Quang Tuan – Bai Tinh Ca Trong Chieu

None of the tracks on Quang Tuan’s Bai Tinh Ca Trong Chieu (Tinh Khuc Thanh Trang Vol. 2) sticks. The cheap-ass productions are the main problem. Thanh Lam is not only an unimaginative producer, but he also seems to work in a studio that has not been upgraded since the 80s.

The title track jumps off with a hideous cha-cha drum loop that was popular in the mid to late 80s. “Mua Thu Ve Tham Me” features a smooth saxophone tone that would send you right to bed. Even the jazzy vibe on “Sai Gon Nho, Sai Gon Thuong” is so wimpy and lazy that it makes you think why bothered? Just let Quang Tuan gets his a cappella on. Wait, that would be boring still.

Quang Tuan has a warm, tender, somewhat guttural voice. He is a very relaxed singer and doesn’t like to show that he would break a sweat. Like Quang Dung, Quang Tuan is a productive machine without a bad track. Every song he sings is just about right. He barely gets out of his comfort range or rubs the notes the wrong way (as if it is sacrilegious to do so).

After listening to four of his albums straight (Gui Nguoi Em Gai, Huyen, Canh Hoa Duyen Kiep and this one), I am just yearning to return to Tuan Ngoc for some deep soul searching and octave skipping as well as Duy Cuong’s masterful orchestrations, especially on Pham Duy’s “Ky Niem,” Doan Chuan and Tu Linh’s “Gui Nguoi Em Gai” and Tu Cong Phung’s “Nhu Chiec Que Diem.”

Bonjour Vietnam