Quynh Lan, a bar singer with a sensual, smoky voice, knows a thing or two about intimacy. On Nguyen Anh 9 songbook, Ky Niem, she sings his song as if she’s living it. The minimal setting, accompanied by guitar or piano, helps bring out the personal interpretation in her phrasings.
Over a gorgeous strumming guitar, Quynh Lan gives “Co Don” a sense of solitude. She doesn’t belt out, but her words are filled with passion even on the low register. Many singers covered “Tinh Yeu Den Trong Gia Tu” in a bossa-nova groove, but Quynh Lan approaches it in a much slower pace and just bares her soul over Nguyen Anh 9’s elegant piano. The advantage of singing it in a relaxed tempo allows her the time to express the lyrics word for word. “Mua Thu Canh Nau” is another savory take on the blues. By leaving out drum, bass and horns (saxophone or trumpet), the piano provides only the essential chords and what left are simply the raw emotional vocals.
Though Ky Niem is not groundbreaking, the record is perfect for those who enjoy Vietnamese intimate ballads. Listening to it song for song on a rainy night is a pure melancholy pleasure.