Asia 59 – Bon Mua 2

Not that I ever liked any of the Vietnamese video productions’ cover arts, but Asia’s latest Bon Mua 2: Mot Thoi De Nho has to be one of the worse designs yet. The front of the box cramped with so much crap that it had no room to breathe. The people were collaged together like a group orgies. What happened to simplicity? The use of gradients on fat, calligraphic-like typeface was horrendous. One of these days, I would love to see a clean and simple design without any singers’ face on the front. The back should be where all the singers are listed. The listing all the performances as well as credits to producers and songwriters on the back was the right direction, but the faded background got in the way of the text and the use of colors ruined the feel of the seasons.

Now that I get the design irk out of my system, let’s get straight to the program. Bon Mua 2 was obviously themed around four seasons. One of the most memorable performances was Paolo whose voice was charming and powerful. He delivered “Delilah” with confidence and bravado. His acting was a little strange, but it showed his passion. With Vu Tuan Duc’s swing arrangement, Nguyen Khang gave Tu Cong Phung’s “Bay Gio Thang May” a nice touch of jazz. His timing was just right for the up tempo. Vu Tuan Duc also had done a great job of keeping the orchestration simple on Bich Van’s gorgeous cover of “Mua Xuan Dau Tien” and Ho Hoang Yen’s intoxicating rendition of “Chieu Tim.” These two were the best combo (Asia’s overused concept) of the show because of the contrast in their vocals. Bich Van’s voice was high and smooth; Ho Hoang Yen’s voice was smoky and a bit rough. The bossa-nova bassline accompanied Ho Hoang Yen’s vocals was captivating.

On the flip side, Thai Doanh Doanh gave an awful cover of “Without You,” yet Cardin was even worst trying to dance to Truc Ho’s “Va Hom Nay.” He couldn’t even stand still to deliver a slow song. Why he felt the need to dance like a robot was beyond me. Trish tried to cover Ngoc Lan’s French tunes. The good part was that she reminded me nothing of Ngoc Lan. Trish should focus on perfecting her Vietnamese before moving on to a third language. Yet, the most ridiculous act had to be handed to Doan Phi. This kid shook his behind more than Anh Minh in the lambada routine. If you’re going to grind on a hot chick like Anh Minh, do it with authority and power and not like a little bitch. Speaking of hot, Diem Lien was sexy, but not in a harmful way. She was neither busty like Y Phuong nor skimpy like Thien Kim. Her petite figure and cute smile added a nice touch to her ripe, savory beauty.

For once, viewers could enjoy the show without the political propaganda shoved down their throats, not even from Viet Dung and Nam Loc. The video’s main focus was music and that is the way it should be.