The worldly and musically masterful Tri Nguyen returns with Beyond Borders, a fantastically crafted album that shows off the well-traveled composer’s magic. Continuing his craft of combining showy traditional Western sounds with the elegance of East Asian classic music, Tri Nguyen once again demonstrates his skillful artisanship. Beyond Boundaries is a wonderfully whimsical album that is an experience as much as it is a beautiful piece of work.
“Distant Voices” is a quietly raucous and upbeat track that opens the record with a slight dance flair. It sounds stark when set next to “Hanging Moon,” which sounds like something pulled from a film noire movie set. “Guacyra” has a romantic jazz feel that still rings Nguyen’s European and Asian backgrounds in a wonderful synergistic concoction.
“Dragon and Tiger Dance” is a stunning war anthem that again aptly combines instruments from East to West in a raucous and upbeat tune. “My Home” follows this, which then feels like a coming home song after the war. Tri Nguyen, in this short 2-song punch,
Track 6’s “Edjin Duun” is a masterpiece, hitting levels of cinematic prowess as Tri Nguyen dishes out a breathtaking composition. With a perfect combination of sweet vocals crooning over Nguyen’s potent combination of Asian and European sounds, “Edjin Duun” absolutely reigns supreme on the record.
“A biasignia” is a haunting, choral song that is stuck between two worlds, as the enigmatic composer once again creates something magical. “”A Blackbird in Kallisté” is a much more stoic and lengthy anthem that adds to the peaceful ambiance of the record.
Tri Nguyen then dips into the “Evening Song,” an appropriately titled song that is graceful and serene. The composition has an elegant mix of peace and sorrow, a wonderful track that appears on the tail end of the record.
“Black Riding Horse” is a triumphant closing to the beautiful record, with Tri Nguyen ending his album on a melodic and upbeat note. The overall vibe of this composition perfectly ends Beyond Borders‘ captivating spell. “Black Riding Horse” closes Beyond Borders on an exciting, uptempo note.
Tri Nguyen is a magician who combines worldliness with skilled musicianship. There is no shortage of breathtaking moments on this record, with enough compositions to satisfy listeners. We would love to see Tri Nguyen tackle something conceptual with a more thematic continuation, as he undoubtedly has the showmanship to pull something like that off. Nevertheless, Beyond Borders is a stunning gem that listeners will enjoy.
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