Tarja    Luna Park Ride    earMusic

One of the original voices of Symphonic Metal returns with the live Luna Park Ride album. The album was recorded in 2011 at Luna Park in Buenos Aires in front of a massive crowd. While the set list is made up primarily of material from Tarja’s now lengthy solo career, it also includes a sort-of covers medley (that includes choruses of both Belinda Carlisle’s “Heaven is a Place on Earth” and Bon Jovi’s “Living on a Prayer”) and Nightwish’s “Wishmaster” as a treat for her longtime fans.

The show gets off to a rockin’ start with “Dark Star,” which is one of the heavier tracks Tarja has done. It gets the audience engaged right from the start but it’s not until track four, “I Walk Alone” that the audience truly explodes. As the fans sing-along, you can feel the connection that Tarja has with these fans and this song is unquestionably the live wire that binds them together.

“Little Lies” is another of the show’s best moments. The band absolutely tears it up as Tarja’s vocals soar in a way that only she can, of course, the crowd reacts accordingly. By the end of the song, any questions as to whether Tarja’s solo career has been a success or not are definitely answered. The band transitions beautifully with piano and voice into “Underneath,” a emotional and victorious march that leaves you breathless. The medley of “Where Were You Last Night/Heaven Is a Place on Earth/ Livin’ on a Prayer” is another moment that eases the emotional heaviness of Tarja’s voice by having some fun with some big eighties arena rock.

Overall, this is an excellent album. It sounds great for a live album. In fact, it brings these songs to life a lot better than Tarja’s studio albums in my opinion. There’s a lot of energy here so if you are looking for a greatest hits collection to start you on your Tarja journey then this is it. Like I said, if you aren’t feeling her solo albums  give it another shot with Luna Park Ride because I bet she and the band will change your mind.

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