Thank goodness Trần Thu Hà is not obligated to make poppy shits for Thuy Nga. Although Lệ Buồn Nhớ Mi is billed as a Trần Thu Hà’s album, it actually released under DK (dentist-songwriter Đăng Khánh) Productions, and yet it features some of her best recordings in years. She brings her full vocal range to do the justice to Đăng Khánh’s music.
With “Đừng Gọi Tên Em Nữa,” in particular, she soars, floats, ebbs and flows her voice all over the excellent, lust orchestration courtesy of Hoàng Công Luận, a very low profile producer. In the title track, she reaches the upper register with ease and maneuvers her way around the beautiful arrangement from Thanh Phương with poise and grace. “Biển Sầu Mênh Mông,” “Đêm Trăng Khuya” and “Sàigòn Buồn Cho Riêng Ai” are also outstanding recordings.
It’s a shame that Đăng Khánh didn’t make a whole album of Trần Thu Hà singing his songs. Instead he filled in the rest of the album with male vocalists from Quang Dũng, Nguyên Khang and Elvis Phương. In “Dù Nghìn Năm Qua Đi,” Quang Dũng mispronounced both “Capri” and “Venice”; therefore, he ruined the whole song. Even the sensational bossa-nova-swing arrangement from Hoàng Công Luận couldn’t save the track. He should have learned Tuấn Ngọc’s version before making the record. The different between the master and disciple is that Tuấn Ngọc made those two words alone worth listening to the whole song.
If Đăng Khánh invested more into Trần Thu Hà, he would have created another classic album for himself. For now, Tuấn Ngọc’s Dù Nghìn Năm Qua Đi still stands the test of time. His rendition of “Ta Muốn Cùng Em Say” is a killer.