Tran Thai Hoa – Tinh Khuc Le Uyen Phuong

Is it just me or the album cover of Tran Thai Hoa’s Tinh Khuc Le Uyen Phuong is a rip-off of Michael Bublé’s It’s Time? Other than the ugly typography on Tran Thai Hoa’s CD, the black suit and the loose tie are dead-on identical. Disgraceful is on Thuy Nga’s graphic designer as well as fashion artist. Why do I always disdain Thuy Nga’s products? Because they have been making desecrated music continuously, and Le Uyen Phuong’s songbook is another instance.

Except for the blues-inflected “Vung Lay Cua Chung Ta” and the bossa nova-flavored “Noi Buon Dang Nho,” the twelve remaining tracks are wimped-out, noodling, and vulgar efforts to revamp old tunes. The arrangements are drowsy, especially the overexploitation of the fuzak saxophone (“Buon Den Bao Gio”) and trumpet (“Cho Lan Cuoi”), yet Tran Hoai Hoa’s snoring voice is drowsier. His rendition of “Da Khuc Cho Tinh Nhan” is being crushed like black peppers by Nguyen Khang’s powerful and savory version. His cheesy phrasing (especially his enunciation of “hoa”) in “Tinh Khuc Cho Em” is so gay and lame.

Since Thuy Nga productions have not been able to release any new music, they have to find a way to pull listeners’ cash out of their pockets (thanks to the Internet, or I’ll be damn broke by now with piles of junks). And they do so by polishing up old songs and assigning to someone who is least expected from the audiences to be able to pull them off. The tactic of Tran Thai Hoa sings Le Uyen Phuong is not much difference from Minh Tuyet collaborates with Bang Kieu. What is the end result? Both albums flop, but people will buy them to find out how bad they sound. I, too, take great pleasure in listening to mundane music in order to appreciate higher arts.