Dalena: Something New

The first time I heard “Oriental Boy,” the lead-off track from Dalena’s Something New recorded for Hải Âu Productions, my reaction was, “WTF, Dalena?” From the stereotypical Oriental riff to the appalling lyrics, I was shocked that she recorded this song. The rap shit was just cringe-worthy:

Karate chop my heart away
Oriental boy, please stay
I’ve seen the east, I’ve seen the west
I can’t decide who I like best
Rock and egg roll chopstick beat
He’s the boy who is so sweet
I’ve seen the east, I’ve seen the west
Now I know who I like best
It’s you, my Oriental boy.

Did Dalena come down with an Asian fever? Did Hải u make her record this horrendous track? Did she write the awful lyrics? Fortunately, it was a cover of a band called The Flirts; therefore, she didn’t write the words. The rest of the album was back to the real Dalena covering pop ballads with her English lyrics. One outstanding track, in particular, is Christophe’s breakup ballad, “Je Suis Parti.” I wouldn’t understand French, but her English translation was clear:

I’m leaving you without regret
Oh the story of love, the time will not forget
I have nothing left. I have nothing left
This song is all. Your song is all.

She croons like a bird with a broken wing. She even breaks down in tears, but stays level-headed. She is leaving his sorry ass with no regret at all because she is done with him like Kim is done with Kanye. That’s my impression anyway.

As for arrangements, Quang Nhật was a decent producer who had created the distinctive style for Hải Âu just like Trúc Hồ had created a unique sound for Asia. It was a loss for the Vietnamese-American music scene when Hải u shut down its production.

I am glad that she tried “Something New” with just one track. So skip the first track and enjoy the rest of the album.