With the exclusion of “Nghìn Trùng Xa Cách” (Phạm Duy) and “Nghiệt Ngã” (Mai Thanh Sơn), Nguyễn Hồng Nhung’s new CD, Giờ Anh Ra Đi, is identical to her live show DVD Tình Yêu Tôi Hát. Asia’s repackaging production is so obvious. All the songs were pre-recorded. Tickets were sold to see Nguyễn Hồng Nhung, her guests and musicians faking out on stage. The DVD then released as a live show and the album is sold with a different title. Three revenue streams from just one source. Not bad marketing strategy at all.
If you don’t want to hear the clap box and watch Nguyễn Hồng Nhung’s lip-synching in her absolutely reprehensible fashion sense, the album is the better choice. Most cover tracks, including the duets with Nguyên Khang, Lâm Nhật Tiến, Quốc Khanh and Đan Nguyên, are enjoyable. Standout is her sensational rendition of Trầm Tử Thiêng’s “Chợt Nghĩ Về Hai Nơi.” Mai Thanh Sơn’s semi-classical arrangement is simply beautiful. Again he should focus more on his chops behind the scene than on the mic. His voice is way too thin and his singing is way too fragile, noticeably their duet on “Tình Yêu Tôi Hát.”
With “Giờ Anh Ra Đi” and “Sẽ Có Một Ngày,” she could easily handle Trúc Hồ’s romantic pop hits. Her version of Diệu Hương’s “Em Yêu Anh” is soaring and heart-rending. Not a bad album at all.