Thu Phuong – Cau Chuyen Tinh Toi

Cau Chuyen Tinh Toi can’t be a Thu Phuong record. Not the Thu Phuong whose jazz-inflected concert in Toronto last October still mesmerizes me. How could someone who was so passionate in her performance even with just a small group of audience put out such a tedious album? What a waste of talent.

The album-closer, “Comme Toi,” is the only real Thu Phuong cut. The Bollywood-remixed beat is invigorating and this is the only time that she seems a bit exciting. With the rest, even on the belt-out “Co Nho Dem Nay,” she sounds tired, worn out and passionless as if she was obliged to record them. Worse are the medleys. When she sings, “Yeu anh vi ta chan doi” in Le Huu Ha’s “Yeu Em,” you can actually hear the lifelessness in her delivery. In Nguyen Vu’s “Loi Cuoi Cho Em,” she just screams on the hook as if she is bored out her fucking mind.

If these tracks do represent the love stories of her life, she must have had some extremely dull relationships. With the weightless arrangement accompanied by a murmuring electric guitar on Pham Huu Tam’s “Mong Phu Du,” she comes close to what the song is about: drifting off to sleep. She needs some excitements to spice up her tales.

Bonjour Vietnam