Tarja Turunen…

…has all those names up on her fb page with a mysterious hashtag “expecttheunexpected”. Including Hansi Kürsch.

Plain awesome, on the one hand. And – unlike with Doro – honestly unexpected.

On the other hand… she has names on the same list that totally scare me. Like, y’know, Michael Monroe.

A number of others are those “well-respected” popular names in contemporary metal. Whom I happen to immensely dislike – Sharon den Adel, Tony Kakko, Timo Kotipelto; and whom I just dislike – Cristina Scabbia and Simone Simons. Purely because I’m not impressed with their singing chops. I can haz a different opinion as compared to a gazillion rabid fans, right?

And then there is freaking Joe Lynn Turner. Who seems to have popped up on this year’s Raskasta Joulua roster as well. I mean, dude! Back off! It’s not your playground! It’s European metal! Go back to your English-speaking “classic rock” format, ibegyaplz. You’re too old for this. Have the Kulick brothers run out of tributes to record?

Yeah, I have almost zero respect for Mr Turner. Not that he’s a bad singer. He’s actually quite a good one. Especially, as they say, for his age (no, honest, the dude can sing for real). But let’s just say that in my time I’d followed his career way too closely for way too long, so if there exists a poster child for questionable artistic integrity, it’s him. And Eric Martin as well, another “well-respected” and widely loved (and technically impressive) vocalist. I can only hope Tarja steers clear of that one, hah.

See, being a proficient singer in and out of itself isn’t enough to win the heart of this 30+ edition of me in this day and age. Again, there are stupendous singers in English-speaking mainstream pop music today (broadly taken pop music, please; I don’t differentiate between rock, dubstep, hip hop or whatever – it’s all pop to me).

The question is: what music do you choose to apply your voice to?

And this choice speaks volumes to me.

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this song sounds phenomenal live

Pwns the studio version, I say. Yes the lead vocals could be a li’l louder in the mix, but that’s live for ya. Still better than the way Metal Church got mixed in their festival streams this summer.

The only thing I dislike about Tarja today is her not using live backing vocalists. Yes it will add to the costs. But it will add so much to the show! Tapes are so nightw… so passé.