At a quick glance, Lênh Đênh Nhớ Phố is yet another Trinh Cong Son’s record from an unknown singer (at least to this reviewer). Once listened, however, the album holds it own. Although Giang Trang’s sultry, raspy voice is the main attraction, the key success of the album is the tight integration between the vocalist, violinist Anh Tú and guitarist Anh Hoàng. In each track, the three come together as a unit.
“Ru Đời Đi Nhé” is a perfect example. The violin sings the opening bars backing up by the strumming guitar. Giang Trang enters the next two bars, but then the violin joins in again to create a marvelous word and wordless interaction. Because “Ru Đời Đi Nhé” is so well-known that the words could be left off without losing the listeners who try to follow the lyrics. While Giang Trang sings with ease like she’s narrating her personal story, the violin soars on the high register to create a deep emotional impact.
“Như Tiếng Thở Dài,” “Vườn Xưa” and “Lời Thiên Thu Gọi” are excellent interpretation. The relaxed tempo in the intimate setting makes the listeners feel the music with their heart rather than just their ears. While “Đời Cho Ta Thế” gets an intoxicating bluesy lick, “Góp Lá Mùa Xuân” kicks up a notch with a groovy ostinato and “Mưa Hồng” is treated with a savory bossa-nova flavor.
To put it simply: Lênh Đênh Nhớ Phố is not a Trinh’s record to ignore. Must-listen.