Quang Dung – Toi

Twelve years into show biz with numerous forgettable releases, Quang Dung has yet to learn the art of crafting an album. He still throws together a handful of tracks and picks out a word for the album title.

His latest release, Toi, has no concept or any particular theme that goes into the album. You could just put Toi on random and the listening experience would still be the same: just a bunch of tracks with various songwriters and arrangements that have no connection whatsoever.

If you play the album in random, however, you might not get to hear Quang Dung’s highly irritating pronunciation on the opening track, Bao Chan’s “Roi Dau Yeu Ve.” His “x” in particular is like sharp needles poking into your ears. By the time he gets to “xa xoi, xa xoi da xa xoi roi,” the piercing sound is just unbearable. So it might be not a bad thing to skip this track altogether.

While we’re at it, let’s also skip Anh Bang’s “Anh Con No Em” and Hoang Trong Thuy’s “Doan Khuc Cuoi Cho Em.” For some reasons, these two tunes had been covered again and again by countless of singers in the past year. The royalty fees must be on sale or none at all. In all fairness, I wouldn’t mind hearing another cover if Quang Dung could bring something fresh to the tune. In this case, neither the production nor the interpretation stands out.

Quang Dung once again offers the same safety formula he had used since his debut. Toi is just another predictable work that demonstrates nothing but his creative limitation. It’s a damn shame that Quang Dung can’t seem get beyond his comfort zone.