Thuy Tien – Ngot & Dang

No, not the Thuy Nga’s babe Thuy Tien, I am talking about the twenty-year-old Thuy Tien from Kien Giang who is the newest eccentric female singer in Viet Nam. Similar to Ngoc Khue, she establishes herself a unique style right from the beginning of her career. Axing out the trendy tunes, her debut, Ngot va Dang (Sweet and Bitter), goes straight to the dark and solitude corner.

While young singers, like My Tam, Ho Quynh Huong, and Trish Thuy Trang, write about their banal relationships, Thuy Tien composes simple but poetic rhymes to express herself. On the lullaby, “A Oi,” she sings about her fatherless life – “Ngu ngoan di nhe nao ta khuya roi / Vong dong dua nhe ru doi mo coi” – as she lulls herself to sleep. Also from her own pen, her mournful voice floats on “Bong Toi” (Shadow) like a ghost creeping by our side. The best part about these two tracks is that they do not follow a certain melody, yet they come together in a weird way.

Quoc Bao is the man behind the remaining seven songs on the album. The lead-off “Cho” (Wait) starts off soft, but quickly turns into a hardcore punk rock like it has been waiting to explode. Then “Vui” (Joy) mellows out the mood with just her soulful vocals accompanied by the sonorous piano accents. “Ta Da Yeu Trong Mua Gio” (We Fall in Love During the Wind Season) is another quiet track in which her voice is melting the lyrics around the soft and gentle melody. The a cappella “Dieu Ru Vuc Sau” (The Deep Lullaby) is an innovative folk song that has two voices weaving together in an indelible conversational tone.

Thuy Tien is obviously new, her breath control and inexperienced phrasing show it; however, her passion along with her unorthodox style make her a rare gem among today’s pop singers. Ngot va Dang is an exotic album not only to listen but also to feel. It’s not about technique; it’s about soul.