Thien Kim – Tinh Doi

A new Thien Kim album, Tinh Doi, touches on different angles of love: moral love, unconditional love, desolated love, melancholy love, distant love and ingrained love. She’s also bridging the gap of love by including both pre-war and over-sentimental music in her repertoire.

With her gruff, smoky voice, she handles the pre-war tunes (Ngo Thuy Mien’s “Dau Tinh Sau,” Trinh Cong Son’s “Tinh Xa” and “Tinh Nho”) just about right, even though her approach is as accurate as a singing parrot. The duet with Nguyen Khang on Anh Bang’s “Khuc Thuy Du” doesn’t make me jump off my chair, but their bad-boy/bad-girl voices do sound bad (meaning good) together. What sounding bad (meaning bad) are the princes of “sen” she has invited to crash the album. I wouldn’t mind listening to her version of “Phan To Tam” if Tuong Nguyen and Tuong Khue weren’t on it. Goosebumps spread over my body when the Tuong’s brothers duet. Dang The Luan sounds like a “wet jackfruit” on Lam Phuong’s “Tinh Bo Vo.” His superficial weeping makes the song sounds more pathetic than it already is. Dang Minh Thong on Anh Bang’s “Dem Vu Truong” is no exception. These two guys must have been mistaken shaky for vibrato.

The album would have been alright if she didn’t include those emotional-saturated tunes and singers. Even though she offers nothing original, her singing has become more matured over the years.

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