Bạch Yến Hát Tình Ca Lam Phương

At 72, Bạch Yến shows no sign of deterioration in her vocals. Her breathtaking rendition of “Cho Em Quên Tuổi Ngọc,” a classic ballad Lam Phương penned about her, is a proof. She soars on the high register with deep emotion and effortlessness. The track, accompanied by elegant piano and string orchestration, is a perfect opening for Bạch Yến’s newest album, which is a superb recording of Lam Phương’s compositions.

Although Lam Phương’s music have been covered to death, Bạch Yến breathes fresh air into his ballads with her own interpretation. One of the outstanding reworks is turning the over-sentimental “Phút Cuối” into a swing number. Unlike all of the singers (including Bằng Kiều) who added more and more emphatics to the tune, she strips it down to the core. In her phrasing, she ends each bar right on the last word without any extra vocal stressing. By just giving the melody some space, like on “Duyên Kiếp,” she proves that you don’t have to be over dramatic to express sad lyrics. I am looking at you again, Bằng Kiều.

While “Chờ Anh” gets a savory Latin flavor, “Một Mình,” gets an introspective approach rather than reflective to close out the album. The man who has contributed priceless treasures to Vietnamese music deserves an album like this.