First of all, I wish to warn you that I can't really write about music. Or, you know, of course I CAN, but I just don't know how or what or why or whatever to write about it. But, I'm going to try my best with this particular one, mostly because I got it in early January and have listened to it since at least 10 times all the way through and I'm still not at all bored or less awed by it, so there's that.
The Endless Forms Most Beautiful by Nightwish is the third album by them that I have in my cd collection; the others being Once (which I bought mainly for Nemo) and Imaginaerum, which I listened to once on Youtube, I think, and as I liked it much better than Once, decided to get it, too. The same method worked with TEFMB, too. I mostly wanted to listen to it because of track #8, Edema Ruh, which is a homage to Patrick Rothfuss's Kingkiller Chronicle. The main character and the main story-teller in The Name of the Wind and Wise Man's Fear is a person called Kvothe, who is one of the Edema Ruh, a Romani type of wandering entertainers. As I've already touched upon the incredible brilliance of the aforementioned books in another post, it should be needless to say I was very keen on learning what Tuomas Holopainen's take on them would be. As it turns out, pretty much the same as mine, at least if you can take the quality of the song as a sign of it.
Otherwise, the album cites Charles Darwin, the author of On the Origin of Species, the cornerstone of the evolution theory and occasionally has Professor Richard Dawkins reading aloud these citations, such as the following:
"There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone on cycling on according to the fixed laws of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved."
As I am an enthusiast both with language and to some minor degree with science (especially the history of science, for some weird reason - could be all those English studies) I find the overall theme of the album to work superbly with the music - haunting in places and exploding in others - as well as with the lyrics, which combine both citation and original text mostly by Holopainen. The vocals bring out the beauty of the words used to create them and the instruments both support and surround them in a way that makes the listening of the album almost a reverent experience. To me, at least, that is.
So far, with listening to the album, it has never entered my brain to skip a song in favour of the next one - the order of the songs feels so complete. And as the first track, Shudder Before the Beautiful is my special favourite, I usually end up listening to the whole cd from beginning to end.
Sometimes I have had trouble with songs Nightwish make, because they often insert some non-music into them - there's been the sound of a baby crying, or citing a poem with a sing-song voice, or someone speaking a Native American language for a long, long while - but while TEFMB also has these elements (in the form of spoken citations in some songs and some weird animal noises on the last track), they fit in with the theme much better and fail to bother me in the least.
So, I shall end this attempt to write about music with the usual thing I often have to say about any piece of music that I enjoy listening: I really like this album. Yay!
"We are going to die and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they have never been born."