Jair Crawford

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  1. Jair Crawford

    Nightwish Album Rankings 2019

    Alright, here’s my ranking to add. 1. Wishmaster (This album is so much more than just ‘Oceanborn 2.0’. The songs have developed more maturity, more soul, and are just consistently amazing throughout. The only song I find myself skipping from time to time is Kinslayer. To me, Wishmaster has the most consistently solid high quality writing and it has that magical feel throughout, so it is my favorite Nightwish album.) 8 points 2. Once (This is a very close second for me. It gets second place though because it’s just not quite consistently hitting those high points as often as Wishmaster does. It’s just ever so slightly off that mark. But this album is so epic and beautiful. I love how the orchestra is used. I even have no issues with Tarja’s softer singing here. She sounds great! I love how the songs are mixed as well. There’s so much going on but it never sounds muddy to me. And the songwriting is some of Tuomas’s best.) 7 points 3. Century Child (Fantastic. A very frustrated, turmoil filled ride that hits you in the gut and pulls at your heart at the same time. The albums high points soar but it comes in third because I feel it has just a few more rough patches than the aforementioned albums. Phantom also feels totally out of place for me.) 6 points 4. Imaginaerum (This one had to grow on me at first. Once it had settled in my head, it climbed up the ranks to number 4. Anette’s voice shines on so many of the songs. I absolutely loved the orchestral and band arrangements. It has a very magical feel to it. However, the songwriting starts to feel a little bit recycled, which is why it had to grow on me, and also why it didn’t make it higher on the list.) 5 points 5. Angels Fall First (If it weren’t for the technical flaws on this album, it could easily contend for the top two spots for me. It is so unique. I have yet to hear anything that sounds remotely like it. It has such a ... rustic feel. Almost like you can smell the autumn leaves when you listen. It really captures that rustic feeling very strongly and the magic is already there albeit in a rough state. Also, Emppu’s guitar tone! It sounds SO good! And unique!) 4 points 6. Oceanborn (It’s really almost a tie with AFF for me. It’s a technical masterpiece, and yes it has that Nightwish magic but... compared to the albums above, I feel like some of that magic sometimes gets lost in all of the technical prowess. I can hear it in the final product. It did not surprise me to find out the band was pushing themselves almost too much at this time. That being said it is still an amazing album.) 3 points 7. Endless Forms Most Beautiful (This one had to grow on me as well. If I am honest I found the arrangements to be a bit lackluster, both on the band and orchestra side here, compared to earlier work. The songwriting is fairly solid, but it’s simply consistently good, whereas Once and Wishmaster are consistently great. Recycling rears it’s head again even more here, as well. It feels like the opposite problem from Oceanborn. Then they were pushing the bar too much, but here they seem a touch too relaxed. Floor does sound a bit held back as well. The innovation feels there but, only just. And as a result it ends up feeling ‘safe’. And that’s why it isn’t higher up on my list.) 2 points 8. Dark Passion Play (Ok let’s just get this out of the way first. Poet is some of the most brilliant writing and arranging Tuomas has ever done. It is a mind blowing work that I absolutely love. But the album as a whole has the most filler material for me compared to anything the band has put out. And that is the main reason why it is so low. The album is the least consistent in quality for me. Anette holds her own very well for the most part but it is clear that some parts were not written for her. But it is mainly the songwriting that is less consistent. The arrangements are fantastic, but many of the songs are a bit weaker.) 1 point
  2. Jair Crawford

    Nightwish Off Topic

    Wait wait wait... Tarja has had professional correspondence with Tuomas? As in... after 2005? When did this happen?
  3. Jair Crawford

