While the look from his eye on the cover suggests attitude and the title Hung indicates persona, only a few songs on Dam Vinh Hung’s Volume 6 have those two characteristics. Over the years, he has developed a vigorous style that sets him apart from other singers yet that forcefulness is not missing but lacking on his latest work. Although Hung is not flopped, it’s not a groundbreaking work comparing to his previous ones either. When you use the same formula for the 6th time, you don’t get the same effectiveness anymore.
If Dam Vinh Hung depends on this album to retain his status, tracks such as “Xin Loi Tinh Yeu,” “Chen Dang,” “Khong Phai Em,” and “Ve Day Thoi Em” will keep him from dropping from the top. Although his energetic style radiates on these 4 songs, I would like to feel the thunderstorms coming from his vocals for a more powerful experience. Nevertheless, he does sound sincere with his thousand apologies, “Xin loi em ngan lan, xin loi em” on Minh Nhien’s “Xin Loi Tinh Yeu.” I am sure his lady fans would be more than glad to forgive him. Not only that but they would also believe him when he reveals “Yeu mot nguoi du long em chang co anh” on Truong Le Son’s “Chen Dang” and they would feel his broken heart when he confesses “Toi tinh gi ma sao nuoc mat tuong roi?” on Thai Thinh’s “Khong Phai Em.” When he breaks down and begs “Em hay quay ve di,” how could they resist that? The lyrics on “Ve Day Thoi Em” is inspiring as well. Nice job! Duy Manh.
As I mentioned earlier, Dam Vinh Hung uses a familiar formula on his albums and this one is no exception. He usually throws in a couple popular songs but makes them sound fresh and unique. Unfortunately, he could not create any innovative results on this album. His duet with Hong Ngoc on Duc Huy’s “Duong Xa Uot Mua” has nothing special to offer yet the Hip Hop beat just kills it. His remaking of “Ngan Nam Van Doi” is not so bad but it does not catches you like “Tan Tro” did. “Le Da” would have worked beautifully if he didn’t excessively stress on the consonant syllables. Although the upbeat remixes of Duy Manh’s “Tinh Yeu Con Dau” sounds nice, I prefer the slower version.
“Ha Noi Cafe Oi!” (poem by Nguyen Dinh and music by Dinh Van) and Bao Truong’s “Sao Doi Ngoi” are soft and pleasant but are clearly not Dam Vinh Hung’s mode. There would not be a horrible track if an English song did not make it on the album. Dam Vinh Hung’s take on Marc Anthony’s “My Baby You” is worse than William Hung’s take on Ricky Martin’s “She Bangs.” He mispronounces almost every word. He should not waste his skills on this kind of song. If he wants to give his fans something different, sings Cai Luong (Vietnamese Opera). He gave a distinctive taste on Cai Luong during his live performance.
Although Volume 6 does not advance Dam Vinh Hung to the next level, it does not take him a step backward either. He’s still able to maintain his spot as one of the hottest pop stars in Vietnam. The album has its share of good, average, and bad but it is still enjoyable. Hopefully, he will surprise us with something fresh on the next album. The jazz experimentation on “Nu Hon Xa Voi” on Volume 5 was a huge success. He should have explored more into that era.