct, but actually I like it more than the main album. Its nine songs hardly have anything in common, drawing from country, musical, symphonic, and even electronic influences. Each individual song is a great track. It is by far her least classical album.

5 Ave Maria En Plein Air

This album heavily polarized fans, since it is an entirely classical effort. It features Tarja singing twelve different compositions based on the popular prayer "Ave Maria". A graceful album of stunning beauty, but nothing for someone expecting her to give the classical songs a modern twist. This is classical music throughout.

On this cover artwork, you can see how she separates her stardom from her classical career. In several European countries, Tarja is a music star and associated with her first name and logo. On her more classically oriented music, she goes by her first and last name and uses a regular font.

6 The Shadow Self

"The Shadow Self" is her most remarkable album to date because it showcases how much she has evolved as both a vocalist and a songwriter and has finally found a style of her own. Blending a heavier hard rock and symphonic metal with her outstanding vocals, it features great musicians like Chad Smith from Red Hot Chili Peppers and Alissa White-Gluz from Arch Enemy. The album noticeably uses symphonic elements in a softer way.

She changed the way she sings significantly while maintaining the beauty of her tone, and the amazing range now includes low chest tones as well as laser-like high notes. This album is much more diverse and cohesive, dealing with the theme of dark and light as complementary in the human soul.

7 Left in the Dark

"Left in the Dark" feels like "Colours in the Dark"'s twisted twin sister. Like, everything is there, but it's different somehow. It's been rearranged and turned around, and in the end, it's like a parallel universe's version of an album you know fairly well. I like this a lot though.

8 Henkäys Ikuisuudesta
9 In the Raw
10 The Seer
The Contenders
11 Beauty & The Beat (with Mike Terrana)
12 Act I
13 Luna Park Ride
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