Sunday, August 31, 2014

"Tinh Gan" Ngoc Lan's 5th Solo Studio Album



Ngoc Lan's fifth solo album was released during the same year with another major release from May Productions, Nhu Em Da Yeu Anh, which was her first solo music videotape.  At this point in her career, Ngoc Lan could do no wrong.  Her career had reached a level of such high success that no other overseas Vietnamese performer had ever even come close to.  With the extreme success in sales of May Productions' first audio release, which was Ngoc Lan's fourth solo studio album, Tinh Xanh, paired with Ngoc Lan's first solo music videotape, it is only fair to say May Productions had been launched as a major music production label from Ngoc Lan.  From this point on, Ngoc Lan's name became permanently linked with May Productions. 

From an artistic point of view, this album, much like Tinh Xanh, also lacked the level of excitement found in her earlier solo releases.  Although the quality was there, the selection of songs was rather mundane except for two out of the twelve total tracks, two newly written songs from Vietnamese songwriter and composer, Duc Huy; Nguoi Tinh Tram Nam and Tieng Mua Dem.  Both of these songs had never been recorded before by any other overseas Vietnamese artist and would first be introduced to Vietnamese audiences upon the release of this album.  The extreme success of these two songs penned by Duc Huy really came about as no surprise.  Afterall, what better choice could Duc Huy have chosen than to have Ngoc Lan's voice to be the first recorded for these two songs?  In addition, the popularity of Tieng Mua Dem had been given quite a boost as Ngoc Lan had also chosen to make a beautiful music video to this song featured on her first solo music videotape, Nhu Em Da Yeu Anh.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Ngoc Lan 1rst Solo Videotape






"Nhu Em Da Yeu Anh" - 1rst Solo Music Videotape of Ngoc Lan

                                                                                           May Productions Video 1

Ngoc Lan entered the 1990s decade with a bang.  Her first solo music videotape was released by May Productions in the beginning of the year and sales went through the roof.  Never before had any solo music videotape by any other Vietnamese artist been so widely received in Vietnamese music industry.  The release of this solo music videotape not only put Ngoc Lan at the top of her game, making her a certified superstar, it also revolutionized productions of music video within the Vietnamese music industry.  What is there to say about this videotape besides that it was simply a visual feast?  From beginning to end in all five music videos, Ngoc Lan looked incredibly beautiful.  Despite that these music videos are now over 20 years old, I still enjoy watching them over and over again to this day.  For die hard fans of Ngoc Lan, this videotape is the ultimate celebration of Ngoc Lan in all her glory at the peak of her career.  But for even those who may not be major Ngoc Lan fans, the high quality in the production of this videotape cannot go unnoticed.  "Nhu Em Da Yeu Anh" is a masterpiece of Vietnamese music video production. 








Monday, August 25, 2014

The Best Vietnamese Songstress of French Pop Music

Ngoc Lan photographed while posing on the streets of Paris.
French music has sustained its popularity in Vietnam for more than a century.  The French influence in Vietnam and its people naturally came about from the French colonial era which officially began in the year of 1862 and lasted until 1954 at the end of the French Indochina War.  One would think that perhaps the popularity of French music in Vietnam was at its peak while under French rule.  Instead, the presence of French influence along with French music in Vietnam, particularly Saigon, continued on for many years after the end of French colonialism.  Its peak in popularity didn't occur until the early 1960s to coincide with the emergence of a style of music known as Ye-Ye.  In this particular style of French pop music, originally from France allowed many songstresses to become internationally known and adored by fans from all over the world.  Among them were Sylvie Vartan, France Gall, Francoise Hardy and two songstresses that were of Vietnamese origin that also made marks onto the international scene as singers of the Ye-Ye style of music, Tiny Yong (Thien Huong) and Bach Yen


Bach Yen has been accredited as the Vietnamese pioneer chanteuse of French Popular Music.

