I am in a love-hate relationship with Hiền Thục. Love her when she covers Trịnh Công Sơn’s music and hate her for doing commercial pops. Her new release, 3:15 PM, falls under the latter. The opening track, “Yêu Là Sai,” sounds so damn Chinese from the arrangement to the melody. The second track, “Hẹn Lại Ngàn Sau,” is way too melodramatic.
Yet, I am not hating the album because Hiền Thục makes the songs believable. She’s quite mature in handling the lyrics. In “Đêm Lạnh,” for example, her voice comes through once I get past the annoying rap shit. Somehow that soft, fragile voice of her is so hypnotizing over the heavy, thumping bass in a r & b production. She also surprises the listeners when switching her vocals to mezzo-soprano.
I am probably done with 3:15 PM by the time this review is written, but it whets my appetite until her next Trịnh’s songbook. Meanwhile young heads are putting this album on repeat.