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Dreaming Through The Noise

Vienna Teng

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Album Review

Dreaming Through the Noise is, musically speaking, more about dreaming than noise, because Vienna Teng's album is never noisy. Instead, she cultivates a dense soundscape comprised of everything from guitars, percussion, and pianos to violins, violas, and string arrangements. The light timbre of Teng's vocals fit easily within this mesh, becoming yet another element in the overall sound. This approach is very seductive on "Love Turns 40," a moody lyric that captures the imagined feeling of an ex-cinema star on the downward slide. It's reminiscent of Natalie Merchant singing "San Andreas Fault," though Teng is less elliptical than Merchant. As attractive as Teng's approach is, it can grow a bit precious on songs like "I Don't Feel So Well," which gives the impression of Tori Amos-lite. There's also a tendency, thanks to the soft arrangements and production, for the material to meld together as though the songs were mini-suites inside a bigger work. These qualities do create a dream-like effect, allowing the listener to commingle with Teng's moods and float along with her songs. There are also some very nice touches, as with the Miles Davis-styled trumpet on "Transcontinental, 1:30 A.M." Dreaming Through the Noise may prove too sedate for some listeners, but Teng has done a good job combining music and mood, lyric and atmosphere, that goes beyond the typical singer/songwriter's method. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr., Rovi

Biography

Born: October, 1978 in San Francisco, CA

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '00s

Reaching the national spotlight at the end of 2002, pianist Vienna Teng had been an important part of the California singer/songwriter scene for a few years before then. A pianist since the age of five, Teng took piano lessons before moving on to improvisation. Writing feverishly throughout her youth, she eventually had a full album's worth of instrumentals by the age of 16. Going to Stanford to further her education, she released an EP while going to school and recorded most of Waking Hour before...
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Dreaming Through The Noise, Vienna Teng
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