Tiny Yong (Thien Huong) - one of the original songstresses of Ye-Ye




Yen Huong - Eurasian singer of French-Vietnamese descent who had been quite popular during the 1950s and 1960s in Saigon .  In the 1980s, she had made a brief comeback in the United States and released a couple of albums consisting of covers of French popular love songs.  













In Vietnam, Bach Yen had already established her career as a singer before setting her sights internationally where she sang in many other languages such as English, Italian, Spanish and Hebrew.  Tiny Yong, although born in Cambodia, is of Vietnamese origin who started her singing career in France during the Ye-Ye era but was virtually an unknown in Vietnam.  Another chanteuse of French-language music worthy of mentioning is Bebe Hong Suong, who was originally from Hanoi and was of mixed Vietnamese and Belgian parentage.  She began her career in Belgium and achieved international fame within Francophone countries with her hits, Rio de Janeiro and Nana.  Of course, there were also others like Bich Chieu, My Hoa and Yen Huong who had successful careers as French-language chanteuses in Saigon during this period.  But it wasn't until the later years in the 1960s when Thanh Lan emerged onto the spotlight that French music really reached its peak in popularity with Vietnamese audiences.  Thanh Lan's interpretation of popular French songs such as La Plus Belle Pour Aller Danser, Bang Bang, and Oh Mon Amour made a massive impact in the popularity of French music all over Vietnam and turned her into an icon in Vietnam.  Thanh Lan's enormous success as an interpreter of French music paved the way for other female singers of Vietnam such as Julie Quang, Pauline Ngoc, Bich Tram and Jeannie Mai.


Thanh Lan was an iconic interpreter of French popular music in Saigon prior to 1975.














Julie (formerly known as Julie Quang) first gained popularity as a French-language singer back in Saigon prior to 1975.  In the 1980s, she along with Ngoc Lan and Kieu Nga were the top 3 female singers of French popular music with overseas Vietnamese audiences.


French-Vietnamese singer Pauline Ngoc achieved fame in Vietnam with her interpretation of the French popular song, "La Petite Gamine", in Vietnam during the late 1960s.

























The 1980s saw a resurgence of French music popularity among Vietnamese audiences overseas.  Among the Vietnamese songstresses responsible for this resurgences were Julie (formerly known as Julie Quang), Minh Xuan, Khanh Ha and of course, Ngoc Lan and Kieu Nga.  The title as Queen of French music had been unofficially given to Kieu Nga by numerous Vietnamese entertainment publications and writers.  However, Ngoc Lan's fame as a Vietnamese singer of French music was not far behind.  Although they were all extremely talented, my personal favorites were Julie and Ngoc Lan.  They each had a style of singing in French that brought about a certain distinguishable charm.  To this day, I still prefer Ngoc Lan's rendition of Je Ne Suis Que de L'amour over Nicole Croisille's original version, just like Julie's rendition of Enrico Macias' Paris, Tu Mas Pris Dans Tes Bras.  These Vietnamese divas with their abilities of singing in the French language are undeniably one of the reasons why the presence of French culture among Vietnamese people all over the world is still kept alive to this day.


Ngoc Lan and Kieu Nga's duet version of "Toi Jamais" was among one of the most popular songs recorded in French and Vietnamese.
Update:  In fairness, this article wouldn't be complete without mentioning these four other chanteuses of today that are definitely deserving of being listed in the ranks of the best Vietnamese songstresses of French popular music.  The first out of the four is Leslie.  She is of Vietnamese, Polynesian and French descent.  Since the release of her first album, Je Suis et Je Resterais, in 2002, Leslie has risen to be one of the most popular singers in France.  Like her predecessors, Bebe Hong Suong and Tiny Yong, French language Vietnamese singers who had each reached mainstream prominence in Francophone countries, Leslie's music career has not been centered around Vietnamese audiences.  Although Leslie is a virtual unknown in Vietnam, her astounding achievements as a major celebrity in French popular culture is a fleet admired by many Vietnamese people from all over the world.

