I'm so glad to see that the singles were actually three of the four songs in the album that are not my cup of tea.
Dead Promises: Generic with whatever lyrics. I actually prefer the version without Bjorn. The "I've seen the walls..." bit still grates on me.
Goodbye Stranger: It "don't" do it for me. I don't like the vocals either of them has used, and at first I couldn't even tell who is who.
Tears In Rain: I really like the lyrics and it's fun and catchy, but I still feel that the music & vocals clash with the lyrics.
Railroads: My favourite out of the singles, but definitely not one of my faves in general.
You and I: A cheesy, lovey-dovey ballad, but so sweet & lovely.
The Golden Chamber: Beautiful and dreamlike, but it would've been nicer without any lyrics at all imo - she sounds kinda whiny and out of place.
Spirits of the Sea: Love its dynamic, the drumming in the beginning, the guitar and her vocals. The only (super nitpicky) thing that bothers me a bit are the lyrics: "Felt grey and cold the moment you went away from me" and "Wait for me at the edge of the sky, promise me our love won't die", when we know that the song is about the ARA San Juan tragedy and Tarja didn't have a personal relationship with any of the people that were lost (right?). Anyway, a fascinating song nonetheless.
Silent Masquerade: It's grand and impressive and their voices sound wonderful together. I like the Shakespeare lines, I think they go very well with its theatrical vibe. The only thing I don't like is the weird vocal exercises she does towards the middle.
Serene: Now this should've been the first single. Very nice, solid lyrics, it's catchy but interesting at the same time.
Shadow Play: A heartwarming nod to the past. Storytelling-ish lyrics, choir, orchestra and piano: <3
Great: Spirits of the Sea, Silent Masquerade, Serene, Shadow Play, You and I
Very nice: The Golden Chamber
Meh: Dead Promises, Tears In Rain, Goodbye Stranger, Railroads
This. so. much! Resonance! But also balance and consistency... She can sound either too thin, almost shrilly, or on the other side of the spectrum: too deep and close to an almost whale-like sound. Even though I like her vocals -for the most part- in the album, I can also see them turning ugly SO quickly live. I hope I'm wrong, and that the songs won't get distorted big-time when she sings them live, but.