Pham Duy Vol. 5 – Phuong Yeu

Like any songwriter’s album, Pham Duy’s newest release, Phuong Yeu, is nothing more than a bunch of tracks thrown together. With way too many vocalists and producers, the record feels more like a compilation rather than a concept. The experience is disconnected even though all the songs are from one composer.

The only aspect the album has in common is that all of the singers are young and they breathe new air into Pham Duy’s classics. Ngoc Khue’s take on “Bai Ca Sao” is quite refreshing. Her distinctive interpretation makes me want to hear more of what she could pull off with Pham Duy’s songs. One track is just not enough.
Likewise, Khanh Linh’s cover of “Em Le Chua Nay” is a sensation with the support of 5 Dong Ke. Both Mai Khoi and Phuong Anh give “Tim Nhau” and the title track a rejuvenating vibe.

Despite the tracks are consistence in quality, they still sound all over the place. If the album was refrained to a producer and a vocalist, it would yield a much more intimate result. Too much variety interrupts the flow, but variations in a focused concept is rewarding.