Séverine Ferrer is a beautiful French cinema actress and pop singer.  She is of Vietnamese and Italian descent, raised in the French island of Réunion off the coast of East Africa.  Séverine Ferrer first came onto the French music scene in 2004 when she released her debut self-titled studio album for the label, Treize Bis Records.  Two years later, she represented Monaco at the 2006 annual Concours Eurovision de la Chanson contest held in Athens, Greece.  Although she did not make it as one of the finalists at the Eurovision competition, Séverine Ferrer did manage to make quite a splash with her unforgettable performance of La Coco Dance.  Recently, she had given birth to her third child and has temporarily taken time off from her careers both in music and films.  Already an established star in mainstream France, something tells me that we'll all be hearing and seeing a lot more of Séverine Ferrer in the near future.

Aïna Quach is a rising new star in French pop music.  She is of Vietnamese, Chinese, Belgian and Malagasy descent, born in the island country of Madagascar.  In recent years, Aïna Quach was the new lead female vocalist of the internationally renowned French progressive rock band, Tai Phong.  She had been personally selected to sing lead by the original founder of Tai Phong, musician Khanh Mai.  After a successful concert tour of Japan along with a released live concert album with Tai Phong, Aïna Quach released her first solo single, Je t'emmenerai, in 2016.  In addition to French, she also sings in English and several dialects of the Malagasy language.  

French Pop Singer Leslie
Quynh Anh
Our final out of the four Vietnamese songstresses of French popular music is Quynh Anh, a Belgian singer of Vietnamese origin.  Unlike the three previously mentioned, Quynh Anh is also well known in Vietnam and various overseas Vietnamese communities throughout the world.  To most Vietnamese people, Quynh Anh, first came onto the music scene in 2006 with her recording of a song entitled, Bonjour Vietnam, written by acclaimed Belgian singer Marc Lavoine.  Although Quynh Anh had managed to attain some success with mainstream Francophone audiences at the beginning of her music career as Marc Lavoine's protégée, in recent years she has shifted her career more toward Vietnamese audiences collaborating with Thuy Nga Paris. Her popularity with Vietnamese audiences has made Quynh Anh the carrier of the torch passed over graciously by a long list of talented Vietnamese songstresses of French popular music who had come before her.

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Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Birth of May Productions and "Tinh Xanh"

Ngoc Lan began her long collaboration with May Productions in 1989 with the release of her 4th solo studio album, "Tinh Xanh" (Young Love).  Of all of Ngoc Lan's solo studio albums, this would be the one I have found to be most mundane and if anything, predictable.  Although this album would serve as the introduction of May Productions to the Vietnamese pop music market and sold fairly well, it lacked the excitement that Ngoc Lan's previous solo studio albums had.  Being the very first product released by May Productions, then a newly developed record label, the production of "Tinh Xanh" was done using too much caution which resulted in the album being pretty much a lifeless affair. 

At the time of the release of this album, Ngoc Lan was riding high from the massive successes from the pair of solo albums she had recorded for Giang Ngoc in the last two years.  Therefore, the profitable outcome in sales really came at no surprise.  But the lackluster in originality, being too polished of a production prevented this album from eventually becoming an all time favorite among Ngoc Lan's albums from her loyal fans.  From beginning to end, all of the tracks were competently put together, much like Ngoc Lan's vocals on this album.  The arrangements were so carefully crafted that there really was no room left for any flaws, but also no room left for spontaneity as well.  "Tinh Xanh", the title track which had been performed in the translated Vietnamese lyrics to the classic, "Love Is Blue", really represented the theme of well-crafted mediocrity of the entire album.  Only die hard fans would embrace this album, although it wasn't bad, just rather boring.  Among the more noteworthy tracks besides the title track were "Khong Bao Gio Quen", a cover of Lobo's "I'd Love You to Want Me", and "Dem Hoa Dang", a cover of Leon Russell's "This Masquerade", both of which Ngoc Lan  recorded in translated Vietnamese lyrics.  This fourth solo studio album by Ngoc Lan was by far not her best work, but perhaps the most carefully produced which if anything effectively exploited her sheer competence as a vocalist, but at the same time also proved to be pretty much uneventful in all other aspects.  A debut release by May Productions, thank goodness this album was not representative for all future releases to come from the music production label. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

