Andy Lau, Ehlo Huang, Jacky Chu, Vietnamese Entertainment

Tai Vi Ai by Luong Tung Quang

Seriously, it was leaning on the side of disappointment. It was like a step back from Khoanh Khac Doi Toi album. I felt the previous had more creativity and it seemed people put more effort into it. This one? Maybe because of some of the repeated tracks that made it a tad disappointing. Somehow, I didn’t like the mix as much, except for some tracks. Okay, so they were re-mixing it so it would be more lively and a bit more different than some other versions, but still didn’t like it as much. Somehow, I felt like he put more emotions into the songs from the last one than this one since though the other one was really ‘morbid’ in a sense but I could feel the emotions flowing through the other one more.

What else is there  to poke at next? LOL! Oh yeah, the art cover. Honestly, I don’t like the image he was given in this one. The make-up was a bit ‘over’ or maybe A LOT because it made him look less manly for some reason. I do like the design and the coloring that was supposed to bring out the theme though. Also, it was a bit clever with putting the title “Tai Vi Ai?” (Because of Who?) on the cover and then on one of the sides of the sleeve, there was the answer “Vi 1 Chu Yeu” (Because of One Word…Love)–which was also one of the song titles. YET it had been done before so there was the cleverness in it but not too surprising of the approach.

Songs List:
1. Tai Vi Ai? (Because of Who?) – Composer/Lyricist: Dang Khoa – Getting straight to the point since this is also the title of the album. Aside from the talking at the beginning, I like it. (It’s not LTQ, but it’s because I just don’t like ‘talking’ in songs.) How come he puts so much emotions into this one but not as much in others? Oh well…
2. Trai Tim Hoang Duong (Ridiculous Heart) – Composer/Lyricist: Kim Tuan – It gets a bit better the second time around since I guess the song is a bit addicting to listen to so it’s all right. It gets even better the 3rd time around, LOL! Maybe he’s more experienced with the upbeat ones so he’s like singing it without needing to prepare as much. (Or it seems that way to me.)
3. Thi Tham Mua Xuan (Whispering Spring) – Composer/Lyricist: Ngoc Chau – I prefer Tu Quyen for this one. OR perhaps I’m so used to the Tu Quyen version so it just needs getting used to. And yes, it’s gets a little better the second time around. Though I kept wondering when did he become ’em’? (LOL) Sorry, being mean again. Perhaps he was trying to describe some girl’s first love? LOL! Gets even better around the 3rd time for this one also. I actually kind of like the mix also.
4. Co Ua (Withering Grass) – Composer/Lyricist: Lam Phuong – Old song and one of the classic songs from Lam Phuong. The second time around sounds better, lol. I don’t know. It’s the risk of releasing old songs. I think he does slightly better than the “Thanh Pho Buon” one since “Thanh Pho Buon” is harder (or so I thought). I’m beginning to like the feel of it by the 3rd time. Interesting. Possibly it takes awhile to let it sink in.
5. Vi 1 Chu Yeu (Because of One Word…Love) – Viet Lyrics: Luong Tung Quang – I have a gut feeling that this is from a Chinese song because of the tune BUT can’t seem to figure out which one yet. But the Viet lyrics aren’t bad at all. Somehow, I never doubt him in this area. For some reason, I really like how he sings it. And perhaps it was him who wrote the Viet lyrics so it was like he was more comfortable with this song. (Duh, right?) Like it more and more and I think this song might have the potential of staying on my mp3 player longer than the other tracks in this album.
6. The Gioi Khong Tinh Yeu (A World Without Love) – Composer/Lyricist: Nguyen Duy An – Not bad and maybe it’s because I’ve never listened to anyone who could get me into liking this song before. Kind of slow but not too much.
7. Nho Em (Missing You) – Composer/Lyricist: Ky Phuong – So-so for me though I must admit it’s lively and he sings it with much more power than some of the  tracks in here that requires more power, lol.
8. Thanh Pho Buon (City of Sorrows) – Composer/Lyricist: Lam Phuong – Another Lam Phuong classic. It was all right but I think either he tried too hard to sound different aka bringing a different flavor into the song OR he could not grasp the essence of this song yet. He kind of dragged out some parts too much that it was hard to endure. Sometimes I have a feeling he was doing ‘cai luong’ (a type of Vietnamese opera) for some reason, LOL! Possibly because of the ‘drag’ I was talking about.
9. Tra No Tinh Xa (Returning the Debt of a Distance Love) – Composer/Lyricist: Tuan Khanh – Somehow, I still have the feeling of being burned out when listening to this song, lol. (Believe me, there was a time where everyone and their cousins were singing it SO I’m not off that phase of being ‘sick of it’ yet.) But it’s all right. Not that bad. Though I wonder why in the world there was the whole ‘drum’ thing at the beginning, lol. It gets a bit better the second time around since I’m focusing on his singing more than the whole ‘sick of it’. But I’m not going to put it on ‘repeat’ any time soon.
10. Nhung Loi Doi Gian (Words of Lies) – Viet Lyrics: Tan Trieu – Sorry, Andy Lau, but I’m sick of this song. (Yeah, it’s an Andy song.) It’s another ‘all right’ song. I mean it’s a good song, but like “Tra No Tinh Xa”, I still haven’t recovered from the whole overwhelming feeling yet.
11. Angel – Viet Lyrics: Luong Tung Quang – Okay, this is funny ’cause I know the tune at the beginning but couldn’t think of it at first until the second time around. It’s actually “Please Don’t Go” from Angel Lover sang by Jacky Chu, Ming Dao, and Ehlo Huang. Seriously? LOL! I can’t tell the connections yet. I’ll try to see what’s the link OR just borrowed the ‘tune’ for the sake of the song. Someone must have been watching Angel Lover, LOL! Or must have been browsing around and found the song.

*NOTE*: I’m a fan AND I do not intend to offend or stir up any fights with other fellow fans but as a fan, I have high expectations for him after him impressing me with the previous one. So I was just slightly disappointed of how this one had come out. Perhaps he was taking a break with this one so there were mix of happy and sad songs; and there’s also the in between? But hope the next one would be up to quality.
*All images and translations were scanned and translated by DTLCT

Advertisements
Vietnamese Entertainment

Khoanh Khac Doi Toi: The Artistic Side

Continuing from my last post in regard to this album, I’m going to talk a bit about the many artistic aspects of the album and/or its creativity.

Tien Dung and Huy Khiem designed the graphics for this album and I think they succeeded since the cover and other additional images were nicely done. Don’t drop your jaws because it was my poor scanner showing some smudges on it. (I need to clean it to scan better quality images for the future.) Anyway, the colors and contrasts of the images fit well with this album’s theme. It captured the precious moments of life, even the time spent waiting or reminiscing. If you look back at all the images that I posted in regard to this album, you could see the message spread all over here and here. I like how there are mixes of lively colorful pictures and the more subtle black and white ones along with the brown one also. It showed different extremes of life and what one has gone through–in this case, it was meant to show Luong Tung Quang’s past and his experiences like he said in the message on the CD sleeve I wrote about in this post.

As for the music side of it, I must say it’s half and half. I do not mean the songs selection either but the arrangement of it and the mixing.

Final thoughts? Thuy Nga succeeded in recruiting all these talented people to help Luong Tung Quang make this album happen. (Or perhaps LTQ recruited them himself.) But what failed, like many times before, are the repetitive mix and/or unsuitable mix for certain songs that made it less appealing and/or unendurable. They need to focus more on that aspect. Even if the similar mixes are supposed to emphasize the consistency of life (which was partially the theme of the album) or the many subtle sides of it, but Thuy Nga has been quite repetitive with their mixes so many times that I felt they should try harder in that department.

*All images were scanned by DTLCT

Vietnamese Entertainment

Khoanh Khac Doi Toi: Gratitude

Majority of singers–if not all–often write their little message of gratitude within the album to show their appreciation to all who has contributed to the production process and the fans who have been supporting them all along. However, I think Luong Tung Quang’s one of those that actually mean it without being too over the edge or plain down fake. Yes, there was a long list of people who he wanted to thank and yes, the message sounded repetitive and/or routine, but he made it so sincere that you couldn’t help supporting him even more after reading the messages. What made it significant was he actually listed out what each helped him with, not just providing a list after saying, “Thank you to all who contributed to this album.” It was not like that at all. He actually took time to mention all those friends and crew helping him with the tasks needed to be done to make this album happen. Here’s a copy of the message and translations:

It read:

Thank You Message:

First of all, Tung Quang* want to thank God for always protecting and blessing me. Dad, Mom, brothers and sisters**, CJ and all nephews/nieces*** have always been my foundation through all the hardships. Thuy Nga Production, Bro and Sis Thuy, and Thi for your continuous efforts of providing me with chances, allowing me to pursue the artistic road.

To all the composers, lyricists, and mixing engineers for your contribution in this CD.  To all the recording engineers for spending days and nights recording for Quang*. Especially Nguyen Nhan for putting in a lot of effort and time to help Quang complete (the album).

To all the singers Van Quynh, Nhu Loan, Ngoc Lien, Ngoc Huong, Tam Anh, and Thanh Vy for lending Quang your voices to spice up this CD even more.

To Huy Khiem, Gordon Phong, and Tien Dung for helping Quang coming up with all the high quality pictures and artistic designs.

To my friends Tam Doan, Kristine Sa,  Minh Tuyet, Ho Le Thu, Duong Trieu Vu, Dang Minh Thong, Dan Phuong, Andy Vu, Dung Trinh (Vancouver), the band Tuyen, Van, Tuan (IAH).

To my brothers Quang Kiet**** (Sydney), Ut, Trong Thang, Binh Ngo, Bro and Sis Chau Ngoc (Meb). To Luu Vinh Kha, DMT, Boon, John and Jenny (Dallas), Truc Van (Portland), Cuong Van, Uyen (Philadelphia), and everyone who has encouraged and supported Quang all these times.

Lastly, if there are no love and support from you all, then Tung Quang would not exist. Please accept my deepest gratitude here.

– LTQ

Notes:
*Vietnamese likes to refer to themselves by their first name when wanting to bring upon a feeling of familiarity and friendliness.
**He’s probably referring to his brothers and sister-in-laws (or just being respectful to those older than him). I will exclude the part where he refers to them as seniors for the rest to make it sound a bit smoother for the purpose.
***I’m doing a rough translation since I don’t know how many he has and of what gender.
****Quang Kiet is his real brother and the rest are probably close friends.

I haven’t followed his recent activities along with the rest of the Vietnamese Entertainment as vividly so I could not account for those incidents but in the past, when he actually came on for interviews, he sounded really sincere–full of emotions in his voice. (Maybe a nice personality does help one’s career?) I really like the descriptive words that he used but I could not do it justice through the translations.

What’s another bonus for this album? The little message of confiding with us about the intention of the album as well as a little introduction into the theme of the album.

Translations:

Confide Message:

In our life, love is something that is very mystical. It could raise us up to the peak of happiness and at the same time, it could push us down to the lowest pit of pain. “Moment of My Life” is a collection of 12 songs written about love. Tung Quang want to use this CD to share and sympathize with those who have and are going through those moments such as that of the ‘Moment of My Life‘.

The message was a bit subtle, only pointing out that it was his intention in making this album with its theme, but it still reserved the mystery for us to just listen to the songs and interpret it ourselves of the theme as an overall.

What’s up for next time? Probably Lyrics translation since I haven’t done that yet.

*All images and translations were scanned and translated by DTLCT

Vietnamese Entertainment

Khoanh Khac Doi Toi by Luong Tung Quang

I was just browsing randomly recently since I was bored and needed new music to listen to. Found this and thought it’s a decent CD overall. There were several tracks that were unbearable to listen to all because of the other singer but the rest were quite good. If anyone wants to listen, click here and try for yourself.

Track #1, 2, 5, 8, and 10 are my favorite ones since it was sad yet not overly morbid to the point of unbearable. Track #1 – Tinh Dau (First Love) is full of sorrow and probably a good choice for the 1st track since it fits with the theme. It gives off this longing feeling that’s hard to explain. Track #2 – Mai Mai Ben Nhau (Always Together) gives off a very comforting feeling and a promising attitude towards it. I really like the background music since it guides the song along very well. It might sound too fake or too sugary but the tune makes it less cheesy in a sense. It ends up taking it to a more serious level that the lyrics are intended to bring out. Track #5 – Giac Mong Phoi Pha (Past Dream) is becoming my favorite after #2 since I’ve been listening to it a bit and giving it more thoughts. For some odd reason, I’m feeling the background music are beginning to become quite similar to one another with all the ballads in here. But it’s just a matter of the lyrics and his voice manipulating it, giving it more emotions. A nice song indeed. (Just have to listen to know.) Track #8 – Khong Ai Khong Co Loi Lam (Everyone Makes Mistakes) – is a little over the edge of morbid-land but still bearable. The lyrics are a little bit on the simple side but still not that bad at all. At least it gets the message across. The string instruments used for the background music is nice and sad. Track #10 – Em Da Cho Toi Mot Lan Dau (You’ve Bestowed Pain Upon Me–it sounds better in Viet, can’t get a nice translation of it on top of my head right now, lol) – I really like the background music that started out the song. The lyrics are nice as well. I couldn’t help but ponder if it was stolen again since it sounded like a foreign song. Used to it already but still a bit disturbing. If it is true though, I really like how the words are written for it.

As for the rest, Track #9 – Loi To Tinh De Thuong 2 (Sweet Confessions 2) is a repeat but still nice to listen to once in a while. However, I do not like the mix of it. Track #6 – Tieng Dem Mua (Sounds of Rainy Nights) is strangely disturbing and unbearable to listen to. I do not mean the lyrics either but the mix of it ruined the song. I usually like rain songs and also like Duc Huy songs but this one, the person who mixed it ruined it big time. I tried listening to it twice and yes, it was the mixing that ruined it and not the lyrics. The other songs with the duets–I seriously can’t take it to put it on repeat. Once was enough. Not a fan of screaming people.

Anyway, I think that Luong Tung Quang is one of the better singers nowadays. Honestly, it’s interesting that he did so poorly when he first started out and somehow improved over the years under Van Son and then later joined Thuy Nga. I was not that into him although he was quite good looking even from when he first debuted. But I must admit he’s one of those that impressed me with his improvement over the years. Now, it’s strange to say that he’s one of the few that I listen to.

The fact that I’ve been following other entertainment more than my own country recently that made it sad yet it somewhat highlighted how I felt toward the industry as an overall. It’s getting way out of hand with all those new singers and how they choose to approach singing in such a way that seems amazingly strange that they are still singing. (Yes, that was sarcasm.)
To end on a positive note, my sister actually got this CD already but did not like it so she gave it to me (as a birthday gift) so I will be posting up more thoughts in regard to this album in the future, including more scans and possibly lyrics translations.

*All images were scanned by DTLCT