November 13, 2014 Anette Olzon – Shine (Album Review)
Anette Olzon, born June 21, 1971, is a Swedish singer and songwriter. Growing up with a mother who toured in a band, she was introduced into music early on in her life. In her exciting career she has sang with the likes of The Rasmus, Brother Firetribe, and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra. From 1999 to 2005, Olzon was the lead singer of Swedish Classic Rock band Alyson Avenue. More recently, she was the lead of the Finnish Symphonic Metal Band Nightwish between 2007 and 2012. In 2013, Miss Olzon struck off on a new adventure to start her solo career and released her debut album Shine, collaborating with Stefan Orn, co-produced with Johan Glössner, and signed with earMUSIC. Playing alongside Olzon is Rickard Bonde Trumeel (Keyboards and Acoustic guitar), Mikael “Mikey” Nisson (Guitar), Johan Husgafuel (Bass guitar), and Patrik Borghvist (Drums). Together they bring intrigued listeners a tantalizing ear-pleasing album with a feel good vibe on Shine.
“Like a Show Inside My Head” leads the listener into a mystical world of symphonic orchestras with a beautiful keyboard overlay. Sweet backing vocals that support a strong soprano vocal lead carry effectively throughout with offset darker guitars and flowing drums. “Shine,” the first single of this album, starts with a simple Metal guitar, melodic chorus, and smooth steady drum beats. Lyrically, this track is a focus on one’s inner light and peace. Mid-line vocals and synchronized strings add texture and grace to the track. Flowing forward is “Floating,” a fitting name to an accurate, well-placed sound of glimmering keyboards, dynamic bass drums, and mystical vocals. This majestic track is a great lead in for “All of the Lies;” a super-spacious song with many elements right from the get-go. A strong bass line and electric guitars offer outstanding support to the high vocals and echoes of the chorus; a romantic, sweet, toe-tapping experience.
Next in line is the song “Falling” with the expressive sounds of a deep bass line and drums. Keyboards are a strong entity of grace and poise that are held together with the darkened lyrics and fine-timed vocals. The strings and finely mixed instrumentals add the overlay of suspended notes. “Moving Away” takes a new shape with the opening of a mix of lullaby-like acoustic guitars and deep bass drums followed by clean, high-enchanting vocals, blissful keyboard notes, and angelic strings. “Invincible” is a sweet tune that opens with a haunting a cappella of Olzon’s voice while keyboards slowly sway in to accompany a harmonic chorus. A beautiful guitar solo lays an undertone of perfect melodies and romanced musical emotions leading into “One Million Faces.” On this piece, a true phantom piano lead introduces the oncoming thunderstorm of heartbreaking harmonic bliss with giant vocals and soft symphonic instrumentals. Rounding Shine out is “Watching Me from Afar” where deep bass drums and keyboards bring forth tear-jerking lyrics and perfectly placed soprano vocals. The track is brought to an instrumental finish with well-rounded elements of bass, softly singing guitars, smooth, steady drum beats, and an ambiance of keyboards. Bringing this beautiful musical journey to an end is “Hear Me” opening with an unscathed acoustic guitar and string symphonic notes. Many harmonic vocals and deep, pleading lyrics are sung with raw talent and grace, making a perfect ending to a a exceptional surprising album.
Olzon’s Shine shows just how much she has grown and become balanced in her solo career. This album is one that will stand the test of time and offer many smiles and tears of joy, hope, and peace for years to come. Do not miss a chance to dig into this one. CrypticRock gives Shine 5 out of 5 stars.