"L'amour Tinh Ta" Ngoc Lan Album of French Love Songs

By 1988, Ngoc Lan had definitely arrived as a star among overseas Vietnamese singers.  The tremendous success of her 2nd solo studio album, Nguoi Yeu Dau, released in 1987 and became then the best selling solo studio album recorded by any overseas Vietnamese.  It would hold that position of being the solo studio album with the most in combined sales for the remainder of the years in the overseas Vietnamese music industry before audio cassettes were replaced by compact disc as the most preferred form in duplication.  This was rather surprising considering how just two years prior to the release of Nguoi Yeu Dau, Ngoc Lan was still a virtual unknown in the Vietnamese music industry.  But for it to have reached such magnitude of massive reception really took everyone by surprise in the entire Vietnamese music industry and surpassed the expectations of all including Ngoc Lan, herself.

Almost immediately after the release of Nguoi Yeu Dau during the latter part of spring in 1987, hundreds of letters of fan mail poured in from all over the world to the Giang Ngoc music label's headquarters as fans wrote to show their appreciation and newly found deep fondness for Ngoc Lan.  Already, an anticipation was underway for the release of a follow up album from the fans as if they couldn't wait another minute for Ngoc Lan to finish with the recording.  The explosive sales of Nguoi Yeu Dau also carried over to boost the sales of her debut album that had been self-produced and released the year prior.  Ngoc Lan took notice in what many of her fans had written through the fan mail about how much they admired her ability to sing in the French language so effortlessly and although they had adored the songs she had recorded solely in the Vietnamese language on the Nguoi Yeu Dau album, somehow they had wished that the album would have combined the selection of songs with some French songs, at least, like she had done on her debut self-titled, Tieng Hat Ngoc Lan.  This prompted Ngoc Lan to make the decision to do an album comprised of a collection of French love songs for her third solo effort.  However, this decision at first was not met without hesitation from her advisers and Le Ba Chu, the owner of Giang Ngoc.  Fearing that an entire solo album of Ngoc Lan covering French love songs, and not one single track would be of Vietnamese origin or even sung in Vietnamese in its entirety seemed like a doomed project headed for commercial failure and minimal reception in the overseas Vietnamese music market.   Ultimately, Le Ba Chu took the gamble and gave the green light to produce and release Ngoc Lan's 3rd solo studio album that would be given the title, L'amour Tinh Ta.

While the Giang Ngoc label was still enjoying in celebration of record breaking sales from Ngoc Lan's 2nd solo studio album, Nguoi Yeu Dau, both Le Ba Chu and Ngoc Lan purposely delayed the release date of her next solo studio album to avoid the possibility of over exposure.  In an industry as fickle and unpredictable as the music industry, too much exposure or even tremendous success of unprecedented magnitude could easily result in being a double edged sword.  During this extra amount of time that the Giang Ngoc label had been given with the delaying of the release date for L'amour Tinh Ta, Le Ba Chu carefully planned out the marketing aspect to insure strong distribution in sales for the album to be comparable to that of Nguoi Yeu Dau for the sake of both Ngoc Lan's career and of course, to make profit for the Giang Ngoc label.  However, in an industry as fickle as the music industry, there really are no guarantees for anyone, not for the producers and certainly not for an artist.

