Review of ’Closer to the Sky’ by Outlanders

Ryan Murray | Chief Editor | November 26, 2021


Tarja has had this project in mind for quite some time, and in 2010 the work began. She then approached a longtime friend, Torsten Stenzel because of his lifelong knowledge and work with electronic music for many years.

This project was deeply influenced by none other than Alan Parsons of the Alan Parsons Project. More specifically, Parsons’ 2004 electronic release “A Valid Path.” 

On November 26th, 2021, we finally got to hear the first part of this labor of love! The single “Closer to the Sky” was released both digitally, as well as a limited edition collectors 7” Vinyl.

“Closer to the Sky” was well worth the wait!  This song also has the amazing Trevor Rabin on guitar. The light and airy atmosphere created right as the song begins is filled with emotion and longing. Throughout the entire song, the listener is drawn in by the unending waves of sadness, yet, finds hope in lines such as –

“Once fallen but
In my heart
I keep fighting
Aiming high
Closer to the sky” 

Between the synth, keyboard, the absolutely stunning prog rock like guitar, electronic pads and Tarja’s unforgettable voice, this song finds itself not only in a genre of it’s own, but distinguishes itself as an instant hit.

If you’re a long time fan of Tarja, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with how she’s adapted a different vocal style in this song, focusing more on lending herself to creating a full and beautifully balanced atmosphere for the listener to be absorbed in, almost as if it belongs in a movie score.

Sit back and let “Closer to the Sky” take you on a journey. This has me absolutely yearning to hear the remainder of this project over the next 18 months.

Overall, I would give this song a 4/5. Tarja, Torsten and Trevor have created something very unique and special in “Closer to the Sky”. Everything from the amazing instrumental/vocal arrangements, melody, atmosphere, incredible vocals and very technical guitars, this song is a breath of fresh air that I can see disrupting the music space.

If you haven’t heard the song yet, please give it a listen!

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