When it comes to Trinh Cong Son’s music, I have extremely high expectations. Although Trinh is no longer with us, his everlasting music lives on; therefore, I am sure Dam Vinh Hung is awared of the danger of singing Trinh’s music. He has to position himself against not only singers of his age (Nguyen Khang, Quang Dung and Hong Nhung) but the older generation (Tuan Ngoc, Ngoc Lan, Khanh Ly, Khanh Ha, Elvis Phuong and many others) as well. Of course, he won’t be able to top them all but he can take advantage of his strong and unique styles to set himself apart from the rest. Was he able to pull them off? Not all of them, I am afraid.
His interpretation of “Ben Doi Hiu Quanh” is powerful, energetic and definitely “Dam Vinh Hung.” His performance stands out from the rest on this one because of its uniqueness and liveliness. With a shot of Jazz flavor and Dam Vinh Hung’s dominating vocals, “Mot Coi Di Ve” is instantly recognizable as Dam Vinh Hung and no one else. Whether you like it or not, his technique is truly astounding. Unfortunately, his flairs couldn’t spark through every Trinh’s song. On the contrary, he has ruined a few with the “sen” (dragging and delaying like traditional music) mode including “Em Di Bo Mac Con Duong,” “Got Ten Bon Mua,” “Nang Thuy Tinh,” and even “Bien Nho.” The maturity of his timbre is proven through tracks such as “Dem Thay Ta La Thac Do,” “Phoi Pha,” “Ha Trang” and “Tinh Nho.” Although his performances are respectable, these songs do not burst out his characteristics.
As a fan of Dam Vinh Hung, I am praising him for taking on the challenge of performing Trinh’s work. However, as a Trinh’s music fanatic, Dam Vinh Hung is not convincing me. He has not articulated Trinh’s music to the fullest. In any rate, I am sure Phoi Pha will bring many young listeners closer to Trinh Cong Son.