Finally, toward the closing of the winter season early in the year of 1988, L'amour Tinh Ta was released.  To the delight of both Le Ba Chu and Ngoc Lan, the album soared in sales matching the success of Nguoi Yeu Dau from the previous year.  Ngoc Lan's calculations were correct.  Audiences warmly embraced her beautiful renditions of popular French love songs that she had recorded in both French and carefully polished Vietnamese translated lyrics.  Among the impressive list of songwriters that contributed Vietnamese lyrics to these selected French songs were the legendary Pham Duy, Nhat Ngan, and even Ngoc Lan, herself, who had penned the translated lyrics to 4 out of the 12 tracks.  Some of the most notable tracks were Ngoc Lan's covers of a tune originally written in English by Barry Gibb and made popular by American songstress, Barbra Streisand, Woman in Love, where Ngoc Lan had recorded the lyrics in French entitled, Une Femme Amoureuse, Pour En Arriver La, Vivre Pour Toi, Mourir Pour Toi, and of course, the most popular track on this album, Viens M'embrasser, which had been given a Vietnamese title from the translated lyrics penned by Pham Duy, Lai Gan Hon Em.  Ngoc Lan's delivery through all the tracks were subtle yet heartfelt, giving a softer vocal approach than that of the original versions.  When listening to the album, Ngoc Lan's beautiful, soothing voice can easily move anyone to tears.

Ngoc Lan's music video for the song, Lai Gan Hon Em (Viens M'embrasser), produced and released by May Productions in 1990 contributed significantly to the popularity of this song making it a cult classic for her millions of die hard fans around the world.

Ironically, the one track I found to be rather silly would become one of the most popular tracks to come out of this album for Ngoc Lan.  The name of the song is Comment Ca Va? where Ngoc Lan tries to sing in English during an entire, painstaking verse and then finishes it out in Vietnamese, with the chorus only in the first verse in French.  To some, this approach might have been considered as cute.  Others like myself found it to be rather laughable especially when you factor in the storyline from the song's lyrics.  Just in case you're not familiar with the song, it's about an American girl who doesn't speak much French and encounters a French local who would be her love interest.  When you think of it, it is a rather cute song.  But the concept didn't work for Ngoc Lan since she at that time had yet to grasp even the weakest command of the English language after having only arrived in the United States several years prior.  But audiences liked it apparently, which is probably why Ngoc Lan would choose to include it in her usual repertoire of songs to be performed at her live shows. 

Other than the Comment Ca Va? track, L'amour Tinh Ta is a collection of the loveliest, most romantic French ballads.  It is clear that Ngoc Lan had put a lot of effort into the production of this album, since it is almost impossible to either refrain from being hypnotized by her infectious singing voice or to even find the slightest flaw with her vocals.  That is why it really isn't much of a surprise that this album would match the level of success to Nguoi Yeu Dau.  For 2 years in a row, Ngoc Lan would end up having the biggest selling albumof the year produced under the Giang Ngoc music label.  Nguoi Yeu Dau was the best seller among overseas produced albums for the year of 1987.  The following year, Ngoc Lan would see a repeat of such success with L'amour Tinh Ta rounding out as the best seller of 1988 for Giang Ngoc.  Each of Ngoc Lan's first 3 solo studio albums would serve as major stepping stones in her journey climbing up to superstardom.  Tieng Hat Ngoc Lan, Ngoc Lan's debut solo studio album, was what had brought Ngoc Lan's name to prominence and fame.  Nguoi Yeu Dau, her second solo studio album, made her a star.  And her third solo studio album, L'amour Tinh Ta, solidified Ngoc Lan as a star that would shine even brighter.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Responding to Reader's Request from "Wasn't She Beautiful?"


First off, here's another beautiful photograph of Ngoc Lan......


And another.....



And another......




Okay, one last one..... It's been posted before, but I just love how she looks here.





