Duong Trieu Vu has a milky face that goes so well with his baby voice. No matter how hard he tries to roughened up his flow, his fresh skin—similar to someone’s face I often describe as a piece of sliced sushi—doesn’t allow the voice to be tough. Even when he gives a sentimental performance of Han Le Nhan’s “Vien Khuc Viet Nam” on Paris By Night 77: 30 Nam Vien Xu, he’s as soft as grapes.
Although he makes regular appearances on Thuy Nga’s stage for a while, his debut, Ngay Do Co Em, only released last month. I am not so sure why his album takes a year and a half to complete. When Jazzy said her project, Moon & You, took almost two years to finish, I could see the reasons behind it. But DTV didn’t even pen a single composition, and most the tunes he covered are as old as he is. I am sure other singers could bang out an album like his in a week. Even the music is like a machine mass production from Thuy Nga, in which they have killed the sax sound trying to boast up syrupy tunes like Khuc Lan’s “Bai Ca Tinh Nho” (translated song), Nhat Dang Huy’s “Doi Em Trong Mo” and Tu Nhi’s “Doan Buon Cho Toi.”
The album is packed with saccharine, banal pieces like Viet Thi’s “Hanh Phuc Cuoi” (another translated track), Luong Bang Vinh’s “Duong Hoang Vang” and Quoc An’s “Tinh Nhu Giac Mo,” but I am not ashamed to admit that I dig the medley “Hoi Nguoi Tinh,” a romantic duet with Dam Vinh Hung. I didn’t fall for the music or the performance, but the boys have finally stepped out of the closet, crooning Christophe’s “Oh Mon Amour” together like they do mean every word they sing. Their love story is even more convincing then the two cowboys in Brokeback Mountain. I almost broke into tears when DTV informs his lover boy, “Oh my sweet love, please hear me now / Life waits for you to live somehow / Don’t be afraid, somehow you must know / I am here to stay, I’ll never go / I’ll give to you all of my heart, all of my love, all my life.” Don’t worry baby, DVH won’t go anywhere. He could be in and out of the US any time he wants to. He got so much love here from the fans. A word of advice to DVH: messing with a young boy in America is considered a pedophile. So be careful!