Prince Charming Quang Dung invited ten top pop princesses—including Thanh Lam, Hong Nhung, Ho Ngoc Ha, My Tam and, of course, his Barbie Thanh Thao—to join him on his latest release Em. Although he takes on each one at a time, the album feels like a groupie love with Barbie on “Loi Cuoi Cho Em,” Phuong Thanh on “Hoa Hoc Tro,” Hong Ngoc on “Xin Dung Noi Yeu Toi” and Le Quyen on “Them Mot Lan Yeu Thuong.” Even Hong Nhung is the victim of his romantic syndrome on “Binh Yen.”
Thanh Lam is the only one who is not caught up into that affectionate matrix. On “Nuoi Tiec,” she is more like a queen than a princess to him because she is in control with her authoritative performance. Their relationship on the song is best described as Mrs. Robinson and Benjamin Braddock in The Graduate. Thanh Lam sounds mature enough to be his mother. And to continue with The Graduate‘s analogy, Ho Ngoc Ha is like Elaine, Robinson’s daughter, to Quang Dung. Their collaboration is a luscious one. Her small, slightly scratchy vocals complemented his clear, handsome timbre in a marvelous way.
Weakest duet is “Con Yeu Em Mai” with Phuong Thuy. The up-tempo arrangement doesn’t work too well with their voices. Even though the album is only listenable, I have to give Quang Dung the credits for having all these gorgeous females worked with him. I am not too surprise, however, that he could pull it off because Quang Dung is a good-looking guy with a fine voice; and he dresses decent most of the time. Freaking pimp!