Ho Trung Dung – Hanh Phuc

Ho Trung Dung has a warm, charming voice, a tad too nice for my taste. In his new release, Hanh Phuc, Ho Trung Dung sings most of his own tunes. Like many Vietnamese singer-songwriters, he suffers the same symptoms: uninspired lyrics with lifeless melodies.

“Khi Nang Chua Day” is sentimental and romantic, but the rest of the tracks also carry similar pop-hook formula. The spotless, mechanical arrangements aren’t doing his clean, good-boy voice any favor either. His songs are so consistent that there are hardly any harmonic changes. “Doi Khi” and “Tinh Khong Muon Mang” stand out simply because he brought Thanh Ngoc and Ha Linh in for the duets.

“Never Too Late” is included at the end as if there’s a new rule that Vietnamese singers have to include an English track on their album. It’s not a bonus. It’s a bogus.