POP stands for product of production. To make a successful pop record, the beat has to be solid. Producer Thanh Tam single-handedly puts Ho Bich Ngoc on the pop-r&b map with his flossy, ear-candy productions on her new release Buoc Ke Tiep.
“Mot Ngay Moi” demonstrates Thanh Tam’s producing craftsmanship. The arrangement is an ingenious blend of jazz and r&b, in which the chime, the horn and the scatting added textures and colors to the bouncy beat. Ho Bich Ngoc’s slightly gruff voice drives home the track, which, by the way, is also written by Thanh Tam.
Vocally speaking, Ho Ngoc Bich weaves many r&b nuances in her phrasing, which comes off annoying at times. “Van Mong Duoc Ben Anh” is where she sounds most natural. The beat is also groovy and the Vietnamese rapping/chanting is intriguing.
Not every track hits the mark and some productions even sound mechanical like the slow ballad “Loi Nhan Nhu” and r&b “Co Khi Nao.” The remix of “Co Khi Nao,” however, is a whole different animal, thanks to the hard-hitting trance beat. Buoc Ke Tiep is perhaps the next big step for Ho Bich Ngoc.