If Trịnh Công Sơn is the Vietnamese equivalent of Bob Dylan and Tuấn Ngọc is the Vietnamese equivalent of Frank Sinatra than Hoài Phương is the Vietnamese equivalent of Kenny G. His latest release The Sounds of Love is a testament. He played smooth-ass sax sounds on top of preprogramed arrangements throughout the entire album.
Put on his rendition of “Ước Gì” in a lazy afternoon and you’ll guarantee to get knock the fuck out before the track is over. He plays the melody note for note and falls perfectly on every beat that has been complied. The soprano sax he blows, particularly in “Tiếng Mưa Đêm,” is snore-worthy.
Then again The Sounds of Love is not meant for listeners like me. The album is geared more toward American patrons in Vietnamese restaurants. The silky sound of Vietnamese pop ballads would go well with the westernized Vietnamese dishes.