Vienna Teng – Inland Territory

April 15, 2009

inlandterritoryWhen I say that Vienna Teng’s new album, Inland Territory, is a mixed bag, I don’t mean that in terms of its quality, but rather in terms of style. (That said, it does open with the one song I didn’t care for, “The Last Snowfall,” which I found to be a bit too sentimental.) Though the album as a whole could fit nicely under the category “adult alternative,” that barely scratches the surface in terms of the ground Inland Territory covers, as Teng weaves jazzy piano and electronica driven pop together with choral and orchestral touches, and throws in at least one song that sounds like it’s wandered in from a Broadway musical (“Antebellum”), and another that would be right at home on an Americana style record. That track, the a cappella clap-along “Grandmother Song,” arrives midway through the record, just in time to give what is otherwise an immaculately produced album a much needed shot of spontaneity. Though there’s no song that captivated me quite as much as Dreaming Through The Noise‘s “Whatever You Want,” Inland Territory is a solid collection, with Teng’s musical versatility and adventurousness on full display. Definitely recommended. Standout cuts: “White Light,” “Antebellum,” “Stray Italian Greyhound” and “Watershed.”

http://www.myspace.com/viennateng

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