I told my wife that Lam Thuy Van was once my dream girl and her response was, “Wasn’t she every men dream girl?” True that, true that. Every man who listened to Vietnamese music probably drooled over Lam Thuy Van at one point during the 90s. Lam Thuy Van was young, sexy and at the top of her game.
With her new release, Trai Cam Tinh Yeu, Lam Thuy Van tries to return to that peak period. As a result, the album sounds dated with covers like “Xa Em Ky Niem,” “Em Se Den” and “Thoi The Minh Chia Tay.” While Lam Thuy Van’s vocals haven’t deteriorated much, her selected materials have been abused by countless of singers and she is not doing anything to give them a new life. In fact, her singing is very relaxing as if she has picked up Ngoc Lan’s approach.
Lam Thuy Van has been associated with Ngoc Lan and more than half of the tunes on Trai Cam Tinh Yeu remind me of the great late Ngoc Lan. The strongest influence are on “Chang,” “Troi Con Lam Mua Mai,” “Tan Tro” and “Dung Pha Vo An Tinh.” The arrangement of “Dung Pha Vo An Tinh” in particular sounds awfully familiar as if it has been produced for Ngoc Lan. Techniques wise, Ngoc Lan had a much better breath control than Lam Thuy Van.
The intention behind the release of Trai Cam Tinh Yeu is unclear. The album sounded as if it has been recorded fifteen years ago. In fact, it would have been a phenomenal pop album at that time. As for the current time, it seems like Asia and Lam Thuy Van are trying to scoop up Ngoc Lan’s fans.