Album Name: Warm Strangers
Artist: Vienna Teng
Year/Label: 2004 / Virt Records
Review by Amy Lotsberg Producer of Collected Sounds
This is the highly anticipated follow up to Vienna’s amazing debut, “Waking Hour” and it’s worth the wait. Happily, the debut album was not a fluke (not that there was any doubt).
Vienna’s beautiful voice and skilled piano playing and songwriting are back…plus. This CD is a tad more produced and employs several more instruments.
I’ve seen Vienna live a couple of times so I’d heard some of these songs (and already loved them) but was also very happy to hear the one’s that were new to my ears. I wasn’t going to mention every song, but it seems so many of them touch me in different ways it kind of ended up that way.
We open with “Feather Moon” which is soft subtle and simply gorgeous. What a nice way to get us ready for what’s to come.
“Harbor” has hit single written all over it. I do sincerely hope this makes it to the radio. It will certainly take Vienna to the top of the charts.
On “Mission Street” we really get to hear her amazing songwriting. It already sounds like a classic. Her voice is crystal clear, her words poignant and the other instruments compliment her beautifully.
“My Medea” is incredible. Her very skilled piano work plays a big part here. I always love the songs that really feature her playing and this is perfect.
“Shasta” has been a favorite of mine since I heard a snippet of it on her website over a year ago. It’s even better here. It’s an upbeat poppy song even though the lyrics are quite the opposite.
“Anna Rose” is a song to a little girl who heard her song “Lullaby for a Stormy Night” (from her debut CD, “Waking Hour”) and drew Vienna a picture. Vienna sort of fell in love with this little girl and wrote a song about her. What a gift to little Anna Rose.
“Passage” is a haunting a capella song sung from the viewpoint of a person who is no longer with us. Very powerful. If I ever hear her play this live I’m sure I’ll be weeping.
The hidden track is a Taiwanese lullaby called “Green Island Serenade”, it’s a nice treat to hear Vienna sing in another language.
The more I hear Vienna the more I realize how incredible she is. To be an artist that has it all is really quite rare. Often you have people that have great voices, but can’t write. Or can write but shouldn’t sing. Or in some cases are just pretty and look good onstage but really can’t sing or write. With Vienna you have everything…the whole package. She can play piano classically, write beautiful intelligent songs, sing like an angel and she’s beautiful inside and out. What more could you ask for?
Go head, order copies for everyone you know!
Posted on February 25, 2004
1. Feather Moon
3. Hope on Fire
5. Mission Street
6. My Medea
7. Shasta (Carrie’s Song)
8. Homecoming (Walter’s Song)
9. Anna Rose
11. The Atheist Christmas Carol
12. Lullaby (Taiwanese)