I watched Asia’s Anh Bang – Dong Nhac Luu Vong last week, but couldn’t bring myself to write anything about the video. I am tired of Asia’s political theme, the lip-syncs and the recycling of arrangements, but most of all, I was dramatized by the theatrical actings. Lam Thuy Van’s “Ke Chuyen Dem Vo Cung” damn near gave me a nightmare. The images of people and boat sinking couldn’t escape my mind.
Yesterday, I rewatched the DVDs to “commensurate April 30,” the day the communist took over power thirty six years ago. With the MC parts skipped, I found entertaining moments from the video. I am not sure if the timing was right or the liquor did the work, but I enjoyed both Bang Tam’s version of “Dung Noi Yeu Toi” and Y Phung’s “Sau Le Bong 2.” Both of these tracks had the same arrangement used for Son Tuyen many years ago, so all I did was letting Bang Tam and Y Phung lip-synced over Son Tuyen’s tracks. Vocal wise, neither Bang Tam nor Y Phung could match Son Tuyen, but visually, both of them surpassed Son Tuyen. As a result, I got the best voice to go with the good looking chicks.
I have read quite a bit of complaints about Ho Hoang Yen showing her boobs in her performance, but I have to thank her for her sacrifice. She understood how painful it is for viewers to go through this entire program; therefore, she had to do something to take the viewers’ mind of the heavy content. It worked for me. They sure were a distraction from her performance. What was she singing again?
One of the most powerful tracks on the program was “Nuoc Mat Que Huong” performed by Dang The Luan. Anh Bang lyrics were so moving, specially the closing line: “Con co anh em noi giong Lac Hong doi lai bien dong.” The only problem was Dang The Luan didn’t come across as a fighter. He looked as if he would be the first guy to run off if he was sent to battle.
My personal favorite track on here has to be “Nhu Em,” not only because of Nguyen Khang’s smoky voice and Vu Tuan Duc’s sensational orchestration, but also Do Trung Quan’s wordplay: “Gia troi dung mua, anh dung nho / Troi khong mua va anh khong nho, anh biet lam gi.” Subtle but very clever, good choice Nguyen Khang.
That’s pretty much the highlights from Dong Nhac Luu Vong for me. After all, we need to understand Asia’s strategy for running down the political route. Asia has shown over and over again, that the production can not compete against Thuy Nga for entertainment. It has to carve out its own niche to stay strong in the game.