Sunday, October 5, 2014

Ngoc Lan 9: Tinh Xua (Nostalgic Love)

Ngoc Lan's 9th solo studio album, Tinh Xua (Nostalgic Love) was a continuation of her triumphant 8th album, Dau Yeu Khon Nguoi (Love That Never Fades).  It was apparent that Ngoc Lan was trying to recapture the massive appeal she had enjoyed with her second solo album, Nguoi Yeu Dau (My Precious Love) released a decade prior with these two albums.  And she did just that with one beautiful delivery after another in this carefully crafted compact disc of 12 beautiful love ballads.  By this time in her career, Ngoc Lan had surely found her niche in easy listening music and was also then undoubtedly conscious of her audience's admiration of Duc Huy, as well as the extreme compatibility of her sweet, delicate voice when paired up with Duc Huy's style of musical compositions.

Nhu Da Dau Yeu (As My True Love) was a major hit penned by Duc Huy.  Although singer Julie, also known as Julie Quang, had been the first to record this tune and did make the song popular among Vietnamese music lovers, for many of Ngoc Lan's loyal fans, the version recorded and featured on this album would naturally be the more preferred.  Ngoc Lan manages to create a delightful signature sound to this song with a much softer, soothing approach along with appropriately gentler arrangements that accommodated, rather than overpower her voice.  Besides this song, Ngoc Lan had also chosen to include three other Duc Huy penned tunes for this album, Va Con Tim Da Vui Tro Lai  (And My Heart Is Happy Again), Mau Mat Nhung (Velvet Eyes) and the most memorable, Khoc Mot Dong Song (I've Cried a River).

This is an album definitely for Ngoc Lan's fans.  The selection of the songs for this album was exceptional.  All 12 of the songs were the perfect choice for Ngoc Lan's voice.  My personal favorite track on this album was Ngoc Lan's cover of a Nguyen Trung Cang-penned classic, Nang Ha(Summer Sunshine).  Although previously recorded by countless other vocalists, Ngoc Lan's effortless performance of Nang Ha seemed as if the song had been written only for her to sing.  After hearing Ngoc Lan's recorded version of Nang Ha on this album, I can never listen to any other vocalist's cover of this song ever again.  One other track worthy of mentioning on this album was Ngoc Lan's cover of the Chinese originally composed popular love ballad, Boulevard, in which she had recorded with her own self-written lyrics in Vietnamese with the given title, Con Duong Tinh.  Like she had done quite often on her previous solo studio albums, Con Duong Tinh is clearly another example which exemplified Ngoc Lan's talents also as a lyricist.

The only criticism I might have of this album is the photo that had been selected for the cover.  Although Ngoc Lan looked beautiful like always, whoever had done her make-up apparently went a bit overboard.  I'm not used to seeing Ngoc Lan in such heavy make-up, especially wearing shocking red lipstick.  It didn't even look like her.  Call me old fashioned, but I've always enjoyed Ngoc Lan's more softer and elegant look.  Afterall, that was the look in which we all had grown accustomed to with Ngoc Lan and also what had made us all fall in love with her.  


  1. Thank you! Tinh Xua was and is still my favorite Ngoc Lan album. Her voice was much more soulful and emotional compared to her previous albums (Tinh Xanh, Tinh Gan) but still sweet and gentle prior her Ngoc Lan Musique albums. My favorite tracks of this album happened to be the last three ones (Em Van Biet, Hanh Phuc Diu Dang, Vinh Biet Tinh Anh), as if shes was remembering the good times with her old love before saying goodbye.

    1. Thanks for your continued viewership, Phong Nguyen. I certainly agree with you. This album was definitely one of Ngoc Lan's best works ever.