The last time I listened to Nhat Ha was about a decade ago. Back then I was more interested in her look than her singing. Has her voice always sounded slightly raspy or has time given her timbre some textures? Her dark, lush vocals particularly soar through in Quoc Dung’s “Trai Tim Toi Loi,” a mesmerizing track off her new record Nhu Chut Nang Hu Hao. She sings like a woman who has been through pain, love and lust as she curls her voice like smoke around the decent orchestration.
When covering well-know ballads, Nhat Ha sings with maturity and appreciation for the lyrics. On Le Uyen Phuong’s “Vung Lay Cua Hai Chung Ta,” her flow is mellow and her emotion is fragile yet poignant. On Lam Phuong’s “Mot Minh,” she could bring out the lonely sentiment of the song. When it comes to her own tunes, co-written with Huynh Thai Binh, Nhat Ha is no less impressive. The title track is slow, bittersweet and soothing as she takes her time to convey her personal lyricism. Her “Xa Cach” is gorgeously delivered by Tuan Ngoc whose unmatchable phrasing over Duy Cuong’s unmistakable arrangement brings the song to a higher level.
Duc Tuan and Quang Minh also appeared in the album, but Nhat Ha is still the main attraction. She closes out the record with a sensational cover of Pham Duy’s “Phuong Yeu” showing off her versatility in interpreting other people work as well as expression her own. Now I am more interested in her song choice than her look, but I must say she’s aging pretty well based on the album cover.