I've been lucky enough to get some early listens to Imaginaerum. My overall impressions are good, but it will take people a few listens and some of it will absolutely divide the community. For starters, the album improves as you go deeper along. But not thinking much of Taikatalvi or Storytime, i have to say that it first starts to pick up with Ghost River. Not my favorite song on the album, but it borrows some traditional notes and i don't consider it to be bad. Then we move on to one of the most interesting songs on Imaginaerum: "Slow, Love, Slow". This is going to be highly controversial. I consider this to be a very artistic song. It touches on jazzy elements and is an interesting direction for Nightwish. So many people are going to want to instantly dismiss it because it isn't what they expect. This, in my opinion, would be a mistake. Good art is good art and we should never limit the growth of our favorite artists. Consider this when you reach Slow, Love Slow or you might dismiss what might be one of the best songs on the album. Next we move on to something much more traditional that will appeal to the bulk of fans: "I Want My Tears Back" is a fairly traditional folk/power song. Then we have Scaretale. When this song first picks up, you are reminded of the best of Nightwish. I was truly enjoying myself on first listen. As the song moves along, I figured this for a live favorite to be. It still might be, but the song definitely gets stranger as it moves along. It's vocal styling is appropriate given the name and concept. At first, I thought the next song, Arabesque was just another part of Scaretale, but it's a short piece all it's own. i found myself very much enjoying this piece with it's strong/primal percussion segments. Following Arabesque is Turn Loose The Mermaids. It's a tranquil folk ballad. I can't say it's bad. It has good elements in it. I rather say that I need more time for it to sink in. The same can't be said of the next song, "Rest Calm". I instantly loved this mid-tempo rocker. It's back to ballads next with "The Crow, The Owl, and The Dove". We've covered that here already. I think this is one of the clear highlights of the album. Moving along we have "Last Ride of the Day". This is a fairly straight forward rocker. I imagine people will accept it just fine. I could see this being a live favorite. We will see how well the community reacts to this one. It has become something of a tradition for there to be a lengthy opus on Nightwish albums. We had Ghost Love Score, Poet & The Pendulum. Now we have Song of Myself. Clocking in at over thirteen and a half minutes, it can hang with the best of them. it starts out with operatic touches and moves into a pretty solid rocker. I found myself REALLY enjoying this part. I have to say this is the first moment I have truly felt Anette's voice has absolutely shined: a perfect blend of music and vocals. About half way through, the song changes in ways that I don't want to spoil. I am not entirely sure how I feel about the change. I will at least say that it is very poetic and reminds one of the end of Bless the Child. Finally we round out with Imaginaerum (the song). It's pure movie score. Very orchestral. it seems a bit like a tour of the album. I thought it was a great finisher. So now that it is finished, final opinion? Well, the album will have to sink in for a more permanent opinion, but while this is unlikely to be considered their finest album, there is a quite a fair bit to like, once given a chance and listened to with an open mind.