Asia 44 – Mua He Ruc Ro 2004

Before delving into the musical portion of Asia’s Mua He Ruc Ro 2004, allow me this opportunity to thank those activists who have been working hard to bring us freedom. I want to congratulate the successful individuals who featured on the show. I also would like to extend my recognition to any of you out there who stay in school and pursue your dreams. You are the future of Vietnamese American and we are very proud of you. Lastly, to our young boys, please stay away from Michael. Yeah! Bad joke, I know. Let’s get to the fun part, shall we?

It’s a pleasant surprise to see the appearance of Tuan Vu and Son Tuyen. They both look good (much better than years ago). Tuan Vu looks like he is off cracks for good. Unfortunately, his vocals seem to be weakening without cracks. Thanks to plastic surgery, Son Tuyen looks much better than before although her nose reminds me of Michael. Hopefully, they didn’t go to the same doctor. I am just playing, Michael. You know I am feeling your pain. Anyway, glad to see both Tuan Vu and Son Tuyen back.

Da Nhat Yen impressed me once again with her creativities. Unlike her best friend Trish, Da Nhat Yen always brings something new to the audience. This time, her traditional northern vocals on “Con Rong Chau Tien” are hypnotizing. Of course, her stage charisma is perfect for an opening; however, Gia Huy simply ruined it. What were Asia thinking? Pairing up a skillful performer with a guy who has no rhythm is a big mistake. The opening would have exceededly better with Da Nhat Yen alone.

Nguyen Khang delivered an exquisitely beautiful performance on “Nhung Dieu That La.” Although this is a Truc Ho’s song, he made the right decision by choosing Nguyen Khang instead of Lam Nhat Tien. Nguyen Khang’s cracked-voice mantra fits gorgeously with the jazz-fueled musical arrangement. Truc Ho is a fantastic producer and he knows what works best for Nguyen Khang; therefore, Truc Ho ought to produce a CD for Nguyen Khang. With Truc Ho’s musical talent and Nguyen Khang’s marvelous vocals, together they will create an indelible album (hint… hint…).

More hightlights from Mua He Ruc Ro 2004 includes: “Dau Chan Cua Bien” which is nicely done by Lam Nhat Tien and Y Phuong (a new face with potential); Thanh Truc, Diem Lien, and Phillip Huy were incredible on “Lien Khuc Hanh Trinh Tim Tu Do;” and the mesmerizing “Lien Khuc Ao Dai” with Asia’s male artists.

Of course, there is the flip side of the show as well. Trish stated in one of her interviews that she wants to sing for the kids yet her performance filled with half naked dancers. I am sure many parents will appreciate that. As for her music and dance, there are nothing new. Manh Dinh and Doanh Doanh is another horrible miss match. Manh Dinh cannot sing anything that is not “sen” and “Canh Hong Trung Quoc” sounded like switching between a Chinese and Vietnamese radio dial. Cardin has the groove but “Nang Sieu Nhan” is a lyrical nightmare. While Asia 4 need to “Shake” themselves offstage, Hong Dao and Quang Minh need to reinvent themselves. Their jokes have been pathetic lately.

Overall, Asia did a much better job than their competitor (Thuy Nga) and they seem to take the viewers’ comments seriously (unlike Nguyen Ngoc Ngan and Thuy Nga). For instance, the digital background improved tremendously from the previous show. They also did a great job of editing the video down two DVDs instead of three. They give you just enough so you’ll want more instead of bored you to death with all the senseless talking with an extra DVD. Hopefully, Asia will keep up the good work by listening to their viewers and continue to find innovative ideas.