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Current concise reviews of the albums by adult alternative, contemporary, and crossover artists. Images of album artwork and links to both internet-based resources are always included. Click on the title to view the article.

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Waking Hour CD Cover
Image © Soltrana Records 2002  

(12 December 2002) The debut album by singer songwriter Vienna Teng is a thirteen track recording entitled Waking Hour (Virt Records (USA) VRT 1003, 2002). The album is a rather eclectic yet lush collection of folk, rock, pop and new age bound together by Vienna's crystalline vocals stunning songwriting and tremendous piano playing. Visit the artist's website for further biographical information.

Teng provides all vocals as well as piano and keyboard. She is accompanied by Jim Batchco (drums), John Tiven (electric guitar), David Henry (cello, bass, guitar), Will Kimbrough (acoustic and electric guitar), Eric Miller (synthesizers, bass, guitar), Peter Wetherbee (percussion) and Craig Wright (drums). The ensemble have produced a stunning album with lovely vocal work accompanied by rich and mature instrumentals. Guests on the album include Jacom Eisenstein (bass), Dave Kim (violin) and Tiffany Smith (backing vocal on "Lullaby For A Stormy Night").

Teng raised local interest when leaving her career as a Stanford-degreed computer professional to turn to music full time earlier this year. She and the band have toured extensively since to promote Waking Hour. While the music covers a broad range, it centers on Teng's sweet and crystalline vocals, always produced above the instrumentals but never so far as to lose touch with the arrangements. Vocal layers add texture to Vienna's sweet and light melodic voice. An occasional guitar excursion reminds the listener of the album's depth.

The album is a reissue of the artist's highly sucessful self-released version, but now includes three tracks produced and mixed by David Henry (Cowboy Junkies, REM, Josh Rouse, Yo La Tengo). Guest musicians added their talents to the ner version include guitarist Will Kimbrough (Kim Richey) and drummer Craig Wright (Steve Earle).

Said Virt Records Founder and President Michael Tarlowe, "Vienna's songs completely blew me away upon my first listen. The combination of her articulate lyrics, pristine vocals, and musical intuition, particularly at such a young age, is unparalleled." Musical Discoveries could not agree more. This album is certain to please our frequent visitors with its range of styles and stunning production quality.

Vienna's compositions range from gentle piano ballads to multi-layered productions with lush landscapes. The album's thirteen melodic songs take listeners on an emptional ride through the haunting, the ethereal, and the comforting. Waking Hour features explorations into not just pop, folk and rock, but also new age and world beat stylings.

Read further reviews, listen to soundbites and order the album from amazon.comhere. Clearly worth a long distance journey Vienna Teng's Waking Hours is a very nice listen!

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