Van Son 29 – Van Son in Tokyo

By now fans should know what to expect from Van Son production: same MC, same singers, same comedians, and pretty much same strategies. The only difference is where they would perform, and this time the place is Japan. I am not complaining since they do a great job of incorporating the cultures into the show. On Van Son 29, they introduce Japanese’s Shinto dance, folk music, and brief documentation on Japanese in general and Vietnamese people in Japan.

Van Son’s niche has always been the short comedies. Although most of them are not too bad, I only enjoy “Nguoi Ban Toi” because Van Son, Hong Dao, and Quang Minh go off the context a bit. I like it when comedians get out of the routine and be themselves. That way they act more natural.

On music, the best performances are from Nguyen Khang (“Van Yeu”) and Diem Lien (“Roi Mai Em Di”). Both songs come from Huynh Nhat Tan’s pen. I also dig the new girl Vy. Her lyrics mirror her attitude on “This is Vy.” Furthermore, her choreography, style, hair, and outfit reminded me of the great R&B singer Aaliyah.

On the much-needed improvement, they need to drop those translated songs, which are way too many on this video. Even Tuan Ngoc and Thai Thao perform a translated version of “Beauty and the Beast.” Huynh Nhat Tan is also wasting his skills on the translate tracks: “Em Can Cho Anh,” perform by Cat Tien, and “Yeu Em Suot Doi,” perform by Cat Tien and Nguyen Thang. Speaking of Nguyen Thang, his own attempt of translation on “Van Yeu” is bad. Dude looks and moves like a cheap version of Justin Timberlake, and the dancers look so trashy in their skanky skirts. Yet, the worse performance of all goes to Minh Tri’s “Khuc Hat Xot Xa.” His feminine vocals combined with his cheesy lyrics are intolerable. I try my hardest, but my hand forces me to hit skip.

Van Son is one of the top three Vietnamese music productions in the US. While they are cashing in on their sitcoms, their music is still way behind Asia and Thuy Nga productions.