Ha Tran – Tinh Ca Qua The Ky

Who would have expected that Ha Tran, an artist with attitude and passion, winds up being a moneymaking shtick for Thuy Nga Production? Her new album, Tinh Ca Qua The Ky, is a typical, Thuy Nga-stamped mediocre: old songs dressed up in new lifeless arrangements. It takes eleven cuts into the album to finds something she would record on her own.

With her lovely voice and versatile range, she only needs a simple guitar-picking to refresh a ballad, which I was hoping for in the cover of “Dung Xa Em Dem Nay.” Instead the flashy, poppy production takes the human spirit right out of Duc Huy’s signature piece. The arrangement gets sloppier on the translated “Nhung Con Duong Tinh Yeu.” The shrieking trumpet creeps up out of nowhere. “Bésame Mucho” sneaks up on the break. Her wordless singing sounds as if she’s exorcising the demons. (“This house is clear.”)

It is understandable that Tinh Ca Qua The Ky brings her back to earth after having gone way too far into space with Communication ’06, but why a century? She must be really confused.