Rightly or wrongly, Olzon will probably always be viewed as the singer for Nightwish between Tarja Turunen and Floor Jansen, which in many ways unfair as she cannot be compared to either of them. She has always been much more a commercial rock singer, and while I have not been a fan of much of her work outside Nightwish, I felt the albums she completed with them are thoroughly enjoyable and showed she had a great voice. So, what would her latest solo album be like? Bloody enjoyable, that’s what! Here she teamed up with Magnus Karlsson (guitars, bass), who provided the foundation for Olzon to really shine with great commercial metal numbers which have some symphonic overtones, but this is always seen as a vehicle for Anette as opposed to her completing the puzzle. There is no mention of who plays keyboards in the press release, although I presume it is multi-instrumentalist Karlsson, but the rest of the band are Anders Köllerfors (drums) plus Johan Husgafvel who provides some gruff vocals here and there which provide a wonderful contrast to her clear sound, much in the same role as Marco Hietala, but much deeper.
Given that Olzon and Karlsson are both in Allen/Olzon, whose debut album I was not a fan of, I must admit to being pleasantly surprised with this as it has been designed to clearly show Anette in the right light, and demonstrates she is quite some singer and in the right environment really shines. Given that Tuomas Holopainen has always set a clear direction of Nightwish, one always knew she could really sing, and this is the most complete album where she demonstrates just that. True, it is firmly in the middle of the road when it comes to metal, and has been produced within an inch of its life, but is also a nice blaster at the same time and shows that she is a much better singer than she sometimes gets credit for. With this release she has certainly put Nightwish far behind her and is an album which any fan of this style of music really should investigate further.
8/10 by Kev Rowland