The next Bjork is in Vietnam

3 09 2008

Ngau Hung Song Hong – (Ngẫu Hứng Sông Hồng), Thanh Lam

Whenever I visit Asian countries, I like to pick up a couple of random CDs, based purely on the cover pictures. Its obviously a bit hit-and-miss, but in Saigon I scored a spectacular hit, and I have been listening to it a lot since, (although sadly I no longer have the CD as it jammed in Daisuke’s computer).

The singer is Thanh Lam.  I just liked the slightly bohemian cover picture :

But what I got was an insane singer who reminds me in different songs of Bjork, or Eartha Kitt, or Grace Jones, doing accoustic Latin-y jazz, in Vietnamese. And killing it!

Especially odd since she is apparently singing well-known Vietnamese folksongs, (although presumably the originals didn’t have massed male choirs, click-hoppy beats, mad tempo changes and psychedelic mid-song breakdowns).

I was expecting her to be some fresh new upstart, but according to Wikipedia she has been one of the “leading Vietnamese divas” for twenty years….

Nice one.

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