Album Review: Waking Hour by Vienna Teng

Album Name: Waking Hour
Artist: Vienna Teng
Year/Label: 2001 / Virt Records

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Review by Amy Lotsberg Producer of Collected Sounds

“This is a collection of aural photographs, if you will. Some of these songs are more photogenic than others…” – Vienna Teng from her website.

California native, Vienna Teng put out her first demo recording in 1998 that contains songs that later ended up on this album, “Waking Hour”. This is her first full length album , and it’s a great start to what I’m sure will be a long career.

A fellow music lover on one of the many mailing lists I am on mentioned Vienna’s music. I was intrigued by his description. I went to her web site, and downloaded some songs. My first impression was a very strong one. Beautiful piano playing with a voice to match I wanted more. I wrote to Vienna and asked if I could do a Spotlight on her for this site. She wrote back and then sent me a CD.
It came on Sept 17, one week after “the tragedy”. I really needed something this beautiful and soothing to listen to at a time like this.

This is a very impressive recording especially for a debut. The production quality is fantastic. Often debut recordings that are put out by the artist sound like they were made in the bathroom. Not this one. It is full sounding with lush complexities and many layers.

The more I listened to this, the harder it was to take it out of my CD player and listen to something else. This is quite an emotional CD, both sad and sometimes downright cheery. Vienna has a great gift in that she can write beautiful, warm songs; play piano amazingly well, and has a voice that will give you chills.

My favorites are:
“Between” and “Drought”. These two have a bit of a Celtic feel, ala Loreena McKennitt.
“Say Uncle” Gorgeous, sad, just a beautiful song.
“Enough To Go By” A sing-along, feel good song. Complete with hand claps, and friendly banter between musicians. But with very little piano.
Well, I could just go on because there’s not a clunker in the bunch. They’re all fabulous.

Fans of Sarah Slean, Sarah McLachlan, Tara MacLean won’t be disappointed. Heck, I don’t think anyone would be disappointed.

Posted on September 23, 2001

Track Listing
Listen to track samples
1. Momentum
2. The Tower
3. Daughter
4. Between
5. Say Uncle
6. Gravity
7. Drought
8. Enough to Go By
9. Unwritten Letter #1
10. Eric’s Song
11. Soon Love Soon
12. Lullabye for a Stormy Night
13. Decade and One

[Vienna Teng Official Site]



Rating: 5 Stars
It would be a shame of some of these songs never get heard by a mass audience. Incredible!
Comment by Peter M.

Rating: 5 Stars
Definitely a five star CD! Peotic yet not too complicated. Makes you think what you feel and makes you feel what you hear… fantastic performance. I have found another friend in her songs.
by Almer

album price #
VIENNA TENG: Waking Hour $13.99

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