My Dzung – Tu Luc Em Di

My Dzung’s sweet, slightly raspy voice and her nonchalant manner are a perfect combination for nhac sen (over-sentimental ballads). Unfortunately she commits two major crimes on her new release Tu Luc Em Di.

First, not hiring the best producers to accommodate her voice is like not hiring the best lawyer to defend her case. Her vocals on Ngan Trang’s “Mat Nhau Roi” is so heart-wrecking that you could just feel her pain, but the cheap, poppy beat makes the song mediocre. It’s a damn shame that the dull production ruins what could have been a chill, emotional rendition of Truong Xa’s “Xin Con Goi Ten Nhau.” Hoang Trong’s “Khong Bao Gio Quen Anh” suffers even more. The mechanical production works against her expressive delivery.

Second, she makes a huge mistake of inviting Dam Vinh Huong for a duet of Tran Thien Thanh’s “Lau Dai Tinh Ai.” The drama queen drags her down the soapy gutter with his saccharine, over-emphatic delivery. Tu Luc Em Di is a heartbreaking album not for its content, but for its wasted opportunity from such a potential vocalist.