In addition to turkey, liquor, coffee and dozens of Dunkin’ Donuts, my in-laws spent some Thanksgiving time watching Van Son 45 In Minnesota. Although Huyen Thoai was just another typical theme from Van Son production, I enjoyed a few performances.
Trieu Minh, in particular, was a nice discovery. She started off with a gray suite with just a black bra underneath. By the time she reached the break, the jack went off. Even though she took on a forgettable pop song, her powerful, slightly gruff voice and a killer body are unforgettable. In the close-out number, “Huyen Thoai Nguoi Con Gai,” she blew out both the doll-like Cat Tien and the Chinese-inflected Linda Chou. Her voice was more superior than her veteran partners.
Entertainingly speaking, I found Nguyen Huy, the Michael Jackson impersonator, to be fun to watch. Sure, his voice was still somewhat annoying, but his singing had been improved tremendously. Sure, he was copying MJ move for move, but imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
Le Nhat Minh’s bluesy version of Trinh Cong Son’s “Mot Coi Di Ve” was not so bad, especially in comparison to his brother’s dance-pop “Honey, Honey.” While Ngoc Ha’s vocals was superb on Duy Khanh’s “Dem Bo Vo,” the whole Japanese arrangement and choreography just killed the Vietnamese folksy aesthetic.
The opening animation that led to Don Ho and Hoang Thuc Linh’s “Dua Em Tim Dong Hoa Vang” was striking. I suspect Don Ho was the man behind that creation. Once again, Don Ho had done a marvelous job of complement his female counterpart. As a whole, Huyen Thoai was much more relishable than Van Son previous releases.