Though I am attracted to Ha Tran‘s sweet voice, I never found her style to be innovative until I come across Nhat Thuc (Solar Eclipse). Uniting jazz and pop styles into traditional folk music, Ngoc Dai created some of the most unusual and exotic compositions ever. With Ha Tran’s elegance vocals weaving into Do Bao‘s aesthetic arrangements, Nhat Thuc leaves me breathless.
The album opens with “Nam mo a di da Phat” along with a child’s laughter that reminded me of my childhood period where I spent most of my time in the temple. Those where the happiest times in my life, may I add? The only different is that Ha Tran’s voice is too syrupy compared to those sister monks who loved me dearly. The moment the instruments began to play, “Nghi Ngai (Shadow of Doubt)” takes listeners on a journey to a new horizon. “Det Tam Gai (Weaving Tam Gai)” is one of the cutest folk melodies I’ve heard. I just admire the hook, “Det tam gai den bao gio / det tam gai u den bao gio / em yeu anh cuong dai / yeu anh den tan ca em ra.” I also am inspired by the psychological phenomenon behind “Ao Anh (Illusion)” where Ha Tran’s vocal becomes thicker and warmer.
Although Nhat Thuc released three years ago, the music is still as fresh as ever. If you get a chance, pick up this album for a rare experience. I am sure you’ll find it eccentrically enjoyable. Lastly, proper credit must be given to poet Vi Thuy Linh who works inspired Ngoc Dai to compose this album. Too bad the copyright issue was interfered with this album because of lacking of respect on the credits. Nonetheless, I can’t wait to set my ears on Nhat Thuc 2.