Thanh Thao – Thao

Thanh Thao needs to put the Barbie image to rest. She’s a grown-ass woman now and singing about Barbie just seems ridiculous. The silliest track on her newest release, Thao, is no other than Phuong Uyen’s “Bup Be Buon.” The way she phrases “buon” repeatedly as if someone’s trumpeting while doing a number two. The only difference is that she has the club beat to back her up.

Thao is an instant pop album that could get you addicted for about a week. Huynh Nhat Tan plays a major role in both lyrical content and production. His sentimental ballads, like “Vi Sao Chi Co Anh” and “Vi Anh Con Yeu,” sound Chinese, but quite catchy. He’s a master at hooking the choruses straight to your head the first time you hear them. On the production side, Thao has some quite groovy numbers. I can’t stop bouncing to “Cam Giac Nao Co Em.” The beat is too damn contagious.

Vocal wise, Thanh Thao recognizes her limitation; therefore, Auto-Tune is being used on a verse here and there throughout the album to enhance her singing. “Baby Boy” is the only track that is entirely Auto-Tuned and it is a perfect example of today’s Vietnamese teenybopper. The tune is about a mama’s boy and the lyrics go something like this: “Buon cho toi tuong duoc yeu / nao ngo dau nguoi yeu toi van… la baby boy.” How lovely?