Now let's get to responding to a recent request from a reader of NgocLanRemembered.BlogSpot.com who after reading our last post, "Wasn't She Beautiful?", wanted to know what the following lovely ladies that were listed in the ranks of being among the most beautiful Vietnamese women of all time looked like.  Of the names mentioned on that last post, there were film actress Tham Thuy Hang, stage and film actress Thanh Nga, singer and actress Thanh Lan, singers Y Lan, Ai Van, Luu Bich, Loan Chau, Nhat Ha, Thanh Ha, and model Thanh Hang.  Here are the following photos of these beautiful women in response to a request from one of our readers.  See how our own Ngoc Lan measures up to these beautiful ladies.  Thanks for sending us your request.

Tham Thuy Hang - Legendary Vietnamese Film Actress

Thanh Lan




Thanh Lan - Vietnamese Pop Music Singer and Film Actress
Y Lan - Overseas Vietnamese Singer

Ai Van - Vietnamese Singer



Thanh Hang - Overseas Vietnamese Model

Loan Chau - Overseas Vietnamese Singer

Nhat Ha - Overseas Vietnamese Singer and Model

Thanh Ha - Overseas Vietnamese Amerasian Pop Singer
                                                              
                                                                                                                          


Luu Bich - Overseas Vietnamese Pop Singer

Thanh Nga - The Late Vietnamese Actress of Stage and Films


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Saturday, August 16, 2014

Wasn't She Beautiful?



Vietnam is a country that has certainly produced its fair share of some of the most beautiful women in the world.  Tham Thuy Hang, the screen siren of Vietnam from the 1950s, 1960s up until the 1980s has been considered by many to be the most beautiful Vietnamese woman of all time.  Others will say Thanh Nga, the beautiful actress of films and the traditional Vietnamese opera stage known as "cai luong" whose life tragically ended when she was murdered along with her lover during a shoot out at her home in post '75 Saigon.  Then there were also countless other famous Vietnamese beauties such as singer and actress Thanh Lan, whose beauty along with her singing voice and acting abilities had made her famous from the late 1960s in Saigon until now.  Other Vietnamese singers, actresses, and models whom were also striking beauties who had made their way into the spotlight overseas like Y Lan, Ai Van, Luu Bich, Loan Chau, Nhat Ha, model Thanh Hang, Amerasian singer Thanh Ha, etc., certainly can all be arguably considered to each be the most beautiful Vietnamese woman, as well.  Who is the most beautiful Vietnamese woman ever?
For her millions of fans, Ngoc Lan, would be considered in the ranks of the most beautiful Vietnamese woman of all time.  I certainly agree.  To me, Ngoc Lan was a singer with a beautiful voice and an equally beautiful spirit which made her beautiful inside and out.


To her millions of adoring fans, Ngoc Lan was considered the most beautiful Vietnamese woman of all time.






Saturday, August 9, 2014

"Nguoi Yeu Dau" Review

Ngoc Lan's second solo studio album, Nguoi Yeu Dau, released in 1987 was her biggest selling album of her entire career.  Produced under the Giang Ngoc label, Nguoi Yeu Dau was an album comprised of 12 easy listening tracks.  My favorite among them were, of course, the title track, Tinh Nhu Giac Mo, Tinh, Hoi Nguoi Tinh and Noi Buon


This album was so popular that I can't remember any Vietnamese household that didn't own a copy.  Everywhere I went, I couldn't get away from the songs from this album.  I would hear it while getting a haircut, while at a restaurant, and while pushing a shopping cart at a supermarket with my mother.  Ngoc Lan's voice and the album, Nguoi Yeu Dau, was everywhere.  She had indeed become a big star.
Unlike her debut album, Nguoi Yeu Dau did not include any up tempo tracks and all 12 tracks were sung in Vietnamese.  Four of the tracks on this album were Chinese popular songs Ngoc Lan had recorded in original Vietnamese lyrics.  These would consist the title track with Vietnamese lyrics written by Chi Tai along with three other songs with Vietnamese lyrics that Ngoc Lan, herself, had written.  Although I have always liked listening to Ngoc Lan whenever she sang in French, it was this album that made me appreciate the beauty in the Vietnamese language.  In this album, Ngoc Lan had stuck to one thing, which apparently worked.... good old-fashioned singing.  I could listen to this album everyday, and I have, as a matter of fact.   

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Ngoc Lan Debut Studio Album Review

Self-titled as Tieng Hat Ngoc Lan, this debut album first released in 1986 available on cassette only would serve as the vehicle much needed to solidify for herself a firm, standing ground in the Vietnamese pop music scene.  Prior to the release of this album, Ngoc Lan had already generated quite a following with her recordings on compilation albums with various other artists on such labels like Da Lan, Asia Productions, and Kim Ngan.  This solo studio album was really what she needed in order to make a name for herself in the Vietnamese music market. 


This was the original cover photo for Ngoc Lan's debut album entitled as Tieng Hat Ngoc Lan that had been self-produced and released in 1986, available only in cassette.


Three years after its original release that was only available on cassette, Ngoc Lan sold the rights of Tieng Hat Ngoc Lan  to the music label, Doi Magazine.  The album was re-released in 1990, and was then available on compact disc.

One of Ngoc Lan's earliest cover photos
 on a compilation cassette featuring various artists
 produced and released by the music label, Da Lan
Tieng Hat Ngoc Lan included an impressive list of songs chosen by Ngoc Lan, herself.  Well aware of the fact that many of her fans had taken a particular liking to her interpretation of French love songs, Ngoc Lan cleverly selected a combination of contemporary French songs and popular Vietnamese songs for the 12 tracks on her debut album.  Among the French songs, I was particularly impressed with Ngoc Lan's cover of American singer Jeanne Manson's biggest hit in the French language, Avant de Nous Dire Adieu and Mimi Hetu's Je Pense Encore à Lui.  I personally prefer her version of Je Pense Encore à Lui a lot more than the original by Mimi Hetu, as I found Ngoc Lan's delivery to be far more heartfelt and poignant.  Another entertaining track on this album was a cover of Princess Stephanie's up tempo hit, Ouragan, titled in English as Irresistible, in which Ngoc Lan had recorded in all three languages; French, English and Vietnamese.

As expected, Ngoc Lan's deliveries of classic Vietnamese love songs would be nothing short of flawless.  I particularly liked her renditions of Trinh Cong Son's Bien Nho, that originally had been made popular by singer Khanh Ly.  Ngoc Lan had a softer and gentler approach to this song, making it more pleasant to the ear than Khanh Ly's husky interpretation.  Pham Duy's penned Tinh Ho was another noteworthy track on this album with a rather interesting updated arrangement.  Only one of the tracks on Tieng Hat Ngoc Lan had never been recorded before by any other artist.  The title of the tune is Song Xuan, written by former Miss Vietnam USA and songwriter, Que Phuong.  Ngoc Lan's soothing voice is the perfect choice to interpret this charming ballad of eloquently written lyrics. 

The only track that I found to be rather amusing was Ngoc Lan's cover of Bertie Higgins' Casablanca, in which she sang in both English and Vietnamese.  It was obvious Ngoc Lan had yet to acquire a command of singing in the English language.  Ironically, this track would become one of Ngoc Lan's most popular recordings among her fans.  I guess one can say that it is forgivable how Ngoc Lan sounded back then when she sang in English, considering that she had just arrived in the United States only a few years prior.  I, too, have learned to appreciate this track and over time, I've found her Vietnamese accent in the English language to be rather charming.

Although it sold quite well, Tieng Hat Ngoc Lan was by far not her most widely received album by Vietnamese audiences throughout her career.  Still, it remains as my personal favorite.  I particularly liked the rawness and natural style in her voice on this album.  Anyone who had never heard of Ngoc Lan before, when first listening to her recordings on this debut album, would clearly see that she was bound for superstardom.