I got mad love for Ho Hoang Yen’s sensuous vocals (something about that slightly smoky timbre) as well as her voluptuous figure. In fact, I got so much love for her that I treated her debut, Bao Tinh, from a clean slate, as if I have not heard of the songs she performed on Asia’s video before. It really is a damn shame that her first album is nothing more than a collection of tracks Asia production gathered from its various video series.
Even if I try to get past the repackaging scam, I can’t get over Asia’s sleazy method of recycling old beats. At least two of Truc Ho’s arrangements have already been used in the past. “Mot Mai Em Di” and “Khuc Thuy Du” were taken straight from Thuy Duong’s version. Ho Hoang Yen just has to sing over the same old productions. Her version of “Hanh Phuc Lang Thang” and “Bao Gio Biet Tuong Tu” is just flat and uninspiring. The “Lien Khuc Vu Thanh An” with Tuan Khanh sticks out like a soar thumb.
I am so glad that “Xin Thoi Gian Qua Mau” has been rearranged and not reusing Ngoc Lan’s. While Ngoc Lan’s gorgeous rendition remains matchless, Ho Hoang Yen’s version takes on a different direction. It’s more tender and the jazz keyboard adds some nice touch to the tune. The title track is decent as if she has brought the quiet storm to the sentimental lyrics and her version of “Bai Tango Cho Rieng Em” is simply sexy, not sure if it’s the tango or the dress.
Bao Tinh is a disappointment because Asia places her in such a rigid template that she has very little room to wiggle, let along the space to be creative. With such a hypnotizing voice, Ho Hoang Yen can offer much more than this if she is willing to explore outside of the Asia’s box.