Nguyen Hoang Thuy Vu who is a member of AC&M—a Vietnamese most respected a-cappella group—drops his solo debut, Thang Sau Troi Mua, with a promising potential. The album is dedicated to well-known ballads from Trinh Cong Son to Ngo Thuy Mien to Nguyen Anh 9 to Thanh Tung. Even though Thuy Vu doesn’t revolutionize these tunes, he gives them a masculine vibe with his deep, sentimental vocals. And when he sings low, particularly in Viet Anh’s “Khong Con Mua Thu,” his voice has bass.
Trinh Cong Son’s “Dem Thay Ta La Thac Do,” “Tuoi Da Buon,” “Mua Hong,” and “Diem Xua” have been covered who knows how many times, but never with the tenderness and profoundness Thuy Vu brings to them. He phrases Trinh’s lyrics like a real gentleman who pours out his emotion—calm but with strength. His delivery is at best when he is at ease because that’s when he’s capable of transforming the basest metal with his timbre. And we could experience it in Thanh Tung’s “Giot Nang Ben Them” and Ngo Thuy Mien’s “Niem Khuc Cuoi,” in which he sounds like a romantic guy who I would fall in love with if I were gay.
What makes the album works is apparently Thuy Vu’s marvelous voice, but the simple arrangements, especially the minimal piano works, help a great deal at enhancing the listening experience. The only weak production is in the title track, Hoang Thanh Tam’s “Thang Sau Troi Mua.” The rock riffs ruined his mellow flow, and the computerized drumbeat is too obvious. Other than that, the album is tight set song for song. Even though Thuy Vu doesn’t make these aged tunes sound contemporary, what he gives them is a humanness quality straight from his heart and vocal talent.