    Decades World Tour 2018

    Well on Thursday night we went to Atlanta for our flight. It was my first time on a plane and it was a seven hour flight and I could not get comfortable at all in the seats. Once we landed (it was already Friday) we had to take a couple of trains to get to Wembley Central and then it was about a 15 minute walk to hour hotel, and we were both going on about 20 hours without sleep at that point. So I didn’t even really notice the man standing outside the hotel as we finally got there, until my sister noticed halfway through the revolving door and goes “Jair! That’s Tuomas!” Like an imbecile I went back outside, and just waved, not sure if I was seeing things from exhaustion. LOL He nodded back though. And when I went back in to check in, Troy comes down the elevator (or the lift as they are called there) in a rush and meets Tuomas outside and they headed off somewhere. Then Ewo was the next person I recognized walking around outside. We were still waiting to get our room key at this point and they were all busy so we didn’t approach them yet. Then Emppu comes down the elevator and heads outside. At this point it starts to sink in that this was not going to be any ordinary weekend. We finally get our keys and we head up to our room and the first thing we do is sleep because we were so exhausted. After about four hours we got up to eat because we were really hungry after traveling. There was a TGI Friday’s right next to the hotel so we went there. And before we know it Ewo walks by our table. So we finish eating and Marco comes in and joins Ewo near the entrance of the restaurant. We saw a few people shaking his hand so we decided it couldn’t hurt to go say hi. This was the first time we really talked with anyone in the band. Marco was super chill. We asked him if he remembered us from the Atlanta meet and greet in March. He was honest and said no. He admitted it’s hard to remember among 2500+ people from the US meet and greets alone. I didn’t realize they sold that many VIP tickets. Marco gave us a guitar pick and Ewo gave us some Decades stickers. We told them it was good to see them again and we looked forward to the concert. So we headed back to the hotel, still pretty tired, and when we got to our floor, as we were walking down the hallway we saw two women and a little girl. I didn’t think much of it but my sister noticed one of them looked like Floor. They were about two to three rooms down from ours which was past them, and sure enough, it was Floor! As we passed we said we were “super excited for tomorrow”. She said she was too and was glad we were there and wished us a good night. (I assume that was her daughter with her?) Only being there a short time, we never quite got acclimated to the time zone. So we ended up getting up early London time and went to eat at the breakfast buffet as soon as it opened. We stayed there for about a little over an hour taking everything in (it was really nice), and lo and behold Emppu comes in for breakfast. He was rather enjoying his breakfast, so we didn’t want to walk over and interrupt. Lol We debated on whether we would do any site seeing but ultimately we were too tired to and we wanted to save our energy for the concert so we took a nap, went to the hotel bar, took another nap, then went to the concert. While we did standing room VIP in Atlanta (which was amazing), we decided that might be a bit too much in Wembley so we got seats. The opening act, Beasts in Black, had great energy. They are very talented as well. I feel like I’d like to hear more uniqueness in their sound though. An experimental album could help them broaden their horizons and ‘find their voice’, but this is all in my humble opinion. Nightwish comes out and delivers the best concert I have ever seen. It seems that being at Wembley just has this effect on the band and they just put on their absolute A-game. Everyone in the band seemed super hyped to be there and just overall happy. I have no criticisms of the concert at all. Well, maybe them cutting Deep Silent Complete from the setlist but that’s it. Being from the states this was my first time seeing them with all the pyros and staging and it was just phenomenal. The crowd was great as well. The vast majority of the crowd knew all the songs. In Atlanta, a lot of people didn’t recognize the older songs so it was nice to see a much more interactive crowd. We return back to our hotel. There is some unrelated party event going on on the third floor. As we headed to the elevators, someone from the party comes in followed by Tuomas. We immediately congratulated Tuomas on the concert saying it was one of the best we had ever heard. He was delighted to hear that we had come all the way from Augusta GA to see them there. The other guy didn’t recognize Tuomas and overhears us talking to him and asks all of us “Oh, we’re you at the show tonight? How was it?” And Tuomas, with this smug grin on his face, pretends to have been a spectator and says “Yes I was, it was a fantastic show.” And the dude is all like “Ah, nice!” and my sister and I are just trying not to laugh. After the dude got off the elevator, I apologized to Tuomas for my awkward wave the day before, explaining that it took me by surprise seeing him and I was very sleep deprived. He just chuckled and said it was no problem at all. When we got off the elevator he wished us a “good sleep” and we said likewise. We then went to bed, checked out the next morning, and boarded our flight back to Georgia in the afternoon. It was truly a surreal, awesome weekend.
  4. Jair Crawford

    Decades World Tour 2018

    Got back stateside last night but yes, we were in the Hilton Wembley hotel and on the seventh floor. We ran into Floor on our hallway Friday night! She was just a few rooms down! Ill share more details later tonight but right now I gotta get ready for band practice for church, and it’s gonna be a long post haha!
  5. Jair Crawford

    Decades World Tour 2018

    My sister and I just got back from Wembley Arena. It was phenomenal. But even crazier is that they. Are. In. The. Same. Hotel. As. Us. All in all it was WELL worth the trip across the Atlantic.
  6. Jair Crawford

    Ask Emppu [OPEN]

    Emppu, it was great to meet you and the band in Atlanta this past March! 1. One thing I absolutely love about the album Angels Fall First is your guitar tone. It sounds very raw and unique, and perhaps the most different from the tones on other albums. How did you achieve this tone? 2. What motivated you to switch from Washburn to ESP? 3. What are the chances that you co-write any songs for the next album?
  7. Jair Crawford

    Ask Kai [OPEN]

    Kai, it was great to meet you and the band in Atlanta this past March! 1. Are you gearing up to work on recording for the next album? Or is there a possibility Jukka will record the album (or parts of it)? I didn't know if that had been determined yet and understand if this is something that can't currently be answered. 2. When recording and playing for Nightwish, how much did you have to adapt to the Nightwish sound? Or was it an easy transition? 3. If you are recording the next album, can we expect any epic drum solos like the intro to Weak Fantasy live on it?
  8. Jair Crawford

    Ask Troy [OPEN]

    Troy, it was amazing to finally meet you and the band in Atlanta this past March! I got unexpectedly star struck at the last second, and totally flustered myself at the meet and greet and forgot to shake your hand! So first off let me offer my sincerest apologies for that. 1. Do you think your work on Auri will influence your playing on the new Nightwish album? 2. Are you using a wider variety of instruments on the new album? Are you playing any new instruments we haven't heard yet in Nightwish?
  9. Jair Crawford

    Ask Tuomas [OPEN]

    Tuomas, it was great to finally meet you and the band last March in Atlanta! Loved geeking over Korg keyboards with you at the meet and greet. And hearing The Carpenter live was such a surprise I will never forget! I will try not to be such a spaz at future meet and greets. lol 1. The remastering work on Decades sounds incredible. So much so that I crave hearing the entire Nightwish catalogue that way. How feasible do you think it would be to remaster the entire Nightwish catalogue? (Better yet, 5.1 surround mixes!) 2. Around the time of Imaginaerum you had mentioned wanting to use a pipe organ on a future album. What are the chances of getting said pipe organ on upcoming album number 9? 3. When having similar riffs in different songs, is it coincidental, or meant as a throwback or nod to older songs? (I.E. Master Passion Greed, Storytime, and Shudder Before the Beautiful having the same main riff?) 4. You said writing for Auri sparked the inspiration for writing for Nightwish album 9. Can we look forward to some of the soundscapes and inspirations from Auri to trickle over slightly into the new Nightwish album? 5. You have composed one album with Floor so far. Has her additional time in the band (and more time hearing her vocals) since then influenced the way you approached writing certain songs on the new album? 6. Will the original 35 minute cut of Greatest Show on Earth ever escape the confines of your mysterious cellar in any form? 7. What is your opinion of John Williams' music? His film scores tend to have a more classical, jazzy, or even avant garde sound to them compared to Hans Zimmer. Williams is my favorite living composer so if you ever want suggestions for listening to some of his more obscure yet brilliant scores, let me know! Haha 8. Any possibility of songs in Suomi or parts of songs in Suomi? Maybe featuring Johanna to sing the Finnish parts?
  10. Jair Crawford

    The Upcoming Nightwish Album

    Yes! This! Like I said earlier Tuomas had been wanting to use the pipe organ for a while. I want to hear some of that!
  11. Jair Crawford

    The Upcoming Nightwish Album

    I would like to hear the pipe organ implemented finally. Tuomas first mentioned that pre Imaginaerum, so it'd be cool to finally see that happen.
  12. Jair Crawford

    Decades World Tour 2018

    I dunno there's just something magical about AFF to me. It doesn't sound polished, but that's part of its charm. And I absolutely love Empuu's guitar tone on that album. It sounds so unique. The Carpenter grew on me from first listen, but I think that was partially because the single/video version of the song was horribly cut and I thought that was it's original form. When I heard the whole song on the album it made much more sense and I started to really like it. I couldn't believe it when they played it live! I will say that Troy sounds fantastic on the verses, but he and Floor sing the chorus a bit too soft. It needs to have a bit more punch. Tuomas might have sung it very flat, but he did it with more gusto so maybe Marco should sing along in the chorus?
  13. Jair Crawford

    Decades World Tour 2018

    You are most certainly not. I LOVE the Carpenter. That was a highlight for me. I sang/lip-synced along to every single word. I think I may have been the only one in the crowd to do so, but I did anyway. Lol
  14. Jair Crawford

    Decades World Tour 2018

    So I went with my sister to the VIP meet and greet in Atlanta. The concert was amazing! So, the meet and greet: It went well! It was my first meet and greet ever so I wasn't very smooth lol. But the band was very chill so it all worked out. I was trying a little too hard to be chill when I met them in hindsight that I didn't really prepare for anything to say. It wasn't until I got to the end of the table with Tuomas that I finally said something. I said "I wanted to bring my keyboard to sign but that would have been difficult". Tuomas smiled and Marco quipped that "that would have been a bit long". I told them I've been using my Korg Triton since 2002 and asked Tuomas if he still had his and he told me he does but it's at home and he doesn't use it much any more. He pretty much exclusively uses the Kronos and Karma now. If I had known that Tuomas had started the songwriting process for the next album I would have definitely asked him about that (particularly if he was finally going to record on that pipe organ he had been talking about since before Imaginaerum) but I didn't find that out until after the concert. My sister then started to greet them and she actually talked to everybody and engaged with them very well. She told them she didn't know why I was acting so weird. LOL They all chuckled about that. The concert: My head is still spinning from that set list. They actually played The Carpenter! And then Elvenpath! That's freaking two songs from AFF, which I always felt was under appreciated as an album. Then there was the entirety of Dead Boys Poem! And freakin 10th Man Down! That was the song that introduced me to Nightwish so to hear that live was extra special. Sacrament and Gethsemane were incredible. I should probably also mention the finale. Greatest Show followed directly by GLS was just phenomenal. I know they have been playing those songs a lot recently, but this was my first time hearing either of those songs live with their current lineup and... man, it is just on a different level live. It really really is. I have always been a bit critical of Greatest Show, but hearing it live is like hearing it as it is intended to be, and it was truly incredible. What an incredible show! This was only my second time seeing them live (my first was the 2012 show in Atlanta with Anette ironically only a few weeks before her departure). I will definitely be trying to see them again in 2020-21 when they tour for their next album! And hopefully if they do a VIP I'll be a bit more chill next time! Lol
  15. Jair Crawford

    Decades World Tour 2018

    My sister and I went to the Atlanta meet and greet on Friday. I'll post more on it later in more detail, but the concert was amazing, and meeting them was amazing. Listening to the decades album now that was part of the VIP package.