Let’s make it official. I am now a huge fan of Quang Dung. His new release, Tinh Bong Choc La Khong, moved me. Sure, he covered heart-breaking ballads throughout his career, but never as convincing as he does on this album. Each tune shows that the divorce has taken a deep impact on his life.
The key success of Tinh Bong Choc La Khong is its target audience. Quang Dung sings these eleven tracks to nobody but Jennifer Pham, his ex-wife. Right off the opening track, Pham Duy’s “Yeu La Chet Trong Long,” Quang Dung croons like a bird with a broken wing. He means every word when he phrases, “Du toi khong muon tin la het / Tinh yeu nhu la theo mua chet.” Damn, that is some painful shit.
In Tram Tu Thieng’s “Hoi Tiec,” Quang Dung sings and swallows his tears at the same time. He’s already showing his regrets about the split up. Quang Dung’s rendition of Dieu Huong’s “Noi Buon Con Lai,” puts Quoc Khanh’s fake drama to shame with his effortlessness. One can hear his sadness and honesty without being screamed at.
In “Cho Nguoi,” “Tram Nho Ngan Thuong” and “Nhu Giac Chim Bao,” Quang Dung delivers Lam Phuong’s songs with a strong connection, like he could feel what Lam Phuong had gone through with his divorce. Quang Dung’s song choices, including Dieu Huong’s title track and Do Le’s “Tinh Phu,” are so spot on that he has singlehandedly crafted a broken-marriage anthem. If your husband or wife has just left your ass, this album is for you. I am going to buy me an extra copy and lock it in a vault just in case I might need it later on. Hey, you never know.
Tinh Bong Choc La Khong, in my personal opinion, is Quang Dung’s best work to date and Jennifer is the one to thank. She deserves all the credits. In fact, the album cover should say something like, “Album concept inspired by Jennifer Pham.” If I were her right now, I would take him back after listening to this album. Who wouldn’t? Unless you’re a heartless bitch.