Vienna Teng - Warm Strangers (2003)

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Vienna Teng - Warm Strangers (2003)

Postby alex » Sat Feb 05, 2011 9:37 pm

Vienna Teng - Warm Strangers (2004)
Jazz, Vocal | FLAC, CUE, LOG | 275MB | 1CD
Rip by EAC, Front Cover Included | Label: Virt Records | HF + FS

“I certainly hope not, because I've been playing this CD over and over ever since I got my greedy little hands on it. I first heard Vienna Teng's music on a friend's copy of the independent release of her first album, Waking Hour, and I became a fan with "Between" and "The Tower," with their graceful lyrics and catchy tunes, and the absolutely gorgeous "Lullaby for a Stormy Night," which is sweet and charming and never fails to make me get a little teary in that way very personal songs do. I had the rerelease of Waking Hour pre-ordered for over a month, and it was completely worth the wait.

Warm Strangers even outdoes Waking Hour. Lots of people will compare Vienna to Tori Amos, Sarah McLaughlan, and Norah Jones, who are all artists I like but I don't think that the comparisons are completely warranted. First off, Vienna has the ability to write lyrics that are both deeply layered, complex, and moving as well simply musical, but I feel like many other artists tend to choose either the sound of the words or the meaning of the words, without really combining them with as much grace as she does.

Second, one of my favorite things is that all of Vienna's music is very personal, so when you listen to her you feel like she's sitting across a little table from you and leaning in and telling you a story. This effect is heightened when you see her live, since she always has a story to go along with the song. That feeling of intimacy is something that I think the vast majority of artists can't create so completely as she does, and it's part of what makes her so listenable. In this way, she is very much like Norah Jones, who I think has a lot of that same ability to make music seem like a one-on-one conversation between the singer and the audience, but their styles are dramatically different.

Finally, Vienna Teng's music is not easy to just pigeonhole and move on. You have to listen to the lyrics, listen to the music, and think about what the contrasts and agreements between the music and words mean about the song itself. A great example of this is Shasta, which has really kind of heavy lyrics and is about something serious, but is sung with a lightness and written with a lot of humor and fun.

This CD is incredible; there isn't a track I'd even consider mediocre on it. My favorites are are Harbor, which I find personally very meaningful, as well as being just a great song, Shasta, Hope on Fire, and the absolutely lovely Green Island Serenade, which is sung in Chinese, but the lyrics in Pinyin, as well as a translation, are available on her website: [...]

1. Feather Moon - 4:06
2. Harbor - 4:24
3. Hope on Fire - 4:26
4. Shine - 2:39
5. Mission Street - 4:32
6. My Medea - 4:09
7. Shasta (Carrie's Song) - 3:29
8. Homecoming - 5:48
9. Anna Rose - 3:07
10. Passage - 4:19
11. The Atheist Christmas Carol - 4:26
12. Green Island Serenade ... 1.rar.html ... 2.rar.html ... 3.rar.html
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