If you'd like to express your identity as an American music consumer or would like to defend 21st century American music as authentic and valuable, I suggest you mention that you listen to and are a fan of Vienna Teng.
Clearly, judging by her sonic landscape, the San-Francisco native has been influenced by a gamut of musical ideas in her 30 years of life. In addition, it is clear that the ex-computer engineer has much expertise handling the delicate properties of music. Taking the form of a trilogy, Vienna Teng's newest album consists of three major sections, represented by a group of songs, each section portraying three territories of her life.
Her most mature album to date, Ms. Teng, efficiently balances each song with the experiences she's gained and benefited from her past three albums, which all still deserve a standing ovation. It is possible to expect that this album might contain a low-point or a dud because her past three albums have been works of wonders by a talented singer-songwriter. I feel that she has carefully crafted Inland Territory using all of the positives from her past albums, such as her knack for evocative harmonies, delicate yet soaring vocals, exquisite piano playing, and intellectual song-writing.
The instrumentation of her third album, Dreaming Through the Noise, received a few criticism due to it's overbearing weight over Vienna's delicate voice. The complaints are as follows: The strings are too heavy, there's not enough piano playing of Vienna, she needs to sing bigger. This time around, three tings happened in this album: The instrumentation is much diverse but miraculously evenly balanced, there's ample evidence of Vienna's beautiful and virtuosic piano playing, and her voice has matured to the point where she's got a whole new sense of control and artistry.
It is difficult to pin point which songs outshine others because they all stand equally, despite their sharp contrasts in meaning, significance, and sonic landscape.
Personally, the songs Antebellum, Grandmother Song, and Stray Italian Greyhound, resonate with my life more than the others but does not detract to the fact that the entire album is near masterpiece.
If you are like me, slightly overwhelmed with the dud-filled, bland, and slightly invaluable music being produced today, I suggest you take a second look at this album and this artist and judge for yourself what this album means to you and music itself.
Bravo, Vienna Teng, Bravo.