What had happened to the mysterious, gothic Thuy Tien who rocked my world with Ngot & Dang and Narcissus? Her newest release, Em Da Quen, is a complete transformation from an innovative gal to a complete mediocre pop chick, as if Tori Amos has turned into Britney Spears.
Thuy Tien used to bare her soul in her songs even when she sang over a minimal arrangement like “Ao Dai Trang A Oi.” Now she hides her voice behind Auto-Tune and dance beat in the title track, but shows more skins in the video. Don’t give me wrong. I don’t mind the video and glad to see that she has gained so much confidence in her appearance. What makes my heart sink is seeing her musical talent gets wasted. Not a single track on Em Da Quen isn’t crappy.
It’s easy to dismiss the path Thuy Tien has chosen, but let’s walk in her shoes (or high heels) for a minute. Thuy Tien is now more popular than before. Em Da Quen probably sells more than both her first and second album combined. Why spend so much time and energy creating something that only a handful of people can get it? With her talent, she could churn out catchy pop tunes in her sleep and make much of money off them. The choice is between the starving artist and the glamorous celebrity. Thuy Tien obviously has picked her choice. Hate the game, not the player.