Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and even if your lover is a big fan of Bang Kieu, do not give her his latest CD, Nhac Yeu Cau, unless you want her to leave your ass. Listening to the album while driving home yesterday almost made me become Michael Douglas’s character in Falling Down.
From the opening cover of Pham Duy’s “Chuyen Tinh Buon” to the closing of Truong Sa’s “Mot Mai Em Di,” the only thing Bang Kieu added to the depressing tunes are his diva drama. His version Vu Thanh An’s “Tinh Khuc Thu Nhat” is like Celine Dion meets Kenny G. His feminine high pitch and the smooth saxophone just make me want to jump off the Washington Monument. If Tran Thien Thanh “Tinh Dau Tinh Cuoi” and Duy Quang’s “Kiep Dam Me” aren’t two of the most depressing songs of all time, Bang Kieu has just put them on the chart. As if one diva isn’t schmaltzy enough, Bang Kieu invites diva Tran Thu Ha to join him on Nguyen Vu’s “Loi Cuoi Cho Em” and Tran Thien Thanh’s “Khi Nguoi Yeu Toi Khoc,” and they sound like two broken-hearted broads crying over each other’s shoulder.
It’s safe to say that any album released under Thuy Nga production you can just toss creativity and innovation out the window. In fact, Bang Kieu is not trying to make anything imaginative here because he knows that these tunes have been covered to death and there isn’t much he can do with them. The quickest and easiest way to cash in on them is to make them as dramatic as possible and he does so damn well without even blinking.