Che Linh & Tuan Ngoc: Cu Tuong Con Trong Tay / Bac Tinh

When putting Jay-Z and R. Kelly together, you get the best of both worlds but I am not talking about Hip-Hop and R&B here. Featuring on Cu Tuong Con Trong Tay / Bac Tinh are two of the most famous Vietnamese singers with two completely different styles. While Tuan Ngoc is popular for ballads, Che Linh is well known for music on war and “Nhac Tru Tinh.” Van Son production probably try to kill two birds with one stone on this album but the outcome isn’t what they have expected.

I must admit, Van Son production are clever when they set the “Lien Khuc” with Che Linh and Tuan Ngoc switch styles. Both do a convincing performance but to go as far as creating an album together is a big mistake. Che Linh style doesn’t fit Ngo Thuy Mien’s “Rieng Mot Goc Troi,” “Ban Tinh Cuoi,” and “Dau Tinh Sau.” He couldn’t even pull off Truong Sa’s “Xin Con Goi Ten Nhau.” These songs suit more for Tuan Ngoc’s techniques. “Cu Tuong Con Trong Tay” is the only song Che Linh gives a flawless performance because it fits him perfectly.

Fortunately, Tuan Ngoc does not switch styles on his part. Once again his amazing vocals have applied on Huynh Nhat Tan’s “Bac Tinh,” “Hon Doi,” and “Ngo Ngang.” I just love the way he starts off “Bac Tinh” with confident and power. The band also does a fantastic job of captivating the beauty of the song. On “Hon Doi,” he goes sentimental and his skillful manipulation on “Hon doi, thoi em dung hon doi…” is soothing and mesmerizing. “Ngo Ngang” is equally enchanting as well. Although “Linh Hon Tuong Da” is well done by Tuan Ngoc, the song is more suitable for Che Linh. I guess Tuan Ngoc is switching his style on this one.

Van Son production should have produced two separate albums for Tuan Ngoc and Che Linh instead of grouping them together. They would have made more sells that way. Before even purchasing the album, I was debating whether to get it or not since I could predict it is an uneven album. Not that I am disrespecting Che Linh but these songs aren’t his strongest effort. Even though I expect far more, I still glad I copped the album. Tuan Ngoc’s part alone is worth the price of the CD.