Ngo Thanh Van is no musician. Her previous attempts — The Gioi Tro Choi and Bi An Van Trang — have failed miserably, yet she has not stopped trying. Although My Way, her latest effort, shows some improvements, the album is still far from being successful. Her voice is still weak; her range is limited; and her phrasing lacks the emotion. However, she is a screen capturer, which makes up for her vocals. She might not be a good singer, but she is a great entertainer. She has the appearance, the grooves and the styles. These qualities shine through on her videos such as “Cho Nguoi Tinh Xa,” and “Hat Mot Minh” (not included on this album).
Ngo Thanh Van should focus more on MTV concepts and cease making albums. I would love to see her rendition of Trinh Cong Son’s “Quynh Huong” on video. Her voice is not elasticizing, but the production is tantalizing, and I am sure she can make it works on screen. On the other hand, I wish she had never done a remaking of “One More Try.” Never like the song to begin with, and the remix featuring Okio makes it worse. Ngo Thanh Van is way off tune, and she sounds like a bad karaoke amateur when switches up her vocals on the chorus. Okio’s flow is not only horrendous, but he also steals Diddy’s line, “Words can’t express what you mean to me.” Out of all the great lyricists (Rakim, Nas, Big and Pac), he uses Diddy who is not even a real MC. For god’s sake, spit your own rhymes, son. And one quick reminder: you’re featuring on Ngo Thanh Van’s My Way, not Mariah Carey’s Emancipation of Mimi.
I can’t stand the dude’s lovelorn reading on “Em Nho Anh” and can’t get with Tien Dat’s awful rapping on “Mua” either. “Lang Nghe Con Tim,” “My Way,” and “Dem Xot Xa” are equally weak. On the duet “Dung Lam Ta Canh Xa,” Tuan Hung’s overpowering vocals steal the show. The only track she can handle is “Trai Tim Tuong Da,” which has a hot beat for her to ride on.
Ngo Thanh Van is not listenable, but she is viewable. She looks sexy and elegance without appearing skanky, noticeably her style (white suits, hat, sunglasses, red dress, and her moves) on “Hat Mot Minh” video. I have to give her props for that. As far as singing, she never had style for it. She sounds fine as long as she sticks to the notes, but when she tries to do her own things, like “One More Try,” the result